Friday, November 26, 2010

I Will Stop Saying "I Can't."

You know how sometimes we set up mental barriers for ourselves? Like "Oh, I will NEVER be able to do this!" or "Ala, he could only do it cos he has the contacts! I don't, so I will always be stuck at the bottom of the ladder."

Sound familiar? Heck, I do it a lot!
I go "I'm not smart/pretty/funny/creative enough!" or "No I can't cos I suck at it!" and sink into self-pity.
Which is a massive waste of time.

Especially when there are people like

Yi Lin, who lost a leg to bone cancer when she was in Standard Four. Not only that, you see that medal she's holding up? She won it. IN A SWIMMING COMPETITION. With no leg AND cancer in her lungs (it spread). After facing so many blows in life, she managed to pick herself up and move on, and not only that, to also achieve more than many 'lucky' people do in their lives. Most of us drift. We have all our limbs, and we use them to fully facilitate our wallowing in uselessness.

Where's my self-pity now? Buried somewhere under a load of shame. Where are your excuses?

Full article here!

p/s: I CAN DRIVE NOW! Not very far, because while my driving skills have improved, my sense of direction hasn't. So until I get a GPS, I don't dare venture very far, unless I have a navigator! But yes! I can driiveee *happy*

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Lims Make A Random Trip to Kuala Selangor

This holiday is rapidly shaping up to become a 'Cuti-cuti Malaysia' one!
First my trip to Penang with the girls and David, and next a random road trip to Kuala Selangor, and my dad's suddenly got this hankering for driving around. So we're probably headed up north - Penang (AGAIN!), Terengganu (more beaches, hallelujah! But no bikini cos the Terengganu people mught stone me or something) - and onwards to the east coast and then back to KL.

But first, pics of Kuala Selangor!
 Blue skies, clear roads, and palm trees as far as the eye can see. Gorgeous.

 First stop: Bukit Malawati! Cos my dad said we had to see the lighthouse, apparently it's super awesome or something.

 It's just a lighthouse -___-
Visitors aren't even allowed in!

 The place is very well-fortified, though. Apparently when the Dutch first landed on Malayan soil, they landed here and then made their way to Melaka.

 We were like SUPER excited when we saw this! "Oooh oooh red cannon! So cute!" 
Upon closer inspection, though, it turned out to be a foam fire extinguisher on wheels, imported from the UK and used in Malaysia from 1840 to 1950. And I thought that the current blue one we use is unwieldy!

Oh, and there are monkeys EVERYWHERE. I took a gajillion pics of those monkeys, but because they weren't really in a photo-taking mood, I ended up with a gajillion pictures of monkey-shaped blurs. Except for this one. I really like how they both seem to be watching out for each other. They are REALLY ugly though. Even for monkeys.
 After taking all those monkey pictures, we got hungry! So we headed for the river, with its abundance of seafood restaurants.

Pretty! The expanse of water and sky is just.. whoa. Definitely not something I see very often.

 Ginormous prawn keropok muahaha. Don't jealous.

 My dad saw this boat from a distance and waited by the rail of the restaurant to snap a picture! I couldn't be arsed, stuffing my face with aforementioned prawn keropok. I'm glad my dad was so enthusiastic, cos this is an awesome pic! I've never even been close to a boat like this before. It's almost like something from a movie.

 And the food arrived, yay! Due to allergies and cholesterol within the family, we didn't order crabs or prawns which is like suuper wtf la ok T_____T I was like "CRAA - *sigh* ok, sotong can or not?"


 Yum, the most awesome sotong EVER. Seriously. Calamari at its best. Crunchy, crispy, delicately-flavoured, oh my GOD. I ate half the plate on my own.
Sharing? Whazzat?

 After eating, we surveyed the small town and decided to drive along this road and see where we end up!
After going past a whole bunch of wooden houses, separated by wooden boardwalks that looked on the verge of collapsing, we arrived at the end of the road. And decided to take pictures!
 My brother, the amateur model, and my dad fully utilising his iPhone.

 My mum couldn't be arsed to get out of the car into the hot sun, just to take pictures.

 Ooops, caught in the act!
I was wondering why my dad was laughing like a hyena, but didn't know why til he showed me the picture. -___-

 On our way back from Kuala Selangor, we saw a sign that said Beach. I can't remember the name of the beach, oops. Not a fabulous one, rather dirty and rocky, but still! A beach with sea water and a sea breeze!

Look at that glorious blue sky.
Thank you for the fantastic weather, weather gods.

Btw, none of these pictures have been photoshopped. So if the sky looks brilliantly blue, it's because it really was that blue!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holiday Project - Learn A New Skill!

This is what happens when I'm on holiday: I discover something new and spend hours obsessively learning to do it. Like cross stitching, which made me feel like and old lady cos I was sitting in a corner SEWING. That being said, it's awesome and super therapeutic! And cookie-baking fever, which last occurred years ago. I made batches and batches of peanut butter cookies, and haven't touched an oven since. This holiday, I've discovered PHOTOSHOPPPPP.

I realised I can make ugly pictures look nicer just by filtering them, and using some reeeally simple tools!

I took this picture because I have a thing for taking pics of paths and stuff. Unfortunately, this is NOT a prime specimen of paths. And I thought the colours were really ugly. So I filtered, cropped, covered up ugliness and super saturated all the colours, resulting in

Ok don't ask why the sky is purple. It was an accident but I realised I like purple skies. So there.

I really like this picture of the river in Kuala Selangor (went there with the fam on Thursday, pictures to come!), but I was bored and figured it could use some recolouring. Filtered the whole thing to make it bluer, and made the trees greener with this really awesome quick select tool.

The difference is, I think, not too obvious but I like how peaceful and scenic it looks!

And oooh, I figured out how people do that awesome thing where the whole picture is in grayscale except for one bit! It's the quick select tool, or the magic lasso thingamajiggy, and you can make everything ELSE grayscale, leaving the selected object coloured.

I just HAD to take a picture of this cute cat sitting alone and forlorn. Unfortunately, cos it's so small, it doesn't stand out at all!

So I cropped it, grayscaled the background and saturated the cat's colour.
Much better, no?

Anyhow, if there are any awesome pro people out there, do feel free to drop me suggestions, etc. I'm still learning how to do stuff, got bitten by the bug yesterday while trying to resize pictures using Photoshop!

When my internet picks up speed (god, I hate slow internet), I will post up pics of a random Lim family road trip to Kuala Selangor! Yes, the place famed for fireflies. No, we didn't go to see fireflies. We ate seafood and took scenic pics instead =D

Friday, November 19, 2010

Embracing My Inner Chinese

I am a banana.
Not the fruit sort!
It means that I am 'yellow on the outside and white on the inside', an UNcomplimentary term for Chinese people who can't speak their mother tongue, like moi.
This means that I don't know my Chinese as well as I should (sorry ancestors!!). If I did, I would've long known that it is a language that understands life truths.
 This is a church. In Mandarin: Jiao tang.

This is a caramel pudding. Mandarin: Jiao tang
 (ok, the tone is a bit different but the words are the same!)
May Lee's conclusion:
Religion and food are on the same level.
Also, Chinese people have got it absolutely right!
Do I hear my ancestors cheering?

*(ok maybe I worship food more. shhhhhh.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Penang Invasion!

As promised, Penang post complete with pictures!

 We didn't really visit many famous Penang food places, but we DID manage to find the famous Penang Road cendol! Or 'chendul' as they spell it. Haha it's quite funny how we found it: we were just wandering down Penang Road, not really specifically looking for THE cendol when we stopped by a cendol stall cos it was hot and we were pretty much pooped. We were just about to order when the stall owner went "Oh, I'm not the cendol you're looking for.. that one is the fourth jalan from here". Bemusedly, we followed his instructions and voila! Famous cendol!

 Ok I may get some flak for this, but I don't really get why this is famous. Sure, it's yummy and refreshingly creamy but not too sweet, but I don't get why it's famous. I dont know, maybe I was subconsciously expecting fireworks to go off in my mouth. And maybe it's cos I'm not really into cendol.

 I may not be a HUGE fan, but Phua Chu Kang and Rosie sure seem to be! And that, folks, is all you need to know.

After our expedition along Penang Road, we went back to our apartment (Sri Sayang, where the rates are cheap and the bus you take to get around is the 101 one <--- IMPORTANT INFORMATION) in Batu Ferringhi and got ready to hit the BEACH! Yay!
 Decently covered because it isn't a good idea to traipse around scantily-clad. Across roads.

 But on the beach it's ok to be half-nekkid! Even though the Arab women in burqas stare (in awe or disgust it's hard to tell because they remained covered to their eyes. ON THE BEACH. what a sin) and let's not get into the men.

 Don't we look like shipwrecked survivors watching a rescue ship speed away?

 My failed attempt at turning David into a mermaid. The sand was a bit too wet BUT I WOULD'VE SUCCEEDED IF A BIG WAVE HADN'T COME AND SWEPT EVERYTHING AWAY *denial*

Next day was Toy Museum Day! Did you know that Penang houses the largest Toy Museum in the world? Fact! It's in the Malaysian Book of Records and everything!
 Look at those ginormous statues! Are they statues? They're certainly quite large in stature.

 Well hello there, Mr. Predator. I never watched any of your movies cos frankly you scare the shit out of me but you ain't so bad when you're propped up on sticks and you're immobile.

There's loads of stuff in the Toy Museum! All sorts of figurines, from gorgeous collector's item Barbie dolls

to life-size Captain Jack Sparrow (what do I call these thing? statues? figurines? mothereffing dolls?)

to Superman! Hello Brandon Routh *drools*

and I don't know who this is, but he's scary and has taken me hostage *quiver*
 There a crazy figurines from obscure movies that show all sorts of disgusting torturous scenes (so detailed I could see skin being pulled with hooks, brains, guts, etc etc etc) but I didn't take pictures of those because they made me nauseous. There are also Disney figurines - Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you name it, it's there! I came across a life-size display of Sully and Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc! And also one of the Joker which scared the crap out of me - I rounded a corner and there he was, grinning at me!

 After a shock like that, we'd need food, don't you think? To, you know, recover.
So we made our way to Lorong Selamat to sample the famous char koay teow.
It was closed! T____T

So we WALKED (it's not far by car but it's pretty damn far on mothereffing foot!) to the next famous char koay teow place - the Sister's shop on Macalister Road. Had a mini heart-attack moment when we thought it was also closed, but thank god it wasn't!

 Open for business! Yay!

 Us with one of the sisters. She's really friendly!

 AND she makes a mean char koay teow! Not too impressed, though. Tasted like anything I can get back here in KL. The crab meat on top (the white stuff) was something different, though.

Now parasailing, on the other hand, isn't something I can do in KL!
 Me and the Christinas, and no you can't go up in threes!

 I partnered David!
And I know you probably can't tell from the pictures, but I was super scared. Half worried I'd crap my pants up in the sky (I didn't)!

 But once you're up there.. My god, the view is beautiful. Just a sense of absolute peace and wonder.. I never wanted to come down!
Of course, until your partner kicks you in the leg and then starts talking about 'stunts' (that were fortunately not executed cos of jellyfish)!

Another thing one can't do back in KL is visit Hard Rock Hotel!
 Hello non-alcoholic drink because my liver hates me now. This was yummy, though!

 The famous live band. NOT awesome. The female singer was hopping around like she was high, and I swear the male singer's whiney nasal voice totally ruined a lot of my favourite songs!
Imagine listening to your ultimate favourite song, sung in some nasally falsetto by some guy who looks like a fake tattoo will help him stay in the closet. Damn mothereffingly tulan lor.
 The lights and stuff are GORGEOUS

 But we didn't really have a good time. Music was blasting waaayy too loud to have a decent conversation (at clubbing levels but we can't dance!) so there was nothing much else to do but to stone, or to 

 fiddle with phones!

The next day was our last day in Penang, and Chris and Pei Vin are missing from the final bunch of pics because they had to catch the 7 am flight. So Chrissy, David and I set off to wander the streets of Penang one more time before leaving!

We found this really retro old coffeeshop that sells nice popiah and

Durian ice cream! I hate durians, but the ice cream was quite nice!
40 sen if you don't order drinks! (I don't really get what they mean, but yeah, just order those damn drinks)
 Looks good, huh?

 A satisfied David.

 We wanted to camwhore, and then decided that we should honour the old cina-ness of the kopitiam! This is my best 'ah pek' pose! David beats me hands-down, though. T___T

 David and Chrissy, looking very civilised.

 We were supposed to catch the 3.30 pm train back to KL, but unfortunately we were.. uh.. delayed *scuffs toe*
Bottom line is, we missed that train. After rushing like mad and sitting on a super slow ferry - practically shitting bricks cos we were worried that we'd miss the train - that I swear, I could outswim in terms of speed. And I can't even really swim!

 "Mom? ... We won't be back quite on schedule..."

 We ended up heading back to the island, where Wei Qing bought us dinner and later sent us back to the jetty (thank youuuuu!!) where we took yet another ferry ride to the train station. We got there an hour early! And the train came an hour late. Eff you, Murphy. Eff your law too.

 Our cramped sleeping quarters. But you already knew that.

This was taken outside the Hard Rock Hotel, and seriously, this is the most fun we had there.
Goodbye Penang, see you soon!!