Saturday, January 16, 2010

I want an iPHONE

I think all mothers deserve an iPhone the moment they give birth. Yeah, you heard me right. I don't need three iPhones, but I could do with one. Imagine the doctor / nurse / midwife / husband saying: "Here's your baby ma'am / dear... and... here is your iPHONE - what casing would you like to go with that? Blue? That would really bring out the colour of the umblical cord. Nice choice ma'am / dear." Would that not make birth all that more exhilirating?

As a mother, you are already giving up half your life. And don't get me wrong, it is worth every bit of the sacrifice but an iPhone would make just that bit of a difference. Of course other mothers would beg to differ, and rather have an extra arm and hand with every baby who comes along. That makes sense too - which hand would actually hold the iPhone if there is already a baby in the way?

But no, I like my two arms, two hands, eight fingers and two thumbs very much, praise to Allah - an iPhone would suffice. It would look alot more prettier too (a pink or an orange one) rather than an extra arm. At least I wouldn't need to tailor-fit clothes, I would just remember to invest in more combat trousers - the ones with the extra pockets all over the place. Slip it in a pocket, and it's gone.

Really. And I wouldn't need one with each child - I would just need one. Well, until that child grows up and claims ownership over it, since it matched his or her umblical cord. Then, I would need another one but only one at a time.

And why not? I could actually multi-task without too much distraction, and which mother is alien to multitasking. (That is a reminder to self, never to multitask while trying to prepare half-boiled eggs). But that actually drives my point home. If I had an iPhone, it would have ensured those eggs were boiled to the right half rather than have them plonk into the pink bowl I was garnishing for my kid.

I could read an e-book, learn a new sura, play some relaxing Tchaikovsky, call someone, check in on facebook, I could GOOGLE in silence, without someone asking me for Dora Games or Blue's Clues - and I could actually do that without moving too much, thus keeping the bub well within sight. It would make life easier in other ways too. Like our Singapore trip I have been babbling about? Look what I had to make as a wholesome guide - it has a schedule, a budgeting plan, an MRT map, all the details of our destinations and I have even colour coded everything.

Gee, if I had an iPhone, it would do all of that for me. Cutting and gluing all those pieces of paper together was really strenuous as compared to a tap-tap-tap of a multi-tasking phone. If I had one, I wouldn't be lugging a piece of folded artblock around the island, folding it and folding it through until it rips in the middle. Not to mention, now I have to manually calculate my expenses, which is going to drill holes in the piece of paper as well as our budget. Sigh, I hear the tap-tap-tap tapping further away into the distance.

Yes, you're telling me an iPhone is expensive and that is why I just WANT one, and I'm not going to actually buy one. But if someone wants to give me one - you can just let me know. Preferably I will not have to have another baby before I can actually acquire one of those pretty life-savers. Who am I kidding? If I get one for myself, I'll need another two for my monsters. Yeah, balk all you want, but they are really tech-savvy and would do far better in meddling with that gadget than me. So that is why, they really ought to come with an iPHONE each, right after birth.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Waiting Place... Just for Waiting

I have been reading "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" with the kids and I always grimace at the thought of The Waiting Place. Dr Seuss sure has a way of scaring you right out of your pants. I am not talking about his depiction of loneliness or the Hakken-Kraks' howls. Dude, that's plenty scary. No, The Waiting Place tops my list as far as my fears are concerned.

How often are we caught waiting. Waiting for something to happen without doing anything to make it happen. I'm sure everyone has had spacey moments like this.

Some call it playing it by ear; others call it The Sabbatical. Ha ha. Kidding.

Sure, take a sabbatical if you're sure you're still doing something. Who wouldn't? I would. I was talking about a waiting sabbatical.

I mean, if you're sitting there idle, then you might as well have no dreams at all. No ambitions, no zeal for self-actualisation. Just sit there, watch the paint dry, watch the dust settle.... and enjoy the moment? No-sir-ree... not for me. It's not to say I have never been there before. I have. And now I know what it's called. The Waiting Place.

A lecturer in Uni used to say, "he who has lived the same two days is surely a loser." Well, that's comforting. It may have been from a Hadith and I'm not surprised if it is. And well, my classmates and I just rolled our eyes at each other, trying to look like we were experiencing and enjoying the great challenges of life sitting in that class of Business Decision Making. To think we sometimes balk at days that are challenging? That's not for me anymore. Don't get caught in The Waiting Place.

And as if you don't need any more convincing, I leave you with the wise words of Dr Seuss.

"... for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the show to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyong is just waiting."

"Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for wind to fly kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance,

Everyone is just waiting."

A Tariq Ramadan Interview

by Zakiah Koya, not me.

Zakiah asked me to read her work, and like her biggest fan, I did. Good job, Zak.

Malaysia has been through a lot lately. And if you guys don't want to listen to each other, go ahead an listen to an "outsider," which in irony, is also a way of saying: listen to the viewpoints of others. It's getting the lame the way we are fighting. So lame that it's reaching the point of raising red flags.

Here is Zakiah's full interview with Tariq Ramadan. This is a blurb on what he has to say about interfaith dialogues, and how - contrary to popular belief - is not detrimental to the religion.

We have a perfect religion, yes, but we are not perfect. Dealing with other religions means that we are challenging the very meaning of ours. When we have a dialogue, sometimes when we meet Jews, Christians, Buddhists, agnostics or atheists, the way they are helps you to better your religion as they may make you see something which you have neglected to see.

For example, when I was in South America, the priests there were talking of love. So, I learnt to also talk of the spiritual dimension of love in Islam and its importance in life. So the experience of others is helping you to have other viewpoints of your religion.

When we talk about values, when we speak about dignity and solidarity and when we talk about racism, dialogue can be very important because at the end of the day when dealing with Christians and Buddhists – why do they have to listen to me? – because together we want to change the world for the better. We want to make our world a better place.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Car Seats

DH picked up two car seats for the toddlers from Klang two days ago. Their existing ones were either falling apart or too small. The small one is going to the baby who does not sleep during the day nor the night, as he hates his infant carrier. I guess the ceiling is a little less than exhilirating, especially on long trips.
And because we are planning a little bit of a vacation soon, it was wise to snag the good offer I found on Mudah. I can't find the direct link anymore but here is the company's site. They don't deliver. You have to pick up your purchases directly from their factory. And it's quite rotten that there are no prices on their site. For that, you have to search through Mudah.
DH said the deals at the factory itself were pretty good. Our car seats were RM180 each. That sort of plays to our budget. And with an extra RM20 membership fee, you can get up to 45% discount on other factory-priced products at their place. It's worth it, especially if you want to get your children bicycles.
That's a thought for the kids. They have shown interests in riding bikes. So, maybe another visit this year will follow.

Less Furniture, More Floor

I have good news for my couch. It is going to a new home, where it is appreciated and not called "too bulky," scribbled on, and used as a castle fort (I'm talking about the cushions). Yes, our home is getting too cramped we need get rid of our 3+2+1 sofa set. Luckily PASS does collect old furniture.

If you're in the same situation as me, call them. Electrical goods are also accepted. Time to make space. We want to see more of the floor.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On the Sweeter Side

It has been 11 days since the price of sugar went up by 20 sen per kilo. Since then, our own sugar inventory has run dry. This is not so much because of the price increase but because of circulating rumours that the sugar fairies in the neighbourhood have stashed away the remaining sachets of the local culinary staple ingredient. Our children have been drinking sugarless Milo, and it has not seemed to bother them. Besides that, we never use sugar our own beverages and meagre kitchen-prepared meals. So to say that sugar is sorely missed in our home, is really untrue.

But of course the chain reaction of a price hike never goes unwarranted and it will be more than just sugar that we will be giving up. Unscrupulous service providers use an increase of raw ingredients to their advantages - jacking up prices of their own products or services, with so-called justification. Soon there will be an increase in electricity bills when the cost centre in the service provider, called "the pantry" starts eating away at employee bonuses. Who know? Nothing is impossible in this country.

On the sweeter side of things, some companies may face this sugarless debacle with a lot less flavour. Secret Recipe may or may not be one of them, depending on consumer reaction. Their cakes are going up by RM5 today. That is first hand information, people, and that is alot of Ringgit Malaysia, especially for us.
Luckily we do not run in the same league with confectionary lovers, but cheese cakes - especially Secret Recipe cheese cakes - are the added luxury on the very rare splurge and during festive seasons. And with festive seasons coming to an end this February (gong xi, gong xi), our (my) affair with rich, feel-good cheese cakes shall come to end. I feel their cakes are pricey as they are and an increase just adds the "ridiculous" lable to their price.

It depends on how many others are with me in this loyalty-league towards desserts. Imagine what Secret Recipe has possibly done to several other industries, if the majority of their consumers are just like me. Weight watchers, weighing scales, those fancy weight-loss programmes that allegedly stem from New York or London or France, plus size fasion outlets, may have their ledgers falling into the red. Good for waistline watchers, who, after perhaps a few weeks of no-cheese-cake-night-terrors, will be waking up to looser clothes. But bad for those in the business of enhancing insecurities in the female image industry.

If consumers want to champion rights to affordable desserts and go on that ever coveted cheese-cake strike, The Biggest Loser Asia's business lifespan may even end at Season 1. In the long run, let's look at the brighter side of things, (and you will be taking advice from a cynic). Every person's self-image may take a turn for the positive and mirrors will be all that less criticising. So feast your eyes on your new self, and continue to feast your eyes on this blogpost, which should have pictures of those Secret Recipe delights - especially if you will be giving them up. Hopefully it will be worth more than RM5.

Creative Destruction

This is how I normally start working on a new idea. I have that corporate journal that becomes my pen's playground. I'm fairly organised when I start working on new ideas or structures and it's good that I have a place to write my ideas down.

But every once in a while, I really am exhausted after the kids hit the sack. I always wonder where they get so much energy to do their own work. So I thought that I might as well try out their tiny shoes.

Taaa daaa.... so much fun. I understand why they are so much more creative than I am. I'll be visiting their art table a lot more often now.

I realise I will be a lot less crabby if I learn to enjoy their things rather than just pick up after them.

Move over kids, Mama's taking over your art block!