Monday, January 28, 2013

Conversations #4

Mr. C has been wake up 20 minutes before me this past few weeks to make breakfast while I catch a few extra winks. Every night, I'll tell myself to wake up early the next morning to make and have breakfast with the hubby but when morning comes, I'll mumble in my sleep and being the nice hubby that he is, he'll let me snooze a few more minutes.

Which led to...

C : Tomorrow you are waking up to make half boil egg for my breakfast right?? Right??

Me : *pulling a long face* NOOOoooo... since when did I say that?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chinese New year at Shirley's Asian Grocery

On Saturday, Mr. C and I went to Aunty Shirley's Grocery in Scoresby to get some grocery. We were greeted with red lanterns that are usually displayed during the Chinese New Year festivities and bak kua!!

There were two ladies manning the 'booth' or rather table, selling home made bak kuas which are basically barbequed dried meat. Sort of similar to beef jerky. 

Bak Kua literally means dried meat which is derived from the Hokkien Chinese dialect. In Mandarin, it is known as Rou Gan (meaning dried meat). 

The ladies cut up small pieces for samples and boy, do they taste yummy!! It is a bit pricey sold at ADU60/kg OR AUD35/500gram for just dried meat but it definitely is worth every cent paid. Besides, it is after all, Chinese New Year and if I am not wrong, part of the festivities to sample tasty morsels such as this.

People use this to put in between yam

Lovely gooey sweet biscuits known in Hokkien as Heong Peah (Fragrant biscuits)

What is CNY without nuts eh?

oooohh colourful icing sugar that makes me nostalgic of childhood days

I really like coming to Shirley's Grocer as it makes me feel like I am back home in Malaysia. Chinese New Year songs can be heard blasting through the speakers, red lantern and red packets are sold along with other food related to this awesome season.

I can't believe I am saying this but I actually miss hearing the infamous 'Dong Dong Qiang' songs. :(

The atmosphere in Australia is not as happening as it is in Malaysia 'cos for one, it's not a public holiday and hence, no holidays at all. Two, our families are all mainly in Malaysia and not here and  come on... what is CNY without family???!

Last year I cried because it was my first CNY away from home and I missed home so much and all that it represents. People probably thinks I am having the ball of my life here but home is where my family and friends are at and Australia is awesome and all, but it's just not the same.

Anyways, back to Shirley's Grocer. I've blogged about this grocery a couple of times and have mentioned that I frequent here to get my 'Asian' groceries and the deliciously smooth tau foo fa

But besides those few that I've mentioned, there are so many other things you can get here. So, if you are ever in Scoresby or near Scoresby, drop by and check out for things you didn't know you needed!

And you can then fill your bellies with some Malaysian food at Cinta Raya (a shop away from Woolies) nearby for lunch or dinner.

Oh.. the days of my mum driving us nuts making this... 
Kuih Kah Pek known as Chinese Love Letters LOL

and definitely must have pineapple jam tarts!! I miss my mummy!!!


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Friday, January 25, 2013

Snarky email

Yesterday and today weren't such great days. Started my day reading a not-so-nice-toned email from someine 'up there out there'. It is really frustrating when I am rushing to complete my reporting and yet, have to deal with unpleasantness (politics) like this which I felt was unwarranted. 

I am all for getting work done and don't believe in playing politics and sucking up to people. 

Reading the first email in disbelief, my first reaction was to cry. You have to bear in mind that I am not usually a watering pot but I just so happened to be in that sensitive and vulnerable time of the month that rendered me emotional. 

However, I reigned in my tears from watering, and the next emotion I felt was a burst of anger.

It's amazing how one can feel such contrasting emotions all in a spanned of a few minutes.

I wanted to shoot off a sarcastic reply but told myself to be as professional as possible in my written response and not take things personal. I even asked someone to vet my reply before I sent it off to ensure it wasn't dripping with sarcasm.

Next thing you know, I received a meanie reply filled with verbal finger pointing. Apparently, sender of email didn't want to be involved in a slanging match (but then, ironically proceeded to do just that) and claimed to find my email inflammatory.

Anyone who knows me would find that hard to believe, that I would sent such an email.

Lucky for me, one of my boss who was included in the email said I was doing my job well and that he will handle the matter. He also said that he hardly found my email inflammatory. It is good to know that someone has my back.

Well, I hope he does. 

I really hope this isn't the tone for the rest of the year 'cos I am enjoying work for once and I would hate to start dreading work like before.

Only time will tell.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The benefits of meditation

I have been remissed in my meditation on God and His word. Gosh. Just like that, it's almost the end of January of 2013!! Got to buck up and do something about it eh...

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Australia tennis open

Australia Open started on the 14th of January and it'll last till the 27th January. For the blur people (like me), Australia Open is one of the four major tournaments held annually in the last two weeks of January in Melbourne, Victoria.

There are four Grand Slam tennis events every year. Starting it off is the Australia Open followed by French Open (referred to as Roland Garos), the acclaimed Wimbledon and then the US Open. In Melbourne, it is a big event with throngs of people making Rod Laver Arena their second home during this two weeks of the year.

Around the city, there are open areas (such as South Bank along the Yarra River) with big screens showing the games live encouraging people to have a sit and be part of the tennis matches.

It also spurred my colleagues to play tennis after work.

My first time holding a tennis racket was last week. And gosh, the racket is SO frigging heavy that every single time I whack the ball, my wrist threatens to break. Which reiterates that I am swinging my racket wrong. SO very wrong.

In badminton, we use our wrists where else in tennis, we're supposed to swing our whole arms. Now I know why Miss CutieVoice plays badminton differently. She hits the shuttlecock the way you're supposed to hit a tennis ball.

Once Mr. C showed me the proper way to hold the racket and how to serve and swing, my game improved making tennis enjoyable.

But today, somehow, I just couldn't hit. I couldn't serve and I couldn't return someone else's serve which frustrated me a lot, sucking the fun out of the game. That being said, it's a really good way to exercise; running and swinging ones arms works out a lot of muscles in one's body.

Wonder if next week we'll still play once the tennis craze dies down. Maybe we should start back badminton. 
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Awesome mamak food at Zam Zam !!

Mee Goreng

Teh tarik (hot 'pulled' tea) - Perfect tea and milk ratio
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Celebratory dinner at Mocha Jo's

I received a good news yesterday- the long awaited letter from the Department of Immigration declaring that I am now a Permanent Resident (PR) of Australia!

I, first applied for my visa early December 2010 and received my temporary residency end July 2011 allowing me working rights. Towards the end September 2012, I received a letter informing me to submit a few more forms and documents for my permanent residency application to be processed which will take about 3 months or so.

Did what was required, sent it off in October 2012 (or was it November?) and crossed my fingers and toes for good news. Nah... actually, I totally forgot all about it till early January 2013 and figured I'd give a follow up call in February.

But the Immigration department beat me to it and voila! Am a PR now! :)

Woot woot!

So, today after work, we headed to Mocha Jo's for a celebratory dinner. 

I was pretty down yesterday and today (for unknown reasons... can't be PMS and am NOT preggers!) plus been having headaches, dizziness and nausea. Once again, NOT pregnant. ;p I think it's the side effects from my Rubella vaccination on Monday. :(

Mr. C figured to cheer me up by bringing me to Mocha Jo's for my long awaited Chicken Rigatoni and Sticky Date Pudding! And I think it did cure me of my blues. At least, I am smiling now. 

This place IS always packed! 

The last time we were here, we gave up after hearing we had to wait for about half hours to 45minutes just for a table, not factoring ordering and waiting time for food! Mr. C then, promised we'll be back again.

Hence, today's journey into Glen Waverley.

We were early, reaching the happening eatery before half past five guaranteeing us a spot to sit. We had to wait till 5.30pm to place our order for the food from the main menu. Before that, Mr. C had a latte whilst I savoured a Lemon Lime Bitters (my new favourite drink. Well, that and Sangria!).

Had a sipped of Mr. C's latte and I must say it was beautifully made. Loved the coffee beans used as it wasn't too bitter in taste unlike some places. The ratio of milk to coffee was just right.

Calamari Salad

Mr. C had the Calamari Salad priced at $18.50 whilst I had my Chicken Rigatoni that burnt a $22 (approx) hole in Mr. C's pocket! His meal was something different, that's for sure. What with the fried calamari paired with some white coloured cheese and tangy lemony taste.

My Chicken Rigatoni didn't taste as good as how I remembered the last time I had it here. It was alright, like a pasta version of Risotto but it didn't knock me off my 'stomach'. Maybe there was a change in chef.

Chicken Rigatoni

Sticky Date Pudding

Nevertheless, our sickly sweet (in a good way) Sticky Date Pudding was a nice ending to an enjoyable, relaxed, celebratory meal! In fact, we were a bit too full from all that we had!

Time to skip 50 times on the skipping rope tomorrow! Lol.

Mocha Jo's on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 14, 2013

Funny Conversations #2 and #3

Funny Conversation #2

Regarding conversations with the ladies at the office. As it is summer, the topic inevitably touched on bathers and bikinis. The ladies were lamenting how hard it is to get one piece bathers and most that are on sale on rack are usually bikinis, with some having support wires and what not.

SG : Why do they bother putting all this support wire? It's not as if I need it.

Turning towards her direction, I cheekily said as I gestured towards my bosom inciting laughter.

Me : There are people like me who need it.


Funny conversation #3

Recounting my stories with the ladies from office. Started with the above story to this and that and finally, how they said I am fine and have no need to lose weight.

Me : Why does everybody says I don't need to lose weight wan? I mean, I am not fat, fat but neither am I slim thin.

Mr. C : Don't believe them. They lie.

He then gave me a cheeky grin and ran for cover as what he said took it's time sinking into my brains.

Hmmm.. somehow typing this out takes the funniness out of the conversation. I think I am hopeless at writing... descriptive writing that is. There goes my dream to write a best selling novel!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tampon anyone?

Every once in awhile, I'll see this word challenge in the newspaper and attempt to be excellent. Sadly, often than naught, I end up being good.

Why don't you give it a try and see if you are good very good or excellent.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

{Movie Review} Les Miserable

Watched Les Misérables (based on the novel of same named by Victor Hugo) in Sydney with JennyT and PehPet (a girl I met during my Sydney trip) and I enjoyed much of the acclaimed musical in movie form. It didn't hurt to have bubble tea though it may me ran helter skelter for the loo halfway through, hoping I wouldn't miss anything important. 

We bought the buy '1 movie ticket & Chatime drink' for (I can't remember exactly) $18.50. A really good deal as movie tickets in Australia can be rather pricey unlike Malaysia's!

I do enjoy the occasional musical but did wonder if I could stand two and a half hours of non-stop singing in 2D form and not be bored. I decided to give it ago after hearing JennyT raved about it -Yup. She went to watch her second time with us - plus I had two movie kakis to go with!

For me, I enjoyed myself most times whilst some parts did seem to drag a little. JennyT and PehPet, on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the whole movie. You could hear PehPet laughing at the funny scenes and tearing at the poignant moments.

All in all, I would give it my thumbs up for all musical fans. 

If you're hoping for dashing glimpse of Hugh Jackman, then, this is NOT the movie for you 'cos he appears haggard and truly ugly in accordance to his role as a prisoner and then, ex-convict on parole.

The movie boasts of other well known actors such as Russell Crowe (he sings pretty alright for a person you never really gave a thought that he could), Amanda Seyfried (as Hugh Jackman's daughter) Sasha Bohen and Helena Bonham Carter.

And I reckon even the not-so-well-known Eddie Redmayne as Amanda Seyfriend's love interest is now pretty known. He isn't your typical 'ohmigosh. He is so cute!!' kind of guy. But his boyish charm definitely worms its way into your heart.

Éponine played by Samantha Barks was good in her own right. She is from the original cast (if not mistaken) and starred in the London production at the Queen's Theatre from June 2010 till June 2011. I love her in her character and am a hopeless romantic when it comes to the ultimate sacrifice she paid. You couldn't help sympathising and empathising with her.

Anne Hathaway as Fontine had very little screen time, I must say. She definitely impressed me with her live singing of 'I dreamed a dreamed' in the clip above. If you listen to the Youtube clip without watching the show (especially watching her facial expression that oozes with emotions), you wouldn't think her singing was that awesome.

Her stellar performance was just moving. You have to watch the movie to feel the depths of the song and how well she sang it. Listening to her rendition of this song calls out to my goosebumps to rise.

I reckon watching the show and hearing the casts sing live with emotion and gusto is essential to the watchable factor.

Definitely an 8 out of 10. What's your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

10 best feelings in life

1. Cozily snuggled under the comforter on a rainy morning.

2. Having extra money to splurge on someone.

3. Knowing that someone truly accepts you just the way you are.

4. Laughing till your side aches.

5. Friends who cares.

6. Loving arms that hugs.

7. When your boss says you are doing an excellent job!

8. When a smile is etched on another's face because of me.

9. Someone saying they miss me. Not just saying it but sincerely expressing and meaning those 3 words.

10. Receiving snail mail!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Funny conversations with Mr. C #1

I have had loads of funny, or rather, corny conversations with Mr. C through this past year. 

Many a times I told myself I would blogged about it only to forget the conversation. This led me to jot down snippets of conversations in my little notebook I carry in my bag all the time and yet, I'd forget to blog about them. 

Off late, I have resorted to typing them into my Sammie 2 but the conversations have yet to seen daylight... till now.

Before I had the chance to start a new trend (blogging the funny things Mr. C says), Fatty (that's what his wife calls him) aka Timothy Tiah aka co-founder of Nuffnang (revolutionising blogging and online advertisement) stole my genius of an idea and has blogged on numerous occasions about things he and his Shorty (aka Audrey, his wife) of fourfeetnine say to each other.

As of 6th January, he has blogged in total 74 conversations between Fatty and Shorty!


Now, I'd appear to be a 'copycat'er for doing likewise. :(

Well, I guess, it is always better late than never, right?

So, here's mine.. Conversation #1

This past year, I  make it a point to ask people I am close to for their favourite colour. I believe it is the most basic 'must know' fact about a friend. After I whatsapped my new best bud from Sydney, Y2, the following conversation took place between Mr. C and me.

Me : Dear ar... what's your favourite colour? *thinking it must be brown*

Mr. C : Your skin colour.

Me : What the....  @_@"

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mariah Carey Melbourne Tour 2013

I never thought I would ever hear Mariah Carey sing live... ever!! 

This reminds me how blessed my life has been especially this past two years; I moved to Aussie, married my high school sweetheart, started a job that I am so far enjoying and pays pretty alright.

And with a good pay I get to reap the rewards of my hard labour by going about Melbourne trying yum food eateries and attending plays and concerts!

Gates opened at 6.00 pm and the opening act started off at 7.30pm. We arrived early at Etihad Stadium yesterday about half past 6pm, located our seats and walked around, exploring. One third of the stadium was cordoned off with strips of black clothe and probably to also muffle the echo of sound.

PRE - MARIAH CAREY appearance


Mr. C bought a $9 beer -not worth the price paid as we know how the price of stuff are hiked up at events like this but we were SO thirsty from the heat- for himself and a $12 Daiquiri for me. My first time sampling this enchanting liquid. It was so refreshing with a subtle taste of alcohol effectively cooling me down.

Loved how the Daiquiris came in cute litted up martini glass. It wasn't glass but plastic though. I shall drink out from it every time I feel down or sad... or perhaps, make a celebratory drink every time there's a cause for celebration. 

Had a refill later on for the price of $10. Slurp!!

We walked all the way to the top level to have a look of the view. Gosh. It was pretty scary looking down. Makes you feel like you are experiencing vertigo. Opening act started promptly by Andrew De Silva, winner of Australia's Got Talent of 2012. This was my first time listening to him singing.

A night of firsts, it seems.

His performance didn't exactly wow me. Felt more like a shiok sendiri performance, to be honest. I reckon it's because he isn't well known and the songs he sang weren't well known or very catchy. 

Besides, the crowd parted with their money to see Mariah Carey and not... him.

I think it would have been to his benefit to actually sing a song or two of Mariah's. To tease us with her songs or a medley of it and yet, make it his own. I admit that he does have a nice voice but the acoustics or sound system wasn't doing him justice. It came out sounding a tad too sharp.

As usual, the diva was late (or I presume so) but we were entertained to remixes of songs by Nick Cannon, her hubby. He was alright. Initially, the songs he chose were a bit of a bore and then, it got interesting when he played songs from the 70's such as the Jackson Five's songs. You can see people grooving to the music.

Then it got a bit slow and Zzzzz boring. *yawns*


The girls in front of our row, grooving to the beat

And it picked up with some of the latest songs you hear on the radio and in clubs. Many stood on their feet to shake their booty. About 9.10pm, he said that Mariah was in the building and she'll be on shortly.

He lied.

She came on only about 10pm.

He left about after half past 9 and the stage crew went about setting up. People from the crowd made quick dashes to the loo or to top up their drinks.

The lights dimmed.... and the crowd went wild with cheers.

And Mimi came out!! Not came out as in regards to sexual preference but came out on to the stage! DUH! ;p

She was gorgeous despite carrying on some leftover post-baby weight. Her voice was deeper than I thought it would be. You know how you hear her songs and they lend a higher tone to it? Well, she talks really husky and lower tone-ish. 

I think she could have been feeling under the weather.

Click HERE for Mariah's Melbourne concert setlist.

The background screens glowed with a fluttering butterfly just before Mariah appeared and sang to her 'Can't take that away' remix style. She huskily said,"Melbourne, I've waited a long time for this" and the above screen of glitters just overwhelmed the crowd. 

It's been years since she last performed in Australia. Think 15 years?

I wouldn't say it was a knock-your-socks-out-of-this-world-that-fantabulous performance. I guess, Mariah being a diva and her crazy famous 5 octave voice, I expected more. She didn't need the glitter nor the back up singers nor the drummers etc. 

All I wanted to hear was her voice. And I didn't get much of that as the background music just overpowered her voice majority of the time. Some parts, she seemed out of breath and struggled to hit the higher notes.

This being Mariah Carey made me think one thing, "she's probably sick". What more could explain the tone of her voice, her need to catch her breath pretty often and her short 60 minute performance and abrupt ending? 

She was endearing when she spoke to the crowd every now and then. Totally not the Diva I had thought her to be. She giggles quite a fair bit, too. Perhaps high on cough syrup? *kidding* 

The memorable performance that stucked in my mind was her singing "My All" as she lounge on the chaise as I could really hear her voice (and mainly her voice without other sound distractions), "I'll be there" with her long time back up singer, Trey Lorenz whom she first did the duet with in 1992 as part of her MTV Unplugged album, "Hero" my all time favourite song of hers (always a must sing at karaoke) and her ending song of the night with "We Belong Together".

I think it is safe to say that many were disappointed she didn't sing some of her bigger hits "Butterfly", "Fantasy" and my personal favourites, "Through the rain", "Angels" or her other hit singles that made us fall in love her in the first place.


As of 2013, it's been 23 years since her first single. She's been through so many ups and so many downs. She's inspired many people to reach for their dream and make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry and for ordinary people like me, to sing her songs in appreciation in karaoke. ;p

Despite not meeting my super high up in the air expectations, I am extremely glad to have this once in a life time opportunity to see Mariah Carey in the flesh, sing live, in front of me, with my very own eyes and ears! 

Tried uploading a few video clips I took of her singing but it's not uploading. But here's some clips uploaded by her other lambily

Mariah Carey doing her thing with 'My all'

My all time favourite song of hers, Hero

Ending with... We Belong Together