Looking for love in all the wrong places

jihad

I’ve been actively looking for a serious relationship since the last one didn’t work out. I’m sure I’m ready, I gave my all in the previous one and I guess the age thing is gnawing on me. I’m turning 31 in one day.

However, people have been telling me not to rush into a relationship…just chill and let it come when it comes.

I think they’re right. I hit on this girl just now at Hoofed and totally messed it up. Heh. I understand why though – I can’t even understand myself, so how can they (one of the girls in the group of two caught my eye) decipher my speech?

Tell me brother, what is the greatest jihad?

The most excellent jihad is that for the conquest of self. (Bukhari)

There are certain things that I would need to change and that would be the greatest jihad (struggle) of my life but I’ll be a better person when I’m done.

…and in the meantime, I’ll listen to you all and just chill.

The right person will come when she comes. :)

My girlfriend just moved in with me!

rainie moving in

I know it’s a big step to be taking in the relationship – one of the major milestones. However, I feel that the time has come. A lot of people have told me it’s too early to be doing this but I’m not the type to let tradition or “relationship rules” dictate what I do.

…so I just went and did it.

I asked her to move in with me. :)

fixing

Well, for those of you who’ve been to my studio apartment, you’ll know that it’s a bit of a pigsty. Irene famously said that it can sustain its own ecosystem and probably has created new forms of life in its time. She’s seen my pad in Kuching and while the one in KL isn’t as bad as that, it’s still pretty nasty.

cleaning

I managed to get two cleaners to come for 4 hours and an electrician to fix all the lights. There is only one light in the kitchen, the rest of my place has bulbs that have shorted out. Yes, I am living in darkness (in more ways than one).

leap of faith

I had to help the two cleaners do their work coz 4 hours wasn’t enough to clean my studio…which is just a little over 500 sq ft, so you can imagine the kind of messiness (understatement of the decade) that we’re talking about.

Two cleaners for 4 hours: RM 100
Cleaning accessories: RM 142.65
Replacing the 9 lights in my condo that has shorted out: RM 205
Getting groceries so the fridge and pantry will be stocked: RM 182.50
Living with my girlfriend: Priceless

clean studio

I’m really happy to be taking the relationship into a whole new level.

rainie moves in

I don’t know how things would go from here but what I do know for sure is that I’m fixing everything that’s wrong in my life for the one thing that is right. :)

My little breakup story

I’m going to tell you my little breakup story. I arrived home to find the letterbox key slipped under the door. Hmm…I thought, surveying my surroundings. It seems a little on the empty side, but nothing out of the ordinary. I walked into the bedroom to find out that…

empty bed

…she had left (and taken my bed sheets with her). OMG! What am I going to sleep in tonight?

I went to take a bath with my newly purchased soap and threw the wrapper into the non-existent rubbish bin. It landed on the floor. I’m just so used to it being there that I didn’t look before I disposed of the wrapper. She had taken the rubbish bin AND the laundry bin as well. Ish.

no rubbish bin

Oh well, no biggie. I’ll deal with it tomorrow, not thinking that if so many things are missing, others have to be as well. I took a shower and went to sleep on my (sheet less) bed.

I woke up the next day, smoked my first cigarette of the day while looking at the traffic outside. I went back in to brush my teeth and found…

no toothpaste

…NO TOOTHPASTE!

I remember we had at least three (3) tubes stocked up and all of them were missing.

Man, this is just petty. Toothpaste? Crass…

search toothpate

I didn’t want to be late for work so I rummaged around and found some toiletries I liberated from random hotel rooms for use during budget travel. I usually take shaver kits and toothpaste kits.

found toothpaste

Eureka!

I texted her to tell her that taking all the toothpaste is just ridiculous.

She replied:

crass

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Doris' 24th @ Baywatch

baywatch

My girlfriend turned 24 on the 3rd of December 2008 – I know this post is late, but her birthday present was the trip to Cameron Highlands (Koh Samui was my first choice but the tickets were all sold out). Anyway, we made reservations at MO for 7 pm but unfortunately, I left the office too late due to work and managed to get stuck in a jam so she told me to just go someplace nearby and splurge on the Cameron Highlands trip instead (which we did, much to the dismay of my credit card).

baywatch montage

Baywatch has an al fresco dining area in addition to their smoke infused bar area (also known as the “interior seating”). Despite being in a relationship with a smoker, she still can’t stand excessive nicotine and tar emissions so we sat outside. Baywatch is also heavily inspired by the sitcom of the same name and comes complete with props like jet skis. They have a wine promo going at RM 128.00++ with half a dozen oysters and Two Oceans Shiraz 2005, which we opted for.

baywatch flaming

It is customary where we come from to have a Flaming Lamborghini (RM 38) for the birthday girl/boy. I have no idea where this tradition came from but I have a strong suspicion it’s correlated to the flashy presentation of the Flaming Lambo.

She couldn’t finish it though and got me to drink with her. The tables at Baywatch is a little bit rickety and the setup of the Flaming is such that it topples at the slightest nudge – it’s just good fortune that the house of cards (or glass) went down AFTER the drink was finished. ;)

baywatch food montage

Doris had the Sunshine Salmon (RM 25.90) while I opted for the Rack of Lamb Attack (RM 31.90). The salmon was done well, nothing fishy going on there (har har, I am the Supreme Leader of lame jokes – just call me Ayatollah Pohmeini) while the rack of lamb was done in an acceptable manner, though it’s a little bit of the small side, portion wise.

It’s still not a great infringement to the name of the one and only God though, so I shall refrain from issuing a fatwa against the infidel cooks for tarnishing the name of the religion of peace. ;)

Baywatch is not cheap though  – the bill came up to a total of RM 222.87.

The Mouth of Truth

veritas machine

Bocca Della Verita is a novelty device that purportedly reads your love life, health and luck. It’s located at various malls throughout the Klang Valley and takes 2 x 20 cent coins for a glimpse into your (questionable) future.

veritas hand

I can haz ur hand for breakfast?

veritas me

We were early for our Quantum of Solace screening so we succumbed to this tourist trap (couple trap?) machine to read our respective prospects.

The Mouth of Truth spat out the following:

veritas slips

My girlfriend:
Sometimes it seems that fortune deliberately plays with us, do not despair.
You don’t like others to rush you.
You don’t have much faith in human nature.
Do small things as if they were great.
Beware of carrying passions to excess; this can have disastrous or tragic results.
Life: 9
Love: 5
Luck: 4
Health: 6
Sex: 7

Myself:
You know how to make good use of your intellectual strengths.
Plenty of people see the truth but cannot attain it…keep trying.
Your sedentary habits risk ruining your health.
You must wager. There is no choice, you are already committed.
A more regular life style and a little bit of exercise can save you from the health problems you are prone to.
Tired nerves and anxiety makes you apprehensive. You seem almost incapable of ever achieving tranquility.
Life: 7
Love: 7
Luck: 7
Health: 4
Sex: 8

I don’t know how much of this is self-fulfilling prophecy but it seems that I’m getting really accurate results. The statements are all true, and I am a leaning towards the unhealthy side due to renal and liver issues (as well as my ongoing tobacco and ethanol consumption, which I’m sure isn’t helping). I consider myself very lucky and I certainly can’t complain about the carnal aspects of my existence. *shrugs*

veritas end

I am gonna put my hand in the device again and see if I get the same results. It’s a little like a fortune cookie – I’m a huge advocate of horoscopes and it’ll be interesting to see if it, or this, gives out consistent results. :)

Couple T-shirts

couple t-shirt booth

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic at heart and I love stuff like couple T-shirts. Levi’s produces designs every Valentine’s Day and although it may seem a little cheesy to some, I, for one, think highly of couple T-shirts. :)

couple box

I’m not adverse to PDAs as well, and I love to show my affection to my girlfriend. I was on the plane back last night, hugging and kissing her and one person who was sitting at the same aisle probably noticed us doing that but kept his peace.

couple t-shirt

Anyway, as we were waiting at the airport, imbued with heng tai (brother) courage (someone was driving him), he rolled down his window and said “Eh, never kissed before izzit?” (in Mandarin) before driving off. This is the local equivalent of “Get a room!” which I’ve never really understood. It doesn’t offend me, I think of them as jealous souls who need to get a girlfriend. ;)

couple us

I’ve always thought of affectionate couples as adorable, and I love seeing them as it reinforces the “hopeless romantic” Aries personality trait of mine.

I don’t know about other people though, how do you feel about it?

Fireworks surprise at the girlfriend’s house

universal battle

I remember having a batch of fireworks from the previous Chinese New Year and decided to give my girlfriend a surprise at 12 midnight last night (technically, today). I carried the firework cake configuration to her house with my car lights dimmed and called her to come out for a while. I had planned to deploy the fireworks just opposite the road outside the house – a hit and run affair, since fireworks are not exactly legal in Malaysia. ;)

universal battle deploy

This is “Universal Battle” a cake configuration of 13 shots (which is not an inauspicious number for the Chinese, unlike the Caucasians) and I drove over to her place with it on my passenger seat and dimmed my car lights when I got to her place before coming out with the fireworks and a lighter.

She was already standing outside when I lit the fuse and was quite puzzled by my “Shh…” motions and gestures to ask her to stay put and wait:

This is the fireworks surprise to cheer Melody up, which didn’t go exactly as planned…but she still enjoyed it. Happy half-weeksary after monthsary, dear! =D

Postmortem:

I could have pulled off the fireworks stunt a little bit better with proper planning. The place was a residential area and letting off (loud) fireworks at night led to a barking spree by all the dogs in the area which woke up just about everyone in the place.

I should think everything through at least three times due to my impulsive nature and stop doing anything while inebriated since it’ll probably not turn out to be the way I expected it to be.

I had prepared a text message saying “Surprise! I love you dear. Hope you enjoyed the display.”, but in hindsight it probably left a bad impression, despite the Hari Raya festive cheer since…well, letting off fireworks in the middle of the road of a residential house is not exactly the kind of stuff parents root for. ;)

She had the remote so it would have been much better if I had let her in the car, went to a public park, let off the fireworks and gave her a quick hug and kiss before sending her back. It would have been much more meaningful (and tactful) since I wouldn’t have woken up the entire neighborhood. She would have enjoyed the display better in a private moment and it would still retain the Surprise Factor (TM).

Oh well, I’ll do it better next time. :)

Melody enjoyed the surprise, and that’s all that matters to me. Cheers all!

Project Monsary – Pasta with roast beef and razor clams

ingredients

Project Monsary
was initiated yesterday afternoon to commemorate my monsary with Melody. I cooked pasta with roast beef and razor clams for our lunner (lunch/dinner as opposed to brunch). Razor Roast Fusilli is the official designation I gave the dish – not very romantic, but it kinda rhymes. ;)

You will need:

Continental Creamy Bacon Carbonara Pasta and Sauce
Fortune Razor Clams
Libby’s Roast Beef (“Great for Burritos”)
Absolut Vanilia
Wall’s Viennetta Kurma (dates) ice cream

alcohol

New readers of sixthseal.com might be wondering why there’s always alcohol involved in my cooking posts – the rational is simple, it’s better to drink and cook than drink and drive. ;)

You might need to get a mixer as well, I forgot that not everyone is an alcoholic and drinks it neat and straight from the bottle like me. ;)

butter

The Continental Creamy Bacon Carbonara is a ready mix packet of pasta with the fusilli and (powdered) sauce in the packet. It’s kinda like the Italian version of ramen (our instant noodles) – just add water (and milk). I also forgot about getting milk and butter for the pasta, so it’s a good thing I manage to scavenge some from the fridge at home.

open

I also couldn’t find the automatic can opener so I had to use a manual one. We started up by opening the can of Libby’s Roast Beef, which comes parboiled and steam roasted in gravy.

exhibit a

I have to admit that Melody’s skillz in using a manual can opener is much better than mine. Exhibit A above shows the can she opened.

exhibit b

Exhibit B here shows the one I did. I’m a “shortest distance between two points is a straight line” kind of guy and I guess it manifests itself in all aspects of my life…including opening tinned food. ;)

razor clams

The razor clams were drained from the brine in the can and placed in an appropriate receptacle. You don’t need to cook the tinned razor clams, it’s ready to eat.

roast beef

This is Libby’s Roast Beef, which comes in nice, huge chunks complete with gravy. You have to heat it over a saucepan before serving, but it’s best to do it when the pasta is almost cooked so it’ll still be warm when served.

melody

I also didn’t have a measuring cup and this is where Melody’s pragmatic brain comes into play – she counted the columns on a standard 500 ml bottle of mineral water and told me where I should pour up to.

milk

The recipe calls for 125 ml of reduced fat milk (it’s a good thing I have low fat milk in the fridge since I neglected to RTFM while shopping for the cooking project)…

water

…and 310 ml of water. I just mixed the two together in the mineral water bottle (which doubles as a not-very-accurate measuring cup) for easier handling.

milk water

The land of milk and honey, I mean, water. I added more milk and less water since I want it to be creamier and also coz I’m not sure “reduced fat milk” is a synonym for “low fat milk”. ;)

polyblah

The recipe also calls for “salt reduced polyunsaturated table spread”. Jesus Christ, why can’t you just say BUTTER! ;)

teaspoon

It requires a teaspoon of the “salt reduced polyunsaturated table spread” (Continental must have very high regards for the English comprehension standard of their consumers) and I could not for the life of me find a teaspoon in the entire house. It’s nowhere to be found. There is no (tea)spoon.

agaration

Melody teaches me agaration.

The results of camwhoring while estimating a teaspoon of butter:

camwhore

1. Butter starts slipping from knife
2. Cell phone falls into butter when mouth opens to communicate
3. Cell phone gets sticky
4. Butter drops to the floor

mixture

Anyway, after the mess was cleaned up, the bottle with the water and milk is poured into a saucepan and the butter (margarine, actually) added into the mixture.

timer

I set my timer for 8 minutes…

p<br />
asta in

…and poured the Continental Creamy Bacon Carbonara mix into the saucepan. The saucepan was put on low heat and stirred occasionally.

heat beef

The roast beef should be stir fried in a wok at the 5-minute point to ensure the chunks are nicely heated up before the pasta is al dente.

matching plates

This is Melody with matching Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse plates for our pasta extravaganza.

pasta done

The pasta was done at the 9-minute mark – apparently I put in too much liquid and it needed more time to coagulate with the low heat that I was putting it on.

razor clams in

The pasta was heaped onto the plate and the roast beef chunks added in on the side before the razor clams is mixed into the pasta. The packaging states that it serves four (4) but Melody and I didn’t even find it filling for two!

final dish

This is what the dish looks like when it’s done. The hot pasta will heat up the razor clams so it will be warm and appetizing. :)

final dish macro

Here is a macro shot of Razor Roast Fusilli – it tastes more tempting that it sounds. Melody loved it and so did I.

walls kurma

This is what we had for dessert – it’s the limited edition Wall’s Viennetta Kurma (dates) ice cream. It’s only available during Hari Raya Puasa since dates are traditionally eaten during the breaking of fast.

kurma ice cream

It tasted delicious and rounded up a great meal. We shared the ice cream and finished it in one sitting. There are dates in the dessert ice cream and it tastes great with Absolut Vanilia.

kurma macro

I love cooking together with Melody and it was a great Monthsary together.

monsary

Muaks! I love you dear! =D

Happy Monthsary!

monsary

The 28th of September, 2008 marks our first monsaryHappy Monsary, Melody! :)

The etymology of monsary from an amateur etymologist:

Monsary is a concatenation of the words “month” and “anniversary” and it has entered my vocabulary through a friend. A quick Google search revealed the usage of this term amongst certain demographics in the Philippines. It’s the first time I’ve heard about it and perhaps a social indicator that our relationships don’t last very long anymore in today’s fast paced, WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) world. Relationship anniversaries have gradually shifted over time from annual to monthly, and I’m not sure that’s a good indicator.

Daysary anyone? ;)

Credit cards – boon or bane?

visa gold

I have just received another credit card – it’s a Petronas Visa Gold card from Maybank with no annual fees for life with no conditions. I didn’t apply for it since I’m not a big fan of filling in forms, but someone from the bank called me and told me I qualify for one and asked if I was interested. I told her I don’t like filling out forms (seriously, I hate doing that) but she can go ahead and fill in my particulars for me if she needs the quota.

Well, I got a call yesterday saying that the Petronas Visa Gold is ready to be picked up. I’m actually quite lazy to do stuff like that as well, I remember a HSBC credit card that I never picked up coz the place is too far away from where I work. My girlfriend wanted to go to the bank though, so I decided to pick this one up during lunch. I figured it’ll be useful for gas since I pump petrol at Petronas and it’ll soften the petrol price hike with the points for redeeming petrol vouchers.

dapple

However, I have noticed that I always tend to overspend, which is why I don’t carry credit cards in my wallet anymore. I used to have several cards from different banks and ran up a huge debt when I started working. I have to admit that I was never any good at budgeting and I always spend way beyond my means. The amount of money I have in the bank at the end of the month is always in the single digits. Seriously.

Nowadays, banks are overenthusiastic in giving out credit cards – cold calling and going to the extent of filling in all your details for you. It seems that Classic (Silver) cards are reserved for students and fresh graduates starting work since they don’t even offer those anymore. They are very keen on giving out Gold and Platinum cards with high credit limits with impunity, which is great for the bank, but bad for the holder. I can see the potential of overspending on this card already.

I was talking to my girlfriend last night about going on a trip this coming holiday. She likes the beach so I was thinking either Krabi, Bali or Macau. Macau was my choice since there are casinos there and I have this inappropriate romantic sentiment that I’ll beat the house odds and win the trip costs back. ;) It’s seriously a bad idea though, coz no one ever beats the house.

girlfriend

Bali would cost around RM 2,500 for the plane tickets alone for the both of us ex-Sibu and I think the total trip would probably hit the RM 5,000 mark easily with hotels and food. I shouldn’t even be thinking about it considering I can’t afford 5k right now (since I don’t have that much disposable income in the bank, and thus will be flying on credit).

…but the fact that I’m even considering it seriously is a testament to the fact that credit cards with high credit limits causes people like me to overspend.

I should be dating an accountant, the last girlfriend I had would have knocked me upside the head (coz she’s good at budgeting and all that) for even considering going on the trip. Oh wait, my current girlfriend is technically an accountant too. ;)

Oh well, I’m thinking about Krabi, Thailand. It’ll be cheaper than Bali and I haven’t been there before.

Hmm…should I or should I not?

Anyway, I haven’t given my girlfriend an official sixthseal.com moniker yet – I’m thinking Dapple (20% related to her name) or Melody (near 100% translation of her Chinese name). The relationship will remain under wraps until further notice due to prevailing circumstances. ;)

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