Monday, August 29, 2005

Chi is Perfect Balance

My boss wears a silver and gold band on his right wrist. It's a nice looking accessory for today's fashionable men. When babe saw it while we were all having drinks on Friday night, he said he wanted to get one too! So we went shopping for one on Sunday.

The only thing I know about this band was that golfers and athletes wear it, but for what I don't know. The golf shop that we went to stocked the Q-Ray brand.. and surfing online today, Q-Ray is amongst the first few links that the google results presented. And a few other sports website also recommended the Q-Ray brand! I'm now super impressed at our purchase! *grins* Hey! At least I know we made a good choice!

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Babe ended up getting the Combo Deluxe, and as you see, from the Q-Ray website where this image was lifted, it costs USD$159.90. But here in Malaysia, the selling price was RM395. That's pretty decent ain't it?

Anyways, I found the name funny. Combo Deluxe. Doesn't it sound like something from McD's or KFC or any fast food joints?

The sales person ranted on forever about the benefits of wearing this bracelet, balancing your energies, easing joint aches and athritis, etc. I looked at her in disbelief. You mean a band like this will ease joint and muscle pains? What do doctors survive on then if all of America bought a Q-Ray band for USD$159? Haha. Oh well, I suppose this is a form of "alternative health product" like uh, aromatherapy.

Apparently, according to oriental Yin-Yang theory, it is important to achieve a state of "Chi" where the Yin (body's negative energy) and the Yang (body's positive energy) is balanced. This natural balance will allow the body to perform to its fullest potential. This ionized band will apparently allow you to have a good chi, and hence the wearer will achieve overall well-being.

Well, I spend money on alternative health products, like lavender oil and aromatherapy candles, and other knick knacks. But babe isn't a golfer or an athlete!


Posted by Doreen at 4:40 pm


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sunday's Rain

I cried on Sunday. So did babe. It was all rather dramatic actually. It was raining outside and my car was parked by the curb outside the apartment. As we both sat in the car arguing and reasoning with each other, thank god we both had a common goal of resolving the issue at hand.

It broke my heart when I saw him wiping tears off his cheeks. And I just wanted to tell him that I'm sorry and that I don't ever want to cry and see him cry anymore.

I hope that with each argument or fight that we have, it will make us stronger and understand each other better. But gosh, it just is so dreadful having to go through it. We kissed and made up. I told babe I want to make it up to him. I told babe that this coming weekend we'll spend it together and I'll make sure it's filled with lots of laughter.

I want to buy him a nice dinner - as a way of saying sorry for Sunday. We both agreed to dinner tonight. Then he informed me at about 3pm today, saying that the meeting which he is going into now might end up taking hours and now is unsure if dinner can be done tonight.

I'm hoping to get an SMS or call from him which will say "Girl, I'm done! Let's go for dinner!" But it's now about 30 minutes to 6pm... and still no news from him.

Oh well.

We live.

Posted by Doreen at 5:22 pm


India, here I come!

I have a new goal to work towards to - visit India in February 2006. Well, Rajasthan to be specific.

Situated in the north-western region of India, I found this quote while frantically googling for more info about this place...

It's just a state in the desert. A state with kings, forts and palaces, musicians with strange instruments, women in bright skirts who dance gripping swords in their teeth and swirling cymbals, and men with fierce moustaches and turbans as yellow as sunsets in a desert... And that is how Rajasthan will reveal itself to you.

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Now isn't that just so exotic?

Why Rajasthan?

Shreya, my high school girlfriend is getting married! And what better occassion for all 9 of us all over the world to finally gather and meet after again after 8 long years?

Rajasthan sounds like a mystical place... like the faraway lands which you read about in novels. Just imagine, forts and mansion, colourful sarees, the accessories that the ladies wear which jingle when they dance to the music in the desert... oh it's all so exotic.. and I can't help but squeal with excitement.

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And imagine! What better way to see an entirely foreign land than to be there and witness a wedding - and a Rajasthani wedding is a vibrant and colourful event which can go on for days!

It's inexcusable to be missing out on Shreya's wedding.. so by hook or by crook, I will need to have funds ready for this coming trip.. so I must start saving now. It's going to be perfect - I just know it!

I can already envision me getting lost in the deserts of Rajasthan. I wonder if we will we get to ride on a camel like a gypsy princess of some sort. We'll shop in their markets for handicrafts, textiles, and lots! We'll explore old forts and temples. We'll watch musicians with their cymbals, flutes and tablas. We'll also allow our tongues and nostrils to explore new tastes and smells!

Most importantly, we'll have a long-awaited reunion...

Posted by Doreen at 3:07 pm


Saturday, August 20, 2005


I saw this while driving home from work yesterday evening.

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Rainbows never fail to make me smile. I love seeing that huge colourful arch spreading across the sky, and I'll start singing "Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high... There's a land that I heard of, once in a Lullaby..."

Did you know there's such a thing as a Primary rainbow and a Secondary rainbow? A primary one starts with red on the outer arch and ends in Violet. However, a secondary rainbow occurs when light is reflected in the droplets of water twice, and the result is a blurer mesh of colours, with violet on the outside, and red on the inside.

I stopped by a second hand bookstore last night and bought this...

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This book has been on my wishlist for some time now.. but I just think prices of books in Malaysia are just way too expensive. And even though I can part with 100 bucks for say a dress, I can't bear to part with about 60-70 bucks for a hardcover book.

So at the bookstore last night, I found a copy of Angela's Ashes in the "Super Value" bin going for a mere 10 bucks! RM10 for a hardcover book, still in very, very good condition.

You could imagine how excited I was... thrilled beyond words!

Last night was very fulfilling and relaxing. I should do it more often. With a bottle a Chilean red by my bedside, and drinking it from a mug instead of a wine glass which I do not own, and a good book for the night, I was literally in 7th heaven!

Though I must confess to something - I hate being alone. Eventhough I could very well be doing something solitary such as reading, I like knowing that should I turn my head, I'll have someone around. Knowing that there is someone next to me, and also knowing that should I want to say something out of the blue and having someone listen to me - that is comforting.

Nevertheless, I still had plenty of fun last night : )

Posted by Doreen at 10:51 am


Friday, August 19, 2005

Independent Friday

Today is Friday. Tonight will be the first in 2 months since I've moved into the new place that I'm going to have to spend Friday night alone. Well, it's not a bad thing because I don't really have the urge to go out and partake in crazy parties. Not only am I knackered out from the week's work, I also feel fat and bloated because of the monthly visit by an aunt of mine.

These days I look forward to spending Friday nights at home with Al, but he's gotta work on his presentation tonight and be at work early tomorrow morning.. so that leaves me alone. So before I get bored curling under my quilt and watching whatever that's on tele (yes, Idols will be on, but only for an hour!).. I'd better plan my night's agenda.

After work today...

I will go to the shop and buy meself a bottle of red. Or two *grins* Beer gives me a tummy so we'll skip that. Though I probably can't afford anything too fancy... and plus I'm no wine connoisseur, something cheap and sweet will do just nice.

After which, I will drop by the bookstore and pick up something nice to read. Nothing too serious though cos it IS afterall Friday. Commoners like us still need to read, I mean, I'm not married to any Beckham *guffaws*

Since I plan to stay in all night, I'll probably pick up dinner (and ice cream!) on my way home too.

Once I get home, I'll jump out of work clothes, take a nice long, hot shower and put on my favourite red Winnie the Pooh boxer shorts and an old camisole and start getting comfy. I'll eat dinner, have dessert, watch tv and do some reading while getting drunk.

Now doesn't that sound fantabulous?

Posted by Doreen at 10:23 am


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rock Idols

The more I see Faizull's performance in the Spectaculars of Malaysia Idol, the more I commend his act. His bravery rather.

The Malay rock scene is indeed something that I know nothing of. Sure, I know some great hits like Tragedi Oktober and whatnot, and I've also seen some local underground bands who play real hardcore Malay rock.

But clad in denim jacket and carrot-cut jeans and his long, greasy hair only makes Faizull look like a "Mat Rock" that we see around town racing on their motorcycles in huge numbers, or hanging around in groups smoking their cigarettes and playing air guitar. And I don't think I'm the only Malaysian who thinks of him in this way when we see his performances on stage.

Did Faizull make it through the first auditions because the management and team behind Malaysian Idol think that they must emulate the American Idol, and that Faizull can play the part of Bo Bice?

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The wannabe?

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The real thing?

Rock is good. I mean look at Bo! Look at the countless of rock songs that are sprucing up in the international and Asian music scene! But kampung-rock? Faizull really ought to do a more mainstream type of rock.

Nevertheless, I'm sure he has his legion of fans who's been voting for him since he's now already in the top 7. He's sure come a long way. But is this what we really want when we are to send a Malaysian Idol to compete in the International Idol arena?


And oh, I'm a self-confessed Desperate Housewives addict now! I can't believe it! But I've always loved trashy stuff - trashy chic lit, trashy soaps, trashy all. Anyways, so I've heard people ask each other before - who's your favourite housewife? Many would say Susan, you know, cos she's more "normal" and she's rather quirky.

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But I think my favourite housewife would have to be Eva Longoria's Gabrielle, the sexy-slutty one. Duh! Like it's any surprise since I said I love trashy anything. I've always had this thing for people of Latino origin, be it male or female. And I like her because she's strong, knows how to get what she wants, and well, of course the bonking your 17-year old gardener isn't quite "nice", but hey, where would DH be without Gabrielle and John spicing things up?

Anyways, while surfing, I found this - Which Desperate Housewife Are You?

And shucks, I'm an Edit Brit! ARGH!

Posted by Doreen at 5:11 pm


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cold Feet

A flash flood in our office late Friday night caused me to fear for the worst - Losing all my works in the computer! OK, I've not done backing up in the last... 6 months? I quickly got down on all fours, soaking my jeans through and through as I scrambled under the table and began unplugging all the cables behind the CPU. The water level was about 2 inches, and I feared, absolutely FEARED of a CPU casualty.

Little did I think about the power supply and the risk of me being electrocuted in all that water with all the cables and extension cords around me. All I could think of was "Proposals! Contract drafts! Invoices! Writings! Everything!" I swear, should there be a leak of electricity somewhere, I was doomed. No wait, I'd be fried for chrissakes!

The flash flood was of course caused by a couple of imbecile contractors who were building a pantry in the adjoining office area, who drilled right through a main pipe causing it to burst. And being the smart asses they were, no one thought of turning off the main water supply / tap before they begin drilling. The most irritating bit of that incident was how these foreign labours just stood there grinning from left to right as they saw the few of us panicking and trudging through water getting our things to higher grounds.

Excuse me, but I'm not biased or prejudiced towards these foreign workers - wherever they are from - but to stand there grinning from ear to ear when you caused this flood? Ridiculous innit?

But thank goodness, all is well now. We managed to rescue 4 CPUs and whatever boxes of files that we have stacked on the floor, with minimum damage. Aahh. That was a Friday night of lumbering around in water and getting my feet wet and cold.

Despite there not being any computer casualty, my dear boss has decided that my old piece of junk is no longer suitable for the works that I've been doing (and WILL be doing, mind you!) and therefore awarded me with a spanking new work station - a P4 with 512MB RAM, compared to the previous machine which takes me approximately 15 minutes to start up every morning. And I've even got a flatscreen monitor to boast about! I feel so blessed!

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A friend recently confided to me her apprehension and uncertainty about the whole marriage thing. She and her boyfriend have been planning on marriage for a while now, and both sides of the parents and friends have been informed of their intentions, despite not yet having a fixed wedding date.

I assured her that it is merely cold feet that she is going through. I went on to further cite examples of runaway brides and/or grooms due to pre-wedding jitters, and the best option is to sit back and think it through - what it is she was unhappy / uncertain about, and to find solutions for those.

I don't want her to making a decision which she will later on regret. But neither did I want to make a mistake which I will regret - assuring her that all is OK, when maybe it's just really not the right guy, and not the right time for her yet?

Being inexperienced as I am in this department, I gave her advice best I could pertaining to this matter, which I picked up from soap operas, trashy chic lit, and aunt agony columns.

But pre-wedding jitters are also caused by the fear of the other side of marriage - divorce aren't they? Maybe there really isn't any real uncertainties, just the fear of a failed marriage that causes people to have cold feet? As common as divorces are today, it is still reckoned to be a no-no in many parts of society.

What is getting married truly like? What is being a married person truly like? Things change that's for sure, but how much of a change? How much is there to compromise? Is a pre-nuptial agreement necessary? Isn't a pre-nup almost like saying "Just in case we get divorced, we won't end up tearing each other's hair out at the lawyer's office"?

With so many negative images of "marriage" and "divorces" being portrayed on tele, in magazines, and fiction novels, it is hard to avoid cold feet innit?

Posted by Doreen at 3:45 pm


Friday, August 12, 2005

The Dinner Table

It's finally Friday, and I can smell... uh, the acrid air? Yes of course, the haze is the most talked about topic within the Valley in the last week or so. So we shan't dispute about that further because extensive media coverage has also been given. But I do hope we get day offs should the government declare a state of emergency *grins*

I've just yet taken another personality test, allegedly a true psychology test which gives almost accurate results should we answer the questions honestly.

ESFP - "Entertainer". Radiates attractive warmth and optimism. Smooth, witty, charming, clever. Fun to be with. Very generous. 8.5% of the total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Yep, I'd say that's rather true? What do you think? I'd like to think so.. afterall, there are only about 8.5% of the total population who fall under this category, and I love being rare, being unique, being eccentric!

Daddy will be starting his new job in Jakarta next week, and he should be leaving in the next few days once his visas are cleared. It's going to be a rather big change around the house as Mom will now be left alone most of the time, with Serene busy with college and extra-curricular activities.

As newlyweds some 30 years ago, mom and dad had the whole house to themselves. Then came us all, one by one.. and the house will filled with us four growing girls. Now we are already moving out one by one, and of course, Serene being the youngest is the last to leave. That day will come too. At the end of the day, both mom and dad will end up with the whole house to themselves again.

I can already feel the loneliness! Isn't this cycle cruel? Parents give birth to us, bring us up by providing everything under the roof, making us feel loved and secure.. and after they've done all that, we leave them alone again.

With dad relocating to Jakarta, I ought to make it a point to go back home more often, just to keep mom company and have her look forward to someone coming home, instead of being in the whole house all by herself.

About 20 years ago, dad bought this dining table for our old house in Malacca. At that time, we were all little tots who didn't require much space at a dining table, so dad had the carpenter saw off a portion of the table to shorten it - claiming it to be too huge and clumsy back then.

Today, come every few months we get the rare opportunity when all 6 of us are home together. And yes, we sit at that very same dining table (mom really does know how to preserve things you see), we now feel so cramped. Elbows knocking against one another, glasses tipping over dishes, etc. Yes, now the dining table is way too small for 4 grown children and their parents. Occassionaly, mom will quip to dad "Do you regret sawing off the table 20 years ago?"

But we still love the table nevertheless because like any Chinese or Asian families for that matter, food brings families together.. and that trustworthy dining table of ours has been with us for the past 20 years, bringing us round it for meals every single day.

In all these years, before the time came for us to leave for college and whatnot, our dinner time is when all 6 of us would gather after a day's work or school, and make merry with mom's awesome dishes. It is our everyday dinner together which makes us a strongly bonded family. We were never allowed to carry our plates to the couch for TV dinners - everyone sat at their places at the table till we clear our plates. We also always waited for dad to be home before we start our meals. The moment dad's car pulled up the driveway, mom dashes into the kitchen to heat up the food, start setting the table, etc.

I miss that.

Posted by Doreen at 11:15 am


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I am Chinese

I discovered a fun and nonsensical site yesterday while surfing. The Face Analyzer(I seriously cannot stand American spelling) analyses your facial shape and features, and providing a report on the type of person you are, along with a celebrity match!

For the fun of it, I signed up and posted my pictures for analysis. And wanting to yet expose the high-bullshit factor of these so-called analysis, I submitted 4 different pictures of mine, and all 4 came out with entirely different results.

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Needless to say, the last one proved to be the most hillarious as the results which came out indicated that I'm a mix of Middle Eastern (a whopping 61%), Anglo-Saxon (22%) and Southern European (17%) heritage *chuckles*

Pretty exotic eh?

Posted by Doreen at 4:15 pm


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cheras - Unexplored Territory

I'm one of those lucky ones that live right across the road from where I work. It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get to work. But on certain days, the congestion at the U-turn will make me want to tear my hair out, and it will then take me about about 20 minutes to get to the office. There was one morning when it took me almost 40 minutes to get to work. Well, that's Cheras for you.

Some marvel at the fact that I can live in Cheras. Some roll their eyes and say "Oooooh MY GOD. How can you stay there?" They say it is rural compared to other suburbs like Damansara, Bangsar, Bandar Utama or TTDI. I've also heard people tell me "Aiyoooo. Everytime I go into Cheras, I sure get lost!"

You make it sound as though Cheras is situated in the middle of no-where, surrounded by acres of rubber plantation. Rural you say. So why are there so many cars in Cheras? Why can an 8-minute journey by car end up becoming 40 minutes? Sure, we have plenty of mamaks and chinese kopitiams instead of of those fancy cafes and restaurants that you have in Damansara or Bangsar. We have our trademark Cheras Leisure Mall instead of those gigantic shopping malls with branded labels as tenants. And it took over a decade for them to get rid of that stupid 50 sen tol along Jalan Cheras!

Cheras is also considered very "Chinese". Everybody in KL, or everybody I know in KL wants to be considered an up-market English speaking, English educated KL-ite, and Cheras is not where they want to be seen hanging out. Some also say that this is where all the notorious gangsters are found. But I reckon this is because of the huge Chinese population, and somehow or the other, gangsters and loansharks are always associated with being Chinese. Too much of those Hong Kong gangster movies and dramas? Whatever.

If I end up Sri Hartamas or in Damansara Uptown, people go "Waaah. You travel from Cheras ah? Must be very far leh?" Not really. It takes me 15 minutes to Sri Hartamas, and about 20 to Uptown. I think it takes Damansara folks about 20 minutes to get to Sunway via the LDP right? And with CCTVs installed along that stretch of highway, I think it might take longer now?

The funniest one I've heard - "Aiyo! Cheras is under DAP laaah!" And so what? Does being under Barisan or DAP really affect a commoner's life THAT much? Well I certainly do not care whose area I'm living under, as long as the roads are paved and there is water, electricity and telecommunication supply/access.

Sure, Cheras folks, can be slightly "eccentric" when compared to the more elite Petaling Jaya residents... but for the past 3 years that I've been living and working in Cheras, really, it ain't that bad as everyone thinks it to be.

I like living in Cheras because one thing for sure, I don't want to be waking up at 6 everyday to brave the traffic to work should I be living anywhere else. I like the fact that eating out in Cheras is convenient and delicious - you can find good food just about anywhere in Cheras. And really, it's not as unaccessible as most people think it to be - 20 minutes to Sri Hartamas, 20 to Damansara Uptown, 30 to Bandar Utama, 10 to Midvalley, 15 to Bangsar, 15 to Bukit Bintang, 15 to KLCC, 15 to Ampang, 20 to Sunway or Subang... So what's 15 or 20 minutes to someone living in KL?

So in a nutshell, Cheras rocks!

Posted by Doreen at 12:41 pm


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Night markets are an integral part of a Malaysian's lifestyle. Commonly known as pasar malam, one can find an assortment of goodies peddled by the traders that set up their stalls by the roads.

It is also not unusual to find a Malaysian who can rattle off the days and area where a night market will be found. Wednesdays we have the Taman Connaught pasar malam, Thursdays at Taman Mutiara Barat, Fridays at Taman Segar, so on and so forth. Of course, the PJ folks will also be able to tell you when the night markets are on at Taman Paramount, SS2, etc. Then we have the slightly more upmarket pasar malam at Bangsar which happens every Sunday evenings.

I love night markets. I love making my way through the human traffic, the humidity, the smoke from the various traders selling delicacies, the cigarette smoke as a result of rude people smoking while being in such a crowded place, the streets filled with litter, the beggars that squat in the middle of the road asking for donations, ahh..

Sure, shopping at modern complexes and malls are comfortable with their clean and air-conditioned surroundings, and I love shopping at malls too. But pasar malams are better! There's nothing like getting all sweaty and smelly after a pasar malam excursion.

Last night I went to the Taman Connaught pasar malam, which coincidentally was featured in the papers yesterday. Touted to be the biggest in Malaysia, this night market boasts some 700 traders! So imagine the array of goodies we can indulge in! There's literally everything and anything under the sun - clothes, shoes, trinkets, accessories, pirated CDs, soft toys, household items, sunglasses, caps, bags, asam laksa, fried foods such as fishballs and chicken wings, bread, cakes, smelly beancurd, all sorts of herbal drinks, lemonade, meat, vegetables, fruits, cosmetics, under garment, pets, er.. you do know that I could go on forever right?

Me and colleagues ended up a feast pigging out on the spicy and sour asam laksa along with icy cold sugarcane drink. And what's a trip to a pasar malam without returning home with pirated CDs?

Looking forward to next Wednesday!

Posted by Doreen at 5:26 pm


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It only dawned upon me in the last few days, that we are fast approaching the last quarter of 2005. Year after year, we moan about how fast time flies, and how we're getting older by the day... while there's absolutely nothing we can do about that ticking clock. While there's nothing we can do about that, we can however make the most of our days, and thus our lives right?

Of late, I hear of friends getting married, or with marriage plans in the near future. I hear of friends putting aside money for investments be it in unit trusts, property, and whatnot. I hear of friends who've dropped their party days to lead a quieter and mellowed life. Out of the mentioned three, I'm probably doing 1. Not the marriage bit, and definitely not the investment bit. So I guess I'm on my way to getting old too. I DO feel myself getting older, and I hope the "wise" element is guaranteed along with that whole "getting old" package. What? I'm not asking for much! It's a fair exchange no?

Speaking to a Stefi over cyber space this morning (yes, during the idle hours), I confessed to her my fears of changing, of losing my identity while in a relationship Al. I then pondered over it again during lunch, and after a hearty Vietnamese lunch, I found myself asking "Are you having cold feet?"

Am I? Could I?

Only recently have we "moved" on another phase in the relationship. Now it comes with added responsibilities and commitment. Don't get me wrong, I am crazy about this guy and would do anything for him! OK, I suppose I just have to deal with the added responsibilities and commitment part, but what I'm really afraid is of losing me.

Women change because of men. Or maybe I should say "Women change because of love". A classic example would be reference to this friend of mine, let's call her Jane. When I got to know Jane a few years ago, she was a career-oriented woman who put herself before anything or anyone else, and definitely a man! She is strong, independent, cultured, educated and capable. I remember all the male-bashing sessions we had over cigarettes, coffee or beer. I remember how strongly she stood up firmly for women's rights, for things like "Pursue your own dreams, and don't let a man hold you down!". She was also frustrated with the men around us who dictated what women should and should not be like. She never talks about marriage nor children because these were not in her "future plans".

A few years down the road, Jane met Joe, and she fell madly in love. She is now a changed person. Don't get me wrong again - I'm not saying that the change is a bad thing. Jane speaks of Joe adoringly, Jane would do anything for him, and even marriage and children if he asks! She has also put her dreams and plans on hold because of Joe. From speaking to her, I notice her change too. But she is happy doing it, yes she's doing it willingly. But is it subconsciouly? Does she know she's now a changed person?

See? That's what I mean. So will I be losing my identity? The essence of what makes Doreen, Doreen?

Some might say, "But darling, it's all part and parcel of loving and thus compromising!" So does this make my friend Jane a hypocrite because she said she'll never get married, and then now wants to?

Posted by Doreen at 5:40 pm


After a long hiatus, no wait, correction - a really, really, really long hiatus, I've finally decided to come back to blogging, and I'm hoping to get my very reliable personal blog assistant to help me with a new look. Soon.

It's now August, and wow. I've been away for 5 months. Well, work was enough to keep me busy. You know those days when I come into the office and spend my hours over idle surfing? Well, they're gone! I no longer have that privilege anymore. OK, maybe occassionaly. But in the last 5 months, I had no such luxury.

Lately though, I do have some spare time. So I'm sitting here wondering if my "To Do Tasks" have dwindled again, or just the fact that I'm now much more organized. I'd like to think of it as the latter. Anyways, I've missed blogging.

Coincidentally, yours truly has just returned from another Tioman trip last week. Ahh.. a Tioman trip to end my blogging days back then, and it took another Tioman Trip to revive and reignite my desire to blog.

I'll write again shortly. Am in the midst of updating some Microsoft softwares, and might need to restart the computer.

Posted by Doreen at 3:19 pm