Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I'm Glad We Talked

that's what my GP told me when I met her yesterday evening. Haven't been visiting her clinic in ages because well... I prefer another doctor who is not on my company's panel and who is more clued-in to runners ailments because he had a few patients who runs. 

Anyway, am proud to say I haven't had *touch wood* any aches or pains or running related in injuries for the past two months to warrant a need to see a doctor! :)

So, I went to see her because I can't always go visit the other GP since he is my husband's panel doctor not mine. Can't always use hubby's entitlement when I have mine, right?

I went there to stock up on my glucosamine which I am currently taking for all the abuse I subject my knees to. The arrays of them at the drugstore/sports/health related stores scares me into making a decision on which brand to buy so I am always more comfortable getting them from the clinic.

We discussed about my knees and of course that lead us to running. I think we spent almost half an hour talking about running! And boy did she made me happy. She told me that I definitely looked more toned, compared to the last time I saw her! *grin*

She said she always wanted to run again (she was an athlete, she said) and I ended up giving her the URLs of the few blogs that updates on all running/walking/cycling events and promised her that I'll give her a call if there's any interesting events she might be interested in joining.

She was glad to talk to me and get excited to be active and I was glad to talk to someone about running.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Shrimp Is The Fruit Of The Sea

So said one Benjamin Buford Blue.
Who?
Bubba!
And to whom?
Forrest Gump of course!
You can barbecue it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There are shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp & potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. 

Imagine if we decide to make it a point to try them all out for Bubba? Hahaha... exploding tummy!
Ready to order!
Raimie was quite amused with the two signs so Daddy and Mommy regaled to him about Forrest Gump the movie. For the record, Mommy watched the movie (this was before Mommy started seeing Daddy) 7 times, ALONE!
Drink up! Raimie had a speckled lemonade with blueberries, Daddy had Mango Sparkler and Mommy had a smoothie with her favourite energy food - bananas, aptly named Run Forrest Run! Yummy!
Raimie cleaning off a big bowl of chowder. He's a growing boy, after all. ^^
Can't eat or try out all the shrimps they have to offer, so this would do just fine for us. Shrimper's Heaven with breaded coconut shrimps, tempura shrimps, chilli shrimps and fried shrimps. I forgot that with all the running I'm doing now, I can't stomach much fried food so Zaini helped finished off most of the shrimps while I attacked the chilli shrimps.
Shrimpin' Dippin' broth with jasmine rice and french bread for dipping. I like this, A LOT!
The boy's free meal - more shrimps! And they're fried! Because it's a kiddie meal, it came with two little bowls of Jell-O.

Anyway, we went out on Saturday with the intention of buying a bookshelf for Raimie at Ikea and have lunch there. It's been ages since we last enjoyed a meal at Ikea's cafeteria but it was so packed! @.@

Four hours later, we head home with no purchase made. Ahahah... No choice but to make another visit in the future. But maybe during a weekday instead of the weekend.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

It Took 3 Months

I don't know why but Raimie's Standard 3 class teacher kept on mentioning that another classmate had got the "Best in Maths" award last year for the year-end exam but the Maths teacher and all his other classmates knew it was Raimie. This reminded me of how incredulous my Standard 4 class teacher was when I somehow managed to bag one of the top three spot for the year-end exam. 

Teachers, don't do that to your students. Don't act all surprised or not trusting when your other students do good or do better than your favourite/pet student. It hurts their pride, you know. Especially for a student who consistently perform in class.

Anyway, the error was finally pointed out to the class teacher (albeit at last minute, with the trophies and "Hari Anugerah Kecermelangan" a.k.a excellence day prize giving program (or something) all printed out; they weren't able to rectify the name on the trophy that's rightly Raimie's. And in the event-day program booklet - the wrong name was blanco'ed out and were handwritten with my son's name. 

The trophy was returned to the teacher in charge afterwards and Raimie finally got his trophy back yesterday, 3 months after the prize giving day.

And the point of this post? No point actually.

Well, I just wanted to say how proud I am of my son. He was happy to get back the trophy and with his own name printed on it. Well, and maybe gloat a bit about him here. This is MY blog after all. xD

Friday, 24 February 2012

Two Lancas

Another wheeled-inspired post, after last week's "Two Wheels". This is also inspired by my post titled "Oke" over at my Japan-centric blog.

Lanca is malay word rickshaws. The pulled by human type. The cyle-type ones are called "beca" in Malaysia "Lanca" is the predecessor of "beca" if I'm not wrong. Right? And I guess Thailand's tuk-tuk came after rickshaw. No?

Nowadays, this mode of transport is catered for tourists nowadays. But in the East Coast of Malaysia, it is still used by the locals - mostly older folks transporting goods to/fro market.
A very pink rickshaw plying the Pasar Payang route in Kuala Terengganu. Similar-decked rickshaws can be found at popular tourists spots in Malacca and Penang.

The Pasar Payang rickshaws that are used by local folks ferry passengers from the Pasar Payang market to the bus station nearby. Those that cater for local market are usually not decorated like that pink one above.

Anyways, I have not been riding one for ages. I think the last time I took a "beca" ride was with my late grandmother in Kuantan when I was 10. The ride cost us less than RM1.00 and my late grandmother grumbled about it being too expensive!
And this, a "lanca" or in Japanese "jinriksha" which means human powered vehicle found in Asakusa. Found a pedicab type "rickshaw" in Yokohama. ^^ Cost a fortune (well, for me anyway) to ride one.

Have you watched the movie Penarik Beca? That's an award winning film by the late Tan Sri P Ramlee, and was the first movie that he directed.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Afternoon Snack

lovely to be enjoyed on a rainy day.
Hot, hot pisang goreng (fried bananas) and fried keropok lekor (fish sausage?). I love dipping my pisang goreng in the keropok lekor chilli sauce. Sweet, sour and spicy. When I was small, I ate cekodok pisang (fried mash banana balls?) with tomato sauce. Well, I ate rice mixed with margarine and soy sauce too. Zaini told me, I eat weird. You think? ^^
and with that afternoon snack, a cup of "kaw" coffee. At home I only drink one particular brand of coffee and nothing else. It's Kopi Cap Kapal Api. Three big spoons of coffee and its heaven. Great for my bowel movement too! ^^

Now that I mention about afternoon snack, I still have some untouched "nian gao" waiting to be cooked/served. Hubby doesn't care much about them and it isn't fun eating them alone. :(

Monday, 20 February 2012

Raining, Running And Training

The weather that we've been having lately sometimes make it harder for me to go out for a run. I really am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that rain will stop/not fall by the time we reach our home after work so that I can have my runs. Or for the weekends, no heavy rain in the morning PLEASE!

I don't really mind running if its drizzling but I'd stop when it gets too heavy. Not so much because I don't want to get wet and scared of being sick afterwards but because I don't want to look like a weirdo by my neighbours. I run in loops around the carpark, in full view of my neighbours, remember? And it's not like my glasses has a wiper to wipe off the lens for me to see better!

But no running or attempting to do it if there's thunder and lightning abound! I love running and all that, but I don't want to be a roast chicken after! Like I always said when doing something rather "suicidal" - my insurance is not much to cover this foolhardiness. xD

Anyway, of late I'm starting to like just doing loops around my apartment instead of venturing out for a run. There are two loops variations that I do, a shorter 800m loop or the longer 1.45km loop. Nowadays, I do the latter to avoid being "dizzy" looping. It does get mind-numbing if looping on a long run( I did 11+ loops for my 16k run! @.@), but the advantage of doing it in the security of my apartment compound is I don't really have to contend with traffic much or crazy/friendly dogs. Another plus is that I don't have to subject my boys to waking up early and drive me somewhere. Anyway, the land around my apartment is quite undulating so I get a bit of incline training on my runs. :)

Another plus point is that the toilet is just always a short hop away for both toilet breaks and dousing myself with cold water.

Looking forward to my next run!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

My First Valentine

Hubby would probably whack my head for showing this publicly.

But that rabbit - that was my first Valentine's Day gift from him. Way back in 1996. It's so much older than our Son!

I've gotten a lot of soft toys from him and most of them are handed-down to our Son (you should have seen Raimie's crib when he was a baby! Can't see the baby because the crib was full of cuddlies!) but the rabbit is hands-off for Son. It's special!

And after 16 years, I'm still not letting go of the rabbit.

It doesn't get cuddled now because it is so old, but we have a place for it and it's staying there for many more years to come. <3 <3 <3

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Keeping Notes

A habit we inculcate since he learns his alphabet. We give him notebooks and let him scribble, doodle, write stories and whatever he wants in it. And fill up the books he certainly did. He drew. He writes. He learns to spell by doing it.

He used to spend the time commuting from our home to his kindie, which was 30 minutes away (but only 5 minutes walk from his grandad's home) writing and drawing in the notebooks. He doesn't do this in the car anymore now that he's older, preferring to chat with us more. But he still has unlimited supply of notebooks and he's allowed to use it any way he wants. He has unlimited supply of A4 papers too. ;p It's nice to sometime flip through the books and "read" all the stories he conjured up.

I mentioned this once. My Mom used to think that it is a waste to spend time doodling away like this. I don't. I think of it as a creative outlet. For his imagination to be set free. Life and learning shouldn't just come from memorising textbook. 

Anyways, he learnt alphabets and numbers by a game we play in the car - I let him read out the number plates of the cars in front of us. Flashcards were boring (for me and him) but the "game" was fun! He learnt his addition and subtraction eating french fries - by counting them. Worked, I guess. Because he is quite good in maths (and science too). But I guess I somehow let languages suffer. His Arabic is good but Malay & English are his weak subjects.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Two Wheels

Popular two wheels seen around Japan

The same popular two wheels is only used by us locals for sports activities. Hard to see local people commuting with bicycle nowadays. Most of us think that cycling as a means of transport is like having a death-wish but there are some plucky people who do cycle to work. It's a good sign.
We tend to prefer this two wheels. Single rider, rider with a pillion rider (or maybe two or three!) @.@

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Change!

I whined about not being able to have my hair cut and rebonded by my long-time stylist before we left for our Japan vacation. I really hate changing stylist. I went to the same hair salon for years! But when the stylist decided to quit and moved to a different state, I had no choice but to change. And after months of having a bad hair day (or should we call it bad hair months) and spending ages blow-drying my hair straight, I finally made the change.
And all because hubby needed to change the tyres of our car. Interestingly, the place that he usually go to was busy and we went to a shop near to Mines instead.

Providence? xD

While waiting for the car to be ready, we walked to Mines and I finally decided give the benefit of doubt to one place that always advertises cheap hair services option.

OK, so it wasn't exactly cheap doing a rebonding with treatments there but it was almost half the price I used to pay at Jantzen. We'll see how the hair holds up in these few days before I give any verdict on whether I'll be their regular customer.
My new hair. Well, the style isn't new as this is pretty much the same hairstyle I used to sport before it got to be way out of shape lately. ^^

You know, there are two things (or reasons) I'll be willing to spend oodles of money on.
1. My hair
2. My hobby (and that's running) - shoes, gears, races...

Other than these two, I am so the "tangkai jering" about spending money on myself. ;) How about you? What are your vices when it comes to spending?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Quiet Night

Big day or night today?

I guess some of you have special plans made today. So for those who are, hope your Valentine's Day is great! And those who are enjoying a run (or two!) - how fun! I'm resting today. ;)

Compared to last year when we checked-in to a nice hotel for the day (the day after was conveniently a public holiday), this year is very quiet. No gifts for dear Hubby. I had erroneously thought that today will be a non-event for us so nothing for him. My bad. ^^ OK so there was no posh dinner. I wasn't looking for one anyway. No chocolates. No problem. No flowers. Hubby isn't the type to buy flowers.

But I am looking forward to enjoy the gift hubby did get for me!
Happy Valentine's Day!! <3 <3 <3

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Looks Good Enough To Eat

Raimie's sushi eraser collection (and some other food item too). They do look simply scrumptious, don't they?

I guess now we can buy these easily here, at Daiso or just some random shops but we got his collection from friends in Japan and bought them when we were there.

Raimie doesn't play shop/restaurant much anymore nowadays, but he used to love playing it and served sushi erasers to us. What made me be reminded me of this sushi  raser collection of his? He took out a battery-operated talking menu that I bought at Jusco the evening before. ^^

But one thing for sure! You won't be seeing him using these for any real erasing! I forbid it. LOL

Friday, 10 February 2012

Oh The Chafing!

Apart from a good pair of shoes and socks, I don't go out for a run without slathering certain body parts (my feet and underarm actually) with Vaseline
1. to avoid blister on my precious feet. Yes, they still look good in heels, now that the one toenail that was missing has grown back. ^^
2. chafing on my arms, which is why you won't ever see me run wearing a baggy or cotton t-shirt.

but seems I got another body part I should worry about now...
It's blurry on purpose. Anyway, it stings with sweat during my run and during shower afterwards. And to think that I was actually wearing something I always wear for my weekday run!

Maybe the running shirt I wore got too loose now that the top moves around and create friction? Hahaha... that should make me happy, right? I guess I better get myself a new sports bra soon! That, and to remember to cover this wound with something for Saturday (10K) and Sunday (13K) runs. Now, where did I put our stock of Handiplast?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Weekend Activities

Tuesday. Last day of the 4-day weekend we are enjoying because of Maulud Nabi and Thaipusam holiday. 

We didn't go anywhere and plan a trip. Didn't go back to my hometown either, just relaxing at home and being totally lazy.

So what did my 9-year old was up to during the holiday? Nothing much but he kept himself busy with:

Indoor activities
Playing board games. I got coerced into playing snakes & ladders with him. This is the 3D version. As usual when playing games with that boy of mine, there would be a little bit of argument while playing. All for fun though.
He spent time colouring too - not any old thing. He likes colouring super heroes. He's a boy, after all. That's Go Onjer that he was colouring.
And playing with his toy and games collection - that's the Gokaijers he got there, and Kamen Rider Fourze figures at the back. And oh! An Ultraman jigsaw puzzle too. Plenty of things to keep him occupied at home and not get bored even when being cooped inside. Pity reading is not high in his fun thing to do, though.

Then of course, he keeps himself occupied staring at his netbook screen and being online.
After having fun playing, it's time to sit down and study too! On weekends, we set 4.00pm onwards (until he finished everything that I told him to study/do) for study time. There's an ulterior motive setting it at 4.00pm. It's Mommy's time to control the remote. There are Korean shows that Mommy like at that time on Saturday and Sunday and when Son is studying, Mommy gets to watch TV without interruption.

Outdoor activities
Played a bit of badminton with him at the apartment's playground. He totally dissed my badminton playing skill. Huhuhu 
He's a bit self-conscious playing badminton at the playground and he wanted to stopped when a few kids came to play there. Regardless, I'm just happy he wants to be out of the house.
He had a swim too (OK, make it two swims). I don't really like swimming so when it comes to visiting the pool, Raimie goes with his Daddy. But that said, after a run under the hot sun, a dip in the pool is sure nice. And it's a good way to cross-train. ^^

Then, it's time to go cycling. The initial plan was to go on Sunday. I actually changed my planned 13K run on Sunday earlier and did it on Friday to clear Sunday for Son. But turns out everyone woke up late on Sunday! So turns out Tuesday cycling it was, after I did my scheduled 10K run.

What is not high on our list of activities during weekends? Hitting the malls. Oh! I really do hate going to malls on weekends. Mall crowds gives me a headache.

Back to work tomorrow and no more public holidays until May! Ugh. 

Monday, 6 February 2012

We Know What It Looked Like

before it arrives the supermarket shelves. 

What am I talking about? The food that is on our table. For me (maybe for Zaini too); when I was small -  I know what the plants of the vegetables my Mom served looked like. Heck! I may have grown it! Yeah, I was quite the little farmer when I was in primary school. My Mom made me take care of a patch of land and I planted all sorts of vegetables there and did all the work myself! I probably would've done it all through my teens too, if not for the fact the MARA somehow deemed me bright enough to let me enter a boarding school for bright kids. Heh
old photo of the Korban and distribution of meat. I can't find any recent photo to put here
And I know the beef, the chicken, the lamb we see on the supermarket shelves look like before it got there and it sure ain't that pink slush McD serves!

I've seen animals being slaughtered. A vegetarian, I certainly am not. When I was at school; secondary school that is, one of the school's activities was for the students to learn how to slaughter chickens the proper Islamic way. Too gruesome? Well, if you eat chicken - why can't you kill one? Because it is easier to let other people to do the dirty job? (This can bring me into a whole different rant about us liking to let other people do our dirty job but I won't go into it... yet).

OK, what's the point of this anyway? How many of you think that your school-going child shouldn't and couldn't learn about how animals are killed before it arrives on your dinner plate? I'm not talking about seeing it directly or "live" but how about watching it on TV? Granted, I am of the opinion that the non-Islamic way of killing animals can be quite gruesome and brutal and I hate watching it.

Raimie had seen a few, when the "Korban" was done at my hometown and when my Dad brought back a deer that a villager caught with a trap. He needs to learn that food don't just magically materialise on the supermarket shelves. 

Raimie asked me this question once, when we were discussing about this. He asked if people takes pity on killing animals, how come nobody pities plants? Can't plant suffer too? Now, before you say that plants can't feel anything - can you truthfully confirm that? Have you ever been a plant before?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Same Style?

I was looking through my old photo album looking for a photo of me in my twenties because I wanted to show someone how I dressed during that time. Didn't find it but I did find this one when I was about 9? 10?

Looking at this particular photo of me; I guessed I dressed pretty much the same before, during and after my teens. Baggy t-shirt and plaid skirt. The only difference in my twenties was, I wore boots (the Doc Martens type) with the outfit.

No wonder Zaini used to refuse to go out with me, what with me wearing such getup! LOL

And if you look at my crazy hair - yeah, still have that crazy hair. That's how my hair looks like now if I don't go and do rebonding twice a year!

Anyway, all cousins in the photo are all now approaching middle-age; just like me, have families of their own and their own career.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Two Packed Lunches

If I had my lunch to-go a.k.a "bungkus/tapau"
this is what it would look like if it's in KL
and this, in Japan.

I love them both! Both are delicious! :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Training Program

Been sticking to this Runner's World 9-weeks half-marathon training plan and am in Week 4 now. It's not that I have a half-marathon I'm entering in March (though I secretly wish I can enter Brooks Half-Marathon) just that I find the plan doable for a working mom like me. The mileage needed aren't that scary too. It's not a tough plan but it's not that easy too.

Week 4 & 5 training will be nice because I won't be rushing for time. I did a late 11K run yesterday night and only finished my run at 10.45pm. Add the time for cool-down and stretching, it was already 11.00pm! Thank goodness for public holidays in these two weeks! That means I can either have late-night runs or early morning runs without worrying about loss of sleep much. Week 6 - 8 will be a challenge though but I'll try sticking to the plan as I possibly can. 

So far, I can definitely see improvements in my run, pacing and recovery time. Three weeks into this plan and I am doing sub-7 pace for my 8-11K training runs! It's sure as hell not a fast pace for other runners but it is for me. A sub-7 pace means running in less than 7minutes per kilometre, by the way. *^-^*

I have a 13K run scheduled for Sunday and I'm hoping that I can do it in less that 90 minutes! I'm planning to hit the incline-dog-traffic-friendly Presint 2-5 of Putrajaya on Sunday and I don't want Zaini to get bored waiting for me!

What's all this training for? I'm going for the half-marathon distance in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon on June 24th. I'll do 21K and I am hoping to get Son to do the 700m dash for 6-9y.o. It'll be nicer if he can do the 2.5K kids run but he's underage! Boohoo...

Anyway, there's another run that I wish to enter but had to strike off from my race wish list and that's the PJ Dawn. As Zaini often reminded me - try find something that's not too crazy to do. A race that starts at 3.00am is too crazy for him. I guess I have to agree...

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