Monday, June 14, 2010

A Dinner to Celebrate the Newly Weds!

Last Saturday, my Aunt invited the family over for dinner at her place to celebrate the newly weds. Contrary to most, when I say my family, I do not mean my Mum, my Dad nor my siblings. I usually mean my two aunts plus their husbands and children.

I do not kid around when I say, I am my only family. Besides being an only child (with multiple step siblings), I grew up with only a mother figure at home. Because of that, I grew up with my cousins rather than my step siblings. So therefore, when my Mum passed away in 2002, naturally my Mum's sisters (my two aunts) became my mother figures. And their children became my siblings. I never forget to buy souvenirs for them when I am abroad and almost always spend lavishly on them. Heck, even their duit raya packets are double the ones I hand to my step siblings!

So, back to the story. We arrived early because naturally we came just after inspecting the new house. And the kitchen was already busy! Western food galore!!!

Beef ribs to be grilled with barbeque sauce on the side.

Roast chicken. Lovingly prepared by my aunt's eldest son. (This aunt of mine has five sons, so in this house, even the men cook!)

My uncle even made a make-shift barbeque at the back of the house.

My aunt's pretty corner in the house. Don't know how she keeps it like this considering she has 6 boys (including her husband)!

While waiting for the rest of the family to arrive, Aiden was of course, running around the house with his uncles (my two youngest cousins) and worked up quite a sweat. So we stripped him off his nicely pressed shirt and changed him into a t-shirt. A t-shirt owned by his youngest uncle. And funny enough, it was a t-shirt that I bought for this youngest cousin of mine (who is also my favourite cousin) when Hubby and I were on our 2nd honeymoon in Bali!

Such great memories behind this hand-me-down T-shirt!

It was so big, it became a dress for Aiden!

And finally, the pengantin baru arrived!

Potato bread, grilled ribs and rojak. Not in this picture is of course, the roasted chicken. And salad plus homemade mashed potato made by my aunt's second son.

We even had soup, as a starter.

The home made mushroom soup, was surprisingly, very good.

Nyummy! So who says teenage boys can't cook??

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Big Move!

Nope, I am not talking about the big move to the new house. But instead I moved 'places'. Because of the new projects coming into the Deepwater office, the seating arrangements were reorganized. The (limited) floor space was revamped to cram more people into the 5 floors that we occupied in the building.

Surprisingly, I was very much looking forward to the move. Heck, anything beats the space I was occupying. My previous seat was right smack in front of the big boss' room. And because of the 'open concept' philosophy that we practice, my boss practically had his eyes on me all the time. He just had to lift up his head to be able to see my desktop and the Facebook page, blog work I was doing. I could sometimes feel his eyes boring on my back. Okay, really, I'm exaggerating. My boss is seriously great!

But still, even though my friends call me '(insert name of boss)'s santa little helper', I did not exactly enjoy being in the limelight all the time (your cue to gag). And this new place they had assigned to me was not in front of a boss, but instead with my closest colleagues. Oh, did I ever mention that I am the only lady in my team?? *grin* Being surrounded by a group of guys all the time is always fun, never dull!

Oh, but I did solve the issue of the 'full view'. I printed these super important posters in A0 and claimed that my boss' glass wall was the biggest wall available on the floor therefore providing me with an excuse to plaster his wall with these sheets thus shielding my workspace from his view. I also managed to paper the Project Manager wall! A very very effective tactic.

Strategically positioned.

See how close my desk is to the boss???

Crazy us posing in front of the famous posters. Okay fine, so I got a bit carried away.

*flip flip hair to ensure great self photo*

Quarter of the team. The pregnant lady is our designated business support.

So that Friday, we were told to start packing at 3pm and put everything in labelled boxes for the movers to cart to our new workspace. Of course even in the morning everyone had lost all interest in working and were taking advantage of the moving day to clean up their desks and of course gossip!

Even camwhoring with the office bestie.

Also filling up forms for course nomination (soooo not work related...).

Last minute emails on a very much empty desk before calling it a day.

All packed and ready to go.

Last picture at the old desk. You will (not) be sorely missed!

And presenting, my new desk!

And you thought that was the end of this post? No way! After just one day of occupying this new spot, I was surprised by a request from the boss (this is boss number 3 and counting, not the one mentioned above) for me to move to a different level to be closer to him. Apparently we work better if we are on the same floor (or something like that). And since this was a last minute request after everyone had occupied a place in the floor plan, they were forced to give me a Lead desk. Lead desk meaning corner seat, best view in town and of course privacy to update this blog religiously!!!

See??? Corner seat!

Yes, I realise that my cubicle is plastered with non-work related items. Let me clarify. You see, most of my work is confidential and therefore restricted to only the bid room.

Therefore justifying my obsession with plastering my desk with Aiden's pictures since he was a baby.

My view from the window behind my desk. A sight I rarely get to enjoy since I'm almost always cooped up in the bid room or hunched at my desk crunching numbers.

In a nutshell? I love my desk!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Goodbye Inagiku...

Goodbye Inagiku :(((

Tenth of June was definitely a day to mark on the family calendar. We all made it a point to meet up at Tykoh Inagiku for the very last time. Yes, you read correctly. The long glorified Japanese restaurant shall be closed for good. The owner decided to sell it off and notified the staff only two weeks in advance. (Can you imagine being told that you would lose you job in two measly weeks??!!!) So the trusty cook texted my sister to inform us of this bad news. And unfortunately, the new owner taking over the restaurant has a new concept in mind. Which effectively means the end of nyummy-licious butter calorie infested prawns.

I'm salivating as I am typing.

I honestly do not know where else I am going to find prawns like this. As you remember, I wrote in a previous post about how I grew up with this delicacy. And in my 28 long years of life, I have yet to find a substitute. Not to mention the fried rice. Okay, so maybe the Fatty Crab fried rice would satisfy this craving. But the prawns??? *sigh* Definitely no match.

Mummy and Aiden braved the rain and traffic jam to eat at Inagiku one last time. And because of the running through the rain, naughty mosquitos attacked Aiden's nyummy thighs.

Big red spots on Aiden's shins.

We arrived later than the rest of the family, so by the time I sat down, my prawns were all ready to be devoured.

I am soooooo going to miss you, seafood fried rice!

While waiting for dessert, the family started camwhoring in Ingaku for the very last time.

Aiden ran amok through the tables and chairs, probably showing his dissatisfaction of the closure in his own special way.

The die hard Inagiku fans.

And Aiden was only starting to love the prawns. Can you imagine, Aiden's sister or brother will never ever get to taste Inagiku???

Abang chef making the last prawn order for the day. Specially for Hubby, packed to go.

Poor Hubby, away in Singapore but he so badly wanted to be part of the party.

I was wearing my brand new gold Gladiators. So Sex and The City!

No more Inagiku iced Ocha. Sob sob.

No more Inagiku green tea ice-cream. Double sob sob. (I usually would decline the green tea ice-cream, preferring the vanilla instead. But this time, for sentimental purposes, I decided to give it a try.)

"Aiden, you must try the ice-cream. You will never get to taste this again!" says Aunty Awien.

Aiden made himself comfortable on the timber flooring.

Last but not least, trust an accountant to split the bill using a calculator.

Posing outside the restaurant.

Tykoh Inagiku, you will be sorely missed. Thank you for never failing to feed us with nyummy-licious prawns throughout all these years.

Hubby, come home soon! The last serving of Inagiku butter prawn is safe in our fridge, awaiting your arrival!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Universal Studios Singapore!

Finally, finally, finally - pictures from our trip to Universal Studios Singapore!

Daddy took a day off from work to bring Aiden and Mummy to Universal Studios, which was an excellent decision. Why? Because during the weekdays, the crowd is just nice. No extra long queue to go on rides, no jam packed restaurants, no pushing and shoving to get a good seat to watch shows. And not too empty till you feel like you 'own' the park. But just nice. I have heard horror stories about people visiting the theme park on weekends - utter waste of money plus time to queue for rides and shows. Definitely not recommended! Also, the day we picked to go to the the park was the only day out of the week in which we had perfect weather. (It rained everyday in the afternoon, so if you're going anytime soon - bring an umbrella!)

I give Universal Studios Singapore a two thumbs up because it really felt like we were at an overseas theme park. About three years back Hubby and I were at Hong Kong Disneyland for two days and besides nearly dying from heat stroke, we couldn't understand the shows as they were all Chinese and they spoke Cantonese. But about two years ago we were in Los Angeles for a day trip to their Universal Studios Hollywood and we absolutely enjoyed ourselves, even with the short span of time we allocated for the park. Hence, I did not expect to enjoy myself at another local theme park ever again. Therefore Universal Studios Singapore absolutely surprised me! I was impressed with the mat saleh crew who ran the performances flawlessly and confidently. I did not see a single local Asian face in all their shows, except for a few in charge of introducing the performers and managing the crowd. (Doesn't say much for Asians, eh?)

Okay fine. So Mummy and Daddy enjoyed themselves. But did Aiden enjoy himself? Unfortunately, with the newly found expression called 'fear', he obviously did NOT! He hated the heat, he hated the furry penguins and weird Mummies chasing after him, he hated the huge figurines scattered around the park, he hated the loud noises from the shows and performances and most of all he hated that it was infringing on his nap time! *sigh* Mummy needs to take you for a second trip when you're a bit older, Aiden!

For those of you worried about going about the park and getting halal food, fret not! The theme park is right smack on Sentosa Island, which is well connected via MRTs and busses. There are 6 halal restaurants within the park where you can get everything from burgers and fries, Egyptian-themed buffeteria to even pastries and bread! They are also marked halal in the map to help you find them.

Tickets for two adults costed us SGD132. However this includes a SGD10 voucher for food and another SGD10 voucher for souvenir. So in reality, you pay only SGD46 for entrance, which is about RM110. Kids are charged SGD48, but don't know about the vouchers and stuff. And note that these are the weekday rates yea! Add an additional SGD10 for weekends or Google for other options like the two day pass or the express pass. The theme park has 7 uniquely themed zones, namely the (typed in order of visit): Hollywood, Madagascar, The Lost World, Far Far Away, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City and New York.

The opening hours for Universal Studios Singapore are between 9am till 7pm. Make sure you're there bright and early! (This feels like a pot calling a kettle black because I am giving advise which even I didn't follow - we were there only between 12 till 7pm and regretted this considerably as we could only khatam the performances but were only able to go on 2 rides, considering the short queues and all.) And don't be complacent and assume that just because you're in line at 650pm that they will let you on the ride. Because Hubby queued up for a roller coaster ride at 640pm, waited for 20 minutes - and sharp at 7pm, he was just a few people away from boarding the ride when they claimed that the ride had a technical malfunction therefore told everyone remaining in the queue that they had to leave. Boy, was he frustrated. And I honestly believe that it was a made-up malfunction, they just wanted to close by 7pm!

Anyway, enough words. Time for pictures!

Daddy and Aiden posing with the (revolving) Universal Studios trademark.

Check out Aiden's face. All excited. And yes, wearing the same Gap ensemble Daddy purchased.

Aiden beckoning for us to follow him to the ticket line. Little did he know that he was going to regret his excitement to go in.

Queue wasn't long, so we got tickets in no time.

After walking through Hollywood, we made our first stop at Madagascar!

The Madagascar crew were singing and dancing. Aiden was starting to sweat from all the heat.

And the crying began. The penguin tried to hug Aiden, and guess what he did? He tepis the arm of the penguin okay! And started bawling his eyes out.

After trying to console him at a merchandise shop, outside the heat, we tried again with Alex the Lion. Aiden wasn't fooled! Of course, he cried again!

Next stop, The Lost World. Here we watched Waterworld - a live water show which definitely gets my 4 thumbs up (including my big toes okay?) If you ever visit Universal Studios, make sure you MAKE time to check this one out.

Beware of where you sit though. You just might get soaked. Consider yourselves warned!

Real life machine guns, boats, fire, explosions, stunts!

Told you there was fire and explosions!

Mummy and Aiden (yang bogel) ternganga watching the show.

After the show, we posed for photos. These are the bad guys.

My poor baby is such a putera lilin.

After that action packed show, Aiden finally dozed off in his stroller. So we walked to The Lost World.

We were mighty hungry but did not want to spend our dining vouchers on food just yet. So out comes Mummy's special (instant) nasi goreng! Lovingly prepared by Mummy just for this trip.

Delicious! (Mummy perasan) And yes, bring your own food at your own risk because they did not frisk my bag upon entering the park.

With Aiden still asleep, we made our way to Ancient Egypt.

Amazing view!

Aiden woke up just in time for a picture with the Mummy. Well I think he is the Mummy. Hmm.. I thought a Mummy would be wrapped with toilet paper from head to toe? Hmmm...

Fine, if Aiden doesn't want a picture with the creature, Mummy will gladly take your place.

In front of the Mummy's tomb.

My son, the scaredy cat. Asyik melepekkk jer with Mummy!

Next stop, Sci-Fi City! This also houses their biggest attration - Battlestar Gallactica, the world's tallest dueling roller coaster. It has two separate tracks - the Cyclon (inverted blue track) and the Human (seated red track). Dueling means that both tracks will feature several near collisions mere inches apart.

Aiden didn't cry at this one. He simply stared.

As the roller coaster wasn't open to public yet, Daddy tried the trial Cyclon seat at the entrance.

Muka Aiden stressed. I wonder why!

Aiden posing with the official drink tumbler. If you buy this tumbler (for SGD 11 including landyard, if without it is SGD8), you can just keep buying refills all day long for only SGD2!

Anyone interested to go to Universal Studios on a shoestring budget can borrow this tumbler from me!

Facade of the Sci-Fi City.

These long legged creatures were always ready for a pose. But Aiden cried his lungs out. What else is new???

When he calmed down, I walked backwards towards this red creature so that Aiden couldn't see him, and posed for an acceptable picture.

Aiden was not only scared of moving creatures, but stationary figurines as well!

We then stopped for lunch! One burger set (with drink and fries) and one ala-carte burger was only ~SGD23. With the SGD20 voucher we received with the ticket, we only had to top-up another SGD3!

Yummy big fat fries, teriyaki chicken burger, beef burger and iced Milo with a straw.

And Aiden simply loved those big fat juicy fries.

In the theatre for Monster's Rock. Thank god Aiden behaved and watched the show quietly.

Playing with fake (cold) smoky stuff wheezing from the ground.

Exploring the back lanes of New York.

Finally! A genuine smile!!!

Aiden is back. And he isn't scared anymore!

My handsome boy.

Enjoying the streets of New York.

Even falling over.

Posing beside the subway tong sampah.

Aiden in a better mood.

Look at those dangling legs.

Just across the street, was a group of BBoys.

Great show!

Aiden and Daddy's turn to ternganga pulak.


Well done!

Finally, it was Daddy's turn to pose for pictures, solo!

Tried to get Aiden to run around the Kowabunga Kove. Of course, he freaked out.

Until he saw a couple of other kids doing the same. And he warmed up.

Okay, second tawaf around the park. First round was just for the shows. Now for the rides. Back towards Madagascar!

Aiden didn't cry. He simply whimpered.

On the Merry Go Round we go!

Quick, grow up Aiden! Mummy wants you to enjoy, not pout!

Posing in front of the Shrek castle, in Far Far Away land.

And finally, it was time to go home.
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