November 29, 2007

My nieces and nephew

I count it as a blessing to be an aunt to my two nieces and one nephew. They are awesome. I don't get to see them very often but I do think of them often and love them dearly. Spoiling my nieces/nephew is almost a sport for me. It stretches me when it comes to birthdays, but it's all fun for me.

Linds (11) is tall like her mom and has a pretty long hair. She is actually a bit taller than me and her shoes size is bigger than mine too! She is smart, sweet and so full of life. She is very athletic, she also loves music and she loves to "collect" soft toy animals in all sorts of shapes and sizes, including large cuddly tiger. Her dreams is that she will be able to communicate with all animals like Dr. Doolitle, a movie played by Eddy Murphy.

Van is nine and smaller in stature. She is very witty, sensitive and thoughtful. She loves to study, and knowing exactly what she is doing. Linds lives in Singapore and Van lives in Bogor (Indonesia) but whenever they do get together, they do have laughs and good time together. Children can be so damn funny, even when you don't want them to be. And it still is hard to believe the noise that two kids can make!!!LOL...

Then, my nephew Alex (the youngest of the bunch) who has just turned 2 yesterday (Nov 28) is a little cute monster, and he has the most gorgeous little face that you can't help but forgive him! I love my nieces and nephew to bits! They truly bless my life!

November 25, 2007

First Communion

Last week on Sunday, November 18, I attended a niece first communion. It has been a very special day for my niece, Jovanka, and she's happy her family was there to support her. Van can hardly wait, she has been thinking about her First Communion intention for weeks and one of her wishes was to take grandma (my mother) to church on her very special day (mom was Buddhism but she sent all her children to Catholic schools). However, life is so unpredictable, my mother passed away exactly a week before Van's first communion. But as the old adage goes, life goes on and we all have to move on.

The First Communion Mass was held at St. Francis church in Bogor, with 130 or so children and their families crowded into our church. It was quite hot, and long, but also beautiful (the choir was great). I really love to watch the children, in their purity, prepared to receive Jesus into their heart and what it meant to be a Catholic. It was also fun to see the kids in all their best clothes, black bow ties on the boys, white dresses on the girls (Van's favorite color is pink so I bought her a white dress with a bit of pink accent). Each child looked so cute and adorable. We were again so happy Van has taken another step on her spiritual journey. As I looked at the group, I felt a surge of emotion...about 28 years ago, on my first communion day...

November 22, 2007

A tribute to my mother

Sorry I haven't written for a while. It has been a difficult month for me. My mother passed away last Sunday (November 11, 2007) at Bogor Medical Centre around 6:20am. She had battled for the last 15 years of her life against the diabetes, and ultimately succumbed to having hypoglycemia. It was a shock to all of us, as she looked fine the last time I met her. She just had her 75th birthday on September 16, a couple of weeks ago.

My youngest sis told me, the last day mom alive she had been normal, she complained of some discomfort she had had but not particularly sick. My eldest sis advised mom to go to the hospital but mom said she was fine. She even still scolded my sis over something (like she usually did), she was alert and she knew everything that was going on. Early in the morning on Sunday my youngest sister who was taking care of my mother sensed something went wrong when she saw mom sweat and looked very weak. Mom was then rushed to the hospital which is only 15 minutes drive from my sister's house . I remember it was just after 6:00 am when my sis called. She and my brother in law were at the hospital. They had taken my mom to the Emergency Room because she was semi conscious. My sis asked my youngest brother and I to get there as soon as we could!!! I found myself getting very emotional, and immediately packing my clothes while I waited for my brother to pick me up. Then another phone call came in at 6:20am and my sister told me mom just passed away.

I felt so guilty for not being there when mom was dying. Mom, I am sorry that, there were times we both struggled with ourselves and with each other, standing close enough to hurt, but not to embrace each other. I regret the harsh silences and walls I erected between us. I regret the time gone and the opportunities wasted. I've heard people talk about "good deaths", the kind when your family is all around you and everyone says what they need to say. I don't know much about death, but the memories of you are embedded in every cell of my brain and my body, and nothing can change that. I have never been really good at expressing to you that I genuinely appreciate everything you did for me. Thank you mom for everything. You're the best! I love you and will miss you always. My wish for you now is that you are at peace and have no regrets about your short time here on earth.

With love,
your daughter

notes : mom was buried next to my late dad's grave in Bandar Lampung, just as her wishes. She left 8 children and 3 grand children.

November 10, 2007

November 8, 2007


Cell phones have become a large part of our culture, and we are using them for more than just making calls. Many of us have begun to use text messages to get a short message to someone quickly. SMS are also handy if your calling plan has limited minutes (a lot of Indonesians prefer the prepaid / pay-as-you-go plan than subscribed plan, so they can control the phone usage). Texting is more popular by far in Asian countries like Indonesia than in the US for example, because it's relatively cheaper than to make calls. On average, in Indonesia text messaging costs between USD$0.01 to US$0.03 per message, while a voice local call would cost you between US$ 0.05 to USD$0.08 per minute.

SMS is simple to use and it empowers users to get information anywhere, anytime. According to survey, SMS in Indonesia remains by far the most popular mobile data service, with 65% of users sending text messages on a daily basis. However, texting is somewhere in between speaking and writing. So, with approx. 160 characters per SMS, people have to be creative by using abbreviations, acronyms for common words that are easy to understand. People see these limitations as a challenge to say ordinary things in new ways and type as many words as they can in one message.

Here are some examples :
# 2moro - Tomorrow
# 2nite - Tonight
# B4N - Bye For Now
# BFF - Best Friends Forever
# FWIW - For What It's Worth
# GR8 - Great
# ILY - I Love You
# L8R - Later
# NP - No Problem
# NBD - No Big Deal
# RBTL - Read Between The Lines
# RTM - Read The Manual
# SWAK - Sealed With A Kiss
# TTYL - Talk To You Later
# TYVM - Thank You Very Much
# WYWH - Wish You Were Here
# XLNT - Excellent
# XME - Excuse Me
# Y - Why?
# YBS - You'll Be Sorry
# YGBK - You Gotta Be Kidding
# YNK - You Never Know
# YSIC - Why Should I Care?
# YW - You're Welcome
# ZZZ - Sleeping, Bored, Tired

Another hilarious example is right here :
Part of an essay written by a Scottish 13-year-old secondary school pupil - and its translation

My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2 go 2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :-@ kds FTF. ILNY, its gr8.
Bt my Ps wr so {:-/ BC o 9/11 tht thay dcdd 2 stay in SCO & spnd 2 wks up N.
Up N, WUCIWUG -- 0. I ws vvv brd in MON. 0 bt baas & .

Read :
My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York, it's a great place.

But my parents were so worried because of the terrorism attack on September 11 that they decided we would stay in Scotland and spend two weeks up north.

Up north, what you see is what you get - nothing. I was extremely bored in the middle of nowhere. Nothing but sheep and mountains.

txtin is gr8 & fun & easy rite???

*gbh = great big hug

November 7, 2007

Trivia bits

Here is some random facts that may or may not be true and everyone ends up arguing. There are loads of interesting ones here which have that is it and isn't it factor...or should I say a useless factor?!? Enjoy!

-A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

-A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.

-A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

-A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

-A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

-A snail can sleep for three years.

-The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

-An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

-Butterflies taste with their feet.

-Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. --- I fully agree with this. My cat, Suneo, meows in different pitch and has its own distinct sounds. He vocalizes/talks what he wants thru his meowing. ---

-Dogs only have about 10. ---my late dog, Fatso, didn't bark so much except when he got intimidated by bigger dogs, when he saw a cat passing by in his territory. He was too friendly to people even strangers!.---

-If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

-It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

-Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

-Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

-The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

-The words 'racecar', 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

-There are more chickens than people in the world.

-Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

-TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

-Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

-If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

-If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

Green Tea Roll Cake with Red Beans Paste Filling

What could be more enjoyable than a cup of tea with a slice of cake? I have been wanting to make Green Tea Roll Cake for a long time, so I bought "matcha" (fine powdered green tea) and put it in my baking stuff container, where it has patiently been waiting for weeks. Inspired by Japanese desserts, last Friday I made the filling for the roll cake, red beans paste combined with a sweetened whipped cream (using an electric mixer, begin to beat the cream at a medium/high speed, once it is frothy, add sugar and vanilla, beat to stiff peaks). The cake is a basic sponge cake, it was very easy to make but the rolling is the most difficult part of preparing this cake. And because my oven is so small and thus affected the size of the baking tin that I used, my roll cake looks a bit thicker and not spiral like coz I used all the filling. I really love the color of the cake, the green does not scares me off ...not a green monster for sure... hehehe!

November 5, 2007

Suneo then and now pics

When I first had Suneo six months ago he was a slender petite kitty and he's very shy too. He is black and white like a tuxedo (or is it a penguin???), he loves to be the center of attention, whenever he enters a room he meows once or twice to announce his presence, he is utterly spoilt and pampered, he loves to chase on anything that moves, he likes to watch the water running from the tap, he loves to sit down on the balcony watching the cars moving on the street, and he loves to hear his own voice! Suneo currently weighs in about 4 kg (8 lbs), he has a variety of meows, sometimes it is a short sweet meow mix with a purring, sometimes it is a long vibrated meow with a very high pitch. He is truly a miaow-nipulative cat!
My niece, Lindsey, nicknamed him an opera cat! It truly amazes me at just how attached we can become to our furry friend.

THEN (pictures taken in April and June 2007)

NOW (pictures taken today ... Nov '2007)

November 2, 2007

Right Brain v Left Brain

Sources Herald Sun, October 9, 2007

I find these brain tests fascinating. Do you see the dancer turning clockwise (she turns on her left leg) or counter-clockwise (she turns on her right leg)? If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Initially I see the dancer turning clockwise. Then, if I focus on the leg movement for a few seconds, the dancer is turning counter-clockwise. The pattern repeats itself. I guess I am a mixed-brain (half left, half right)!

Now take this quick test to find out and let me know what you see!

Notes : please click the image if you can't view the virtual dancer spinning...

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking