Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cannot Sleep....

Don't you hate it?

Being tired and NOT able to have a good night's sleep?
This always happens to me. When I have loads on my mind, and the brain just cannot relax to shutdown properly. Sometimes, it's trouble getting to sleep. At other times, it would be waking up in the middle of the night.
Well, today is the latter. Woke up just before 4 AM. And was tossing and turning. Decided to just get up and brush my teeth at 5 am. Besides, need to be up at 6 AM anyway.

You must be thinking "Why on earth at 6 AM on a Saturday morning??"
Well, didn't I mention that I am officially a Soccer Mom now?
S2 has a game at 8 AM, but we would have to be there by 7.30 AM...so that the boys can warm up together as a team. Initially, S1 was supposed to have atheletics training at 7 AM this morning too, but that since has been changed. He's currently trying out for the Fobissea Squad, and as part of the selection process, took park in the Mini Swim Meet yesterday (Friday, 29 Jan). I didn't go to school to watch. Just thought that another trip to school would kill my back. Okay ...That was abit of an exaggeration but I was at school many times this week, i.e. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So I sent H to school instead. Don't think S1 did too well. He participated in 2 events - he was 3rd and 4th in the events, I think...

Anyway, re - the upgrade at Crowne Plaza Changi in my last post. Here are the photos...

The Living Area

H wants me to show the Airport Luggage Trolley in the Room

Bedroom

Bathroom
(Definitely MUCH MUCH bigger than our NYC room!)



Didn't take pic of the walk-in wardrobe area....and there were two flat screens - one in the living and one in the bedroom.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Few Days in NYC

For continuity's sake as well as an aid to my bad memory, I have to finish off the post regarding our recent Xmas/NY holiday.

Continuation from here.

New Year's Day
The whole of NYC was sooooooooooooooooo packed. You can hardly walk smoothly. Was really NO fun this time round in NYC. This was really a far cry from the last time I visited. But there were a few positives... Central Park was quite a nice sight.

Central Park West
We managed to get a table for lunch at Nougatine at Upper West Side, near Columbus Circle. I have to say that it was YUM YUM YUM! The Tuna Tartare was really really very good, and the Steak too!! Definitely a MUST-GO in NYC. I supposed that is what you would expect from a Michelin 3-Star Chef!
We also went to watch the Radio City Christmas Spectacular...which featured high kicks and great cheorography from the Rockettes.

These guys were around the Streets of NYC...getting donations for some charity, I think.
The weather in NYC was FREAKING COLD ... 20 deg Fahrenheit (about -6 deg C). And when the wind blows, single digits (at least - 13 deg C) ! Though I was well-covered up, my face and hands weren't. My teeth was like CHATTERING! We had to have HOT HOT Soup....meaning HOT RAMEN SOUP for dinner.

January 2, 2010
We took a bus to Atlantic City, as H had to meet some people. I have to say that Atlantic City is NOT impressive at all. It feels like a sad little place, which relies on the casinos. Just NOT like Las Vegas. Although LV 's primary earner is gambling, somehow you don't feel it because it's got other things plus all the glitz. Atlantic City is just...... ???? Donno how to say.

Anyway, whilst he had his meeting, I had to find things to do. What?
Try my luck at the slots lor. Lost USD 25/-. Got fed-up, and went to buy a magazine and sat on my own in the food court. When I went to "collect" H, he was a sad case! Donno whether he is talking business or what? Drank like a fish and he was rather drunk! Bleah....
He didn't even remembered how we got back to NYC! Sei-mou???

Atlantic City Coast - viewed from Caesar's Palace

Atlantic City was even colder! Bbrrrrrrrrr.. The cold cold winds!
Again, we went back to the SAME RAMEN restaurant for dinner. We really needed the HOT HOT soup. Now, H even calls this place our favourite restaurant in NYC.
What is it? It's called Sapporo...located near Times Square.

January 3, 2010
Didn't do much on this day... except some shopping. Remember going to Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Dylan's Candy Bar and Magnolia Bakery. Didn't buy anything...except lots and lots of SWEETS. S2 is crazy about WarHeads...and that's what we bought mostly. (The kids at his school is crazy about this too.. One girl wanted to trade a whole packet of Nerds for ONE single Warhead!)

We took a pre-booked car to the airport for our evening flight to SFO.... which was delayed for over 6 hours. Yup. This was the one that we got stuck at Newark. Read it here.

On arrival at SFO, we had to stay a night .....or rather half a night, as we only checked-in about 5 am! But I've already prepaid earlier... We stayed at the Doubletree. The room was soooooooooooo much bigger than our NYC room. Joked that our King-sized bed is even bigger than the NYC room! Hahahahah. The bed was indeed very comfortable. Slept like a baby until awokened by a telephone call from HT. Told her that she needn't drive to SFO from San Jose to meet me lah. So ma-fann.

January 5, 2010
Again, we had to stay in an airport hotel... Arrived at Changi like really really late at night. Think past midnight...so should actually be 6th Jan already. Stayed at the Crowne Plaza at Changi.
Si-peh expensive.... but at least they upgraded us to a suite. HUGE. Will post some pics later.

January 6, 2010
I had an early flight on Air Asia to KUL and H took a later flight to CGK.
Initially, H calculated that it is cheaper to take AirAsia as our connecting flights from KUL/CGK, instead of flying SIA all the way. But he didn't forsee that we would have to stay a night at Crowne Plaza..., which made this option more expensive. Salah Hitung, liow....
Next Time WISER!

Health Matters

Lately, I've been rather preoccupied with health matters, which ranged from the kids' dental to my spinal health. A few dollars here and there, and the total does add up. Though H's company does provide health insurance coverage, I dread to think of the day where we have to bear all the costs of healthcare ourselves. I am sure will be quite substantial as there are FOUR of us. I wonder if we should start a health savings account now to better prepare us for the future, or just wait? What do you advise?

Auto Insurance

Do you remember my auto accident a few years back?
Yeah. The one where I hit a motorbike.
Thank goodness that the auto insurance was in place, which took care of the biker's medical expenses and the car repair costs. I can't imagine what were the complications otherwise. I wonder if such accidents are going to affect my future auto insurance quote. I do hope not!
By the way, if you are wondering... YES. The guy did survive.
:-P

Suitable TV Stands Needed!

I know we shouldn't. But my H does spoil the kids....
What am I talking about?
TVs in both the boys' rooms. Well, this does give me more problems in controlling the amount of TV they watched.
Anyway.... Have been trying to find a suitable TV stand for S2's TV. So far, most of the tv stands I see are either too rickety or too ugly. The nice ones are quite expensive, and I don't want to spend too much either. So what are the other alternatives?

High Definition!

Do you know what prompted me to get a DLSR?
One reason is that I couldn't take GOOD pictures of the New Year Countdown at Times Square with my little point-and-shoot. And the other reason is all the high definition images on tv before my eyes. For example, our NYC hotel room had a samsung led hdtv, and the images were soooooooooooooooo crisp and clear! A far cry from standard definition (SD).
Once you've seen HD, it's hard to get back to SD!

Monday, January 25, 2010

NEW YEAR's EVE @ Times Square NYC

Yes. Yes. This is a backdated post. Have been so tied-up with boys' schedules that I am a little disorganised.

Anyway, this should be a continuation from here.

We arrived in Newark at about 7 am on New Year's Eve...and it was snowing. I don't know why the vehicles were not prepared for the snow (afterall, snowing is a norm) as traffic was a mess..... Buses not able to go up ramps. A mercedes skidding funnily to get to the curbside, etc. It took us forever to get into NYC.

The door-to-door van took us direct to our hotel - The Paramount, which was located on West 46th Street, about half-a-block from Times Square...where the action is. Yes. Location is great....but what greeted us when we opened the door to our room was a tiny tiny shoebox! I have to say that it is the most expensive shoebox that I have encountered in my entire life. I don't even dare tell you how much we paid for this shoebox. Apparently, The Paramount is a hip, happening boutique hotel. It has been recently refurbished, and has a Dean&DeLuca on its premise. Yes. The lobby is quite stylo-mylo....but the shoebox that they call a room is really quite something.

Anyway, we checked-in, left our bags and went out and about. Can't remember where we went or what we did. But people were already "chuuping" spots at Times Square at 11 AM in the morning! Oh yeah. Just remembered....went to Bubba Gump for lunch and then donno where. We got back to the rooms to have a shower and rest....but at about 3 PM, H said that he wanted to go to the bank. I was too lazy and decided to stay in. But he came back pretty quick....and said that the cops were already barricading the packed Times Square area, and asked H "Are you in or out? You can't come out once you are in!" Of course H said OUT.

The moment he told me about this, I had to see the crowd of early birds.

This was at 3.30 PM
The police were setting up THREE barricades. The 1st is to keep the early bird crowds within the central area (Yup! To see the ball drop, you need to be in THERE latest by 4 PM!!!! Nope! We weren't one of those.). The 2nd barricade, which is about 15 feet from the 1st barricade, is to have emergency access. The 3rd barricade at 8th Avenue is to keep everyone out except hotel guests within the street. Our hotel was inside the 3rd barricade....which allowed us access up to the 2nd barricade. We had to show our hotel key cards to get through.
The 1st Barricade Closing...at 3.33 PM
(Photo taken from 2nd Barricade)

Of course I didn't go and wait inside the 1st barricade. GILA-lah. How to wait from 4 PM to 12 midnight? That's 8 hours of waiting! (Okay-lah. Entertainment starts at 6 PM. But still??)And some more, NO backpacks are allowed inside the 1st barricade. Thus, unless you can have bottles of water (no alcohol allowed) in your pockets...you can't have a drink. Besides, don't think should drink so much because there's no toilets. There's McDonald's nearby...but there are no guarantees that the cops will allow you back in once you come out of your "prime position"!!!
Now I know why H's friend said "You are abit old, don't you think? You should do it twenty years ago!". When you are young and foolish, only would do such thing as waiting 8 blardy freaking hours in the cold... Yes. It was snowing plus turning into rain kind. But then, twenty years ago, we couldn't afford to come all the way to NYC.....

Anyway, we went back to the hotel to have a rest...I actually slept from 4 PM to about 7 PM. Then went out for dinner. I tell you.... NYC was really really packed with New Year Revellers. Everywhere was so crowded that we ended up having dinner at the pizza joint next to the hotel. Not so packed because it was within the restricted area (3rd barricade). Mr. & Mrs. TV Addicts
then watched telly till about 11.30 PM, before going down to join the crowd.

Nivea was giving out these....
We were standing about 30 m (2nd Barricade) from the stage where J.Lo was prancing about. I could sorta see the stage. I could hear her singing the New York song (donno the title) but I couldn't see her. Anyway.....

Countdown Starting....

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Look at the Maddening Crowds!


BTW, you should see the mess on the ground! Yucky to the max...mixed with the melted snow. But have to say the workers cleaned it up quite quickly. The next morning, the streets were fairly clean.

The next morning, we met a fellow hotel guest whom had waited inside the 1st barricade. She said she started waiting since 4 PM, and it was worth it. It was something she wanted to do before she die. So this is a TICK off her list. H said "Since we weren't inside inside. I guess this is a HALF TICK". My comments to that? "It will NEVER EVER be a FULL TICK because I will NEVER EVER be able or want to WAIT for 8 hours!" . PERIOD.

Jobs in Sales

In my previous life as a salaried worker, I always worked in either engineering or project management. Never in sales. I just don't think that I have it in me to do sales. H on the other hand, is a salesman to the core! Though trained as an engineer, his aptitude is in sales. I think he could even sell refrigerators to the eskimos...hahahaha.
His jobs in sales are the ones that take us around the region as expats.

Health Insurance is IMPORTANT!

With the current problems related to my cervical spine, I am really grateful that H's company provides a fairly comprehensive health insurance. In addition to conventional medicine, I am also covered for chiropody, physiotherapy and even accupunture. I can't imagine the out-of-pocket expenses if I do not have health insurance in place. This has reaffirmed my believe that health insurance is of utmost importance. If there should come a time that H's company no longer provides our family with the necessary health insurance, we definitely will have to seek low cost health insurance coverage. We cannot afford NOT to have health insurance!

Power Cuts

Few months ago,our home experienced frequent power cuts. So frequent that it was really getting on my nerves. I could tolerate the heat, the darkness, the discomfort, the inconvenience that came with the power cut. What I couldn't tolerate was the thought of having to throw away the perishables in my refrigerator! We complained to our landlord, and he proposed emergency power from a neighbouring genset. It sounded good until we learnt that we had to pay for the electrical supplies and installation works. Of course it was a NO go. I am certainly not going to pay for such works. Afterall, the house is not ours and we are not going to stay here forever.

Hydroxycut

When I saw the word "hydroxycut", the first thing that came to my mind was something to do with the hydroxyl ion (OH-). But what it is, is a far cry from what I thought.
Well, that's the Chemical Engineer in me.

So. What is "hydroxycut"?
It is a weight loss supplement that is very popular in the US. But does it work for everybody? There are mixed reviews regarding it's efficacy.
I supposed it will all depend on individuals. Afterall; individuals have different lifestyles, fitness levels, body chemistry, metabolism etc.

Weight Loss Supplement

Did you know that the Global Weight Loss Market will be worth USD 586.3 BILLION by 2014?

You can imagine the wide and varied products and services available. I would think the biggest market would be in the weight loss supplements which targets people who want to lose weight quickly. I have on occasion use weight loss supplement to assist in ridding some extra weight. Most of these are purchased over-the-counter without the need of a prescription. I avoid prescription supplements as they have to be used under a doctor's observation. In some instances, you may be able to purchase certain prescription supplement such as adipex without prescription. But this is inadvisable as you do not know the side effects that may arise with long term use.

Orthopedic Consult

I have finally decided to seek the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon regarding my spine.

To date, I have been to about 20 sessions of spinal adjustments by the chiropractor. Though I do feel better than when the conditions first appear, the symptoms are still there. One day I would feel great, and another, I would feel pains in my shoulder and arm.
Perhaps the bad bumpy roads are aggravating my disks? I don't know.

The consultation with the orthopedic surgeon will be tomorrow. I just want to make sure that it is really nothing serious. Wish me luck!

Holiday Weight??

As you know, H and I both went away on a twosome holiday to San Francisco, Carmel, Monterey, Los Angeles and New York for two whole weeks. You would have thought that with all the eating and drinking (with NO exercise whasoever), lots of weight would have been piled onto our middle-age bodies. I am happy to say that I did not do that badly. :-) H too.
Funnily though, H put on weight when he got home. Somehow, he ate like there's NO tomorrow and piled on more weight in the few days he was home than the two weeks away. He's been meaning to go to the gym but his work schedule is preventing that from happening. Looks like he is going to turn to some fat burner for men soon.

Wrinkle Dilemma

I was just blogging about my new DSLR....and how difficult it was trying to take the pictures through the ViewFinder with one-eye closed. For the longest of time, picture-taking was via the LCD screen. A fellow blogger mentioned that even if we are using the ViewFinder, we should practise focusing the pictures with both eyes open... Why?
Because of WRINKLES!
Worse, more intense lines on the one single eye that we squint to get our perfect shots!
What can we do about this other than using a good and efficient wrinkle eye cream? I supposed we could alternate the eyes, so that both eyes get "squinted" equally. Or as my blogger friend says "OPEN BOTH EYES!"

POS System Upgrade Required!!!

I don't know if I mentioned this before....but there is a certain French hypermarket here that always gets in my nerves. It is a major retailer which prides itself in saving consumers money. It would advertise it's SPECIAL DISCOUNTS in large billboards etc. And yet, I find that when the said-discounted items are purchased, the discounts are NOT automatically reflected at the cash register. It is so frustrating as I would have to be alert and check the receipt. And to make matters worse, the errors cannot be corrected at the cash register. I have to walk waaaaaaaay down to the Information Counter to have the discounts recognised manually, and money refuded. I would think that the discounts should already be programmed into their POS systems. Don't you think? They really NEED to upgrade theirs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New TOY for Me!

Just as I was lamenting about all the buying, ....and what do I do?
Ask H to get me a DSLR when he transits in Changi. Shame on me!
So. Am now the new owner of a Canon EOS 500 D.

Actually, I was already looking at some cameras when we were in the States. And thought that I wanted to get the Canon Rebel T1i, but decided to check the prices here. When I told Laundryamah about it, she insisted that it wasn't a DLSR...and we sorta had a little debate, as she said that Canon DLSRs should always have some numbers and a D blah blah blah. I googled it, and then found that Canon EOS cameras are generally called Rebel-something in America. Thus, EOS 500 D is called the Rebel T1i.

Anyway, I was "experimenting" with my new toy yesterday. Have to say that I am NOT used to using the viewfinder to take pictures. You know lah... for the longest of time, we have been using the LCD screen to focus our images. And know what? The one-eye closed business resulted in a dizzy head....which became a full-blown headache. I actually had to have 2 panadols to calm the effects.
ADUH!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Never-Ending Buying!

I'm sure you moms out there have the same problem.

Do you feel that you are constantly replacing your kids' stuff?
If it's not shoes, it is bags. If it is not this. It is that.
I don't mean just the lost items. There are the torn items. The out-grown items.
The list is almost endless!

I was at the mall for almost 4 hours yesterday, trying to buy the boys' school items.
Both boys needed new school shoes. And how I wish it was those WHITE Bata shoes that I used to wear in school. NO. It has to be black leather shoes. And it is not easy to find affordable kids leather-like shoes. I certainly do not want to spend loads on shoes that seem to be man-handled by the boys. Don't know how they wear them. Toes sticking out. Soles detached from the shoes. Holes underneath. .... Aiyo. Plus they outgrow them soooo quickly.

S2' was pretty easy as my friend had referred a shop that has quite a range. At first, he still wanted to be choosy... but I just had to put my foot down. The damage for his pair of shoes was almost USD 20. Considered cheap already. Similar shoes at Metro were going for about USD 30. (Why not those WHITE Bata shoes ahhh????)

S1 proved to be soooooooooooooo much more difficult. I didn't realise that my son has grown so much. He can't fit into the kiddy sizes anymore. And thus, it was a search for adult-sized leather shoes. He didn't want DORKY shoes, nor WORK shoes like his dad's. We looked at shoes in Metro, Next, Bata, Pedro, Marks&Spencer's, Linea, 101, Zara and finally settled for a pair of Clarks at Sogo. Blardy expensive at USD 78! (Even more expensive than my Cole Haan's!) He liked a pair from Pedro (eh..also not cheap leh USD 58) but they only had it in Size 42, and he really looked like Donald Duck in them. Even then, he still insisted that he wants them! Of course, I had to say NO.
BTW, my S1 wears a size 41 ... still abit loose for room to grow.

And then there's the school bags. I don't know if it's the bag quality or what. But I just bought then new bags whe school started in August 2009. And now, both the boys' straps have torn. Got S1's bag in a jiffy...but S2 was kinda choosy. He wanted to have a Reebok one...which of course cost a bomb. Had to put my foot down. Bought him a much much cheaper one.

What about Football boots?? So ma-fann....these ang-moh schools. PE also must have different type of shoes. Again, S1 had outgrown his old pair. He chose a pair of Diadora's which was slightly less than USD 35/-, and a pair of shin guards and football socks. His football boots were also a Size 41. I had already purchased S2's football boots the day before, otherwise it'll be another headache.

And also new swimming trunks for S1. Swimming activity starts this Tuesday, plus he will be participating in a Swimming Meet or something. At least, this was quite an easy task. We were out of Arena with the purchase within 5 minutes.

Hopefully.... that's the end of buying school stuff for the time-being!

Officially a SOCCER MOM!

Yup! As of yesterday..... S2's first game.

The try-outs for the football league was actually last term, before Christmas holidays. The try-outs were on Saturdays, starting at 8.00 AM! So you can imagine this lazy mommy having to drag herself reluctantly to school on a Saturday morning. At the end of the try-outs, I went up up to the coach to inquire on S2's performance. I know he isn't very good, and was trying to suss out if my Saturday torture is at an end. BUT BUT... the coach said "Don't worry. Everyone will get in. It's just which team". Aiya.... cannot get out. I guessed there is a positive side. S2 still thinks the world revolves around him, so hopefully playing a team sports will teach him all about teamwork and that others matter too.

S2 is in the U10C Black team. I told H last week that the league starts soon, and that we would have to take turns to accompany S2 to his games. The first game was Saturday, 16th Jan; H's remark was "Good.... I won't be around this weekend!" . Bleah.... he's in Germany for work at the moment. Ya. Ya. All the games are during the weekends. Next week, there are two games even...on Saturday and Sunday! The one on Saturday is for the Coca-Cola League (points and goals like Barclay's League), and the Sunday one is for the Greenfields Cup (like FA Cup...get knocked out one).
When I arrived at school on Saturday, it was raining and quite heavily too. I was surprised to be told that the scheduled games will go-on, unless there is lightning. I was like Aiyoooo. You know the Chinese lah, where can go under rain one? After get sick. Plus I dreaded the idea of my feet sinking in the mud. Yucks! Okay. My feet didn't sink in lah. But I did have to give my legs a bit of a scrub when I got home.

Anyway, here is S2 in his black uniform.... Don't know why he chose such a BIG-sized one, i.e. XL. GILA!
You can't even see his knees!!! Just got him this new pair of Nike football boots on Friday (day before the game) as the studs on his old ones (hand-me-downs from S1) came off.

My photos of the boys playing in the field did not come out nice, as I don't have a terrer-menerrer camera with telescopic lens. That is why I want to get a DSLR...at least can zoom abit lah. See my son (Shirt No. 15) so blurr!

But even if I buy a new camera, don't think I will ever be sooooo cialatt as to have lens like below!


They were playing against the Jakarta Japan Club (JJC), and naturally the Japanese would have terrer cameras......Nikon dan Canon sama-sama dari Jepang! (Yes. It's called Jepang NOT Jepun here)
S2's team was leading at first, but just the last 5 minutes or so, JJC boys were on the roll and scored 2 goals within 2 minutes. The final score was 3 all. Quite respectable for a first game, I thought.

It was pretty nice gesture for the boys to all shake-hands with the opposing team. Don't you think?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Four Nights in Los Angeles

This is a continuation from here.

On Sunday, 27th December - We started the day at Farmer's Market and The Grove. We had fondue and wine at Morell's. Donno what happened, but H and I ended fighting like crazy....over silly stuff lah. But then did manage to "friend" back in the evening...with a trip to Michaels to buy more scrapbooking stuff.
What did we have for dinner? McDonald's. Donno why...but just fancied eating the porky McRib.


Big Xmas Tree @ The Grove
See Santa flying across??

View of The Grove's Cinema

Cute Sculptures @ The Grove
The next day, we literally spent the whole day at Desert Hill Premium Outlets. There's another BIG outlet next door which we didn't go. No time. Not that I bought alot of stuff... By the time I went to the GAP store, the shelves were literally EMPTY. Must be those tourists that came in the many tour buses!!! Well...what did I buy? Ann Taylor jeans and pants, BCBG stuff, Banana Republic tops plus a few gifts for family.

We did the touristy stuff on Tuesday.... like going to Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, Rodeo Drive etc... and then on to Santa Monica. You know the song that has "Santa Monica Blvd" in its lyrics?? Well, I had to jalan to see what's along this road. Errr.... not much lor. Just a whole load of traffic lights. Seems like it took us forever to get to Santa Monica Pier from Rodeo Drive.
Hollywood Sign from Afar
(Aduh! This is one reason why I want to get a terror-menerrer camera! Photos look so crappy with my little point-and-shoot)
Chinese Theatre
(H said that we should watch Sherlock Holmes here....and was pestering me to do so. But watching movie here seems like such a waste of time. Not to mention the more expensive tickets. But he said .."But then you can say that you watched where the stars watched!")
One of the Prints outside The Chinese Theatre...this is Steven Spilberg's
Godzilla's STAR!
One of the Xmas Decor @ Rodeo Drive
Actually, wanted to have drinks at Rodeo Drive, but couldn't find any place. The Luxe Hotel had a little coffee place outside, but by the looks of it, service is BAD. Guests have gone, but dirty plates and glasses still sitting on the table. So gave that a miss.
Santa Monica Pier

We had drinks and some snacks at The Lobster (think that's what it is called), and then watched the sunset ....which was nice.
Drinks overlooking Santa Monica Pier
Sunset @ Santa Monica
We drove down to Long Island on Wednesday to visit The Queen Mary. Originally, wanted to go to San Diego. But didn't want to visit Seaworld, and didn't know what else is there to see in San Diego. Can't exactly drive around, and then that's it. So settled on The Queen Mary.
From Long Island, we made the mistake of taking the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. It was like a drive that took forever. Soooooooooooooooooo many traffic lights. Should have just taken the Freeway. Can't see much...as all the million dollar homes are behind high fences and gate.
We did go to Paradise Cove for a late lunch/early dinner. It was a good choice indeed. Yummy foods.
Look at the NICE paper napkin!
View out from the restaurant

From here, we went to try to find S1's game ...from Game Spot to Target to ToysR'Us to Bestbuy, and we couldn't find it. Since there was a Michaels in the same area. Naturally, I went in there too. But H was hurrying me this time....as we had a flight to catch. He was afraid that the queues at the airport would be long. But NOPE. It was not. We went through quite quickly. And then we are off to The Big Apple for New Year's Eve....

SCRAPMANIA

.....Really cannot buy anymore scrapbooking stuff.

Didn't realise how much I bought until H unloaded all the stuff on the Day Bed in the Study. When I tried to store my stuff away, I realised that I had quite a lot of unused items from my purchases from 2008....especially those that I bought from Melbourne in December 2008. I had even forgotten about them. So...NO MORE BUYING!
See my existing scrapbooking stuff here.

Here's what I got from this recent trip.

Lots of DCWV Stacks from Joann. There were 10 bucks for each stack. Original price was 19.99 usd. And you know what? These papers would easily cost almost 2 usd per piece here in Jakarta. And you know how many pieces of paper per stack? 48!
They were all soooooooooooooooooooooo pretty. I gasak 8 stacks of different design. Gosh.... almost had to send them via parcel post. You know how heavy paper can get...

Also got some albums. 4 actually... plus the refill packs. H said he didn't like my ring-type albums. Yes. I'm sure he was bored to his bones waiting for me.

Basketful of stickers, metal embelishments, embossing kit and stuff, special punches, special pencils and pens, alphabet, more acrylic stamps etc etc. Bought them from Joann, Michaels and even Target. I tell you...so much nice nice stuff! Really can go CRAZY with all the nice stuff.

I really like Joann's. They've got lots of other craft things plus WILTON stuff etc etc. I think if I live in America, I will be buying like NO tomorrow!!!

But then.... I tell myself NO MORE BUYING!!! PERIOD.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Still Stuck @ Newark - Edited

Realised that this post is abit kelam-kabut. That's because I was typing on my iPod with one finger. So, I am going to edit it a little bit....and add some photos of the chaos.

Our flight finally took off at 1.40 AM. That is a 6-hour DELAY. I supposed on a POSITIVE note, the flight did take-off....as many flights were actually cancelled. Otherwise, we would have missed our flight from SFO to Singapore. And then our flights from Singapore to KUL/CGK. Can you imagine waiting and queuing and then finding that your flight has been cancelled???

Anyway, apparently the idiot who caused all this chaos was only fined a mere USD 500/-. Such a puny sum. I can imagine the compensation that has to be dished out to the passengers who had their flights cancelled.


MESS @ Newark's Terminal C



Lucky I had these before the mayhem. Otherwise, I will surely FAINT from hunger!
Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery

Yup! I am stuck at Newark airport..... due to an earlier security breach.
Did you see the news on CNN?? Apparently some idiot walked through an Exit Sign or something. We had already passed through the security check-point and was waiting for our flight. When we wanted to get to our gate, we were told that we had to exit the "sterile" area and go through the security check again. So what to do? Go out lor. It was a whole blardy mess. The worse thing was NO NEWS or messages were conveyed. Had to read it off the internet while standing in the throngs of air travellers!
We waited outside from 7.30 pm till about 10 pm.... for the Security Check points to reopen. There were loud cheers and claps when they finally reopen the security checkpoints.
Our flight has been retimed I don't know how many times. Even after the check points were open, the concourse to most gates were still closed, and thus passengers stuck and planes not taking off. Thank goodness that Continental Airlines is now part of Star Alliance and at least H has access to the lounge. It is now 11.50 pm....
Gonna go now lah.