Determination in a Mug

•January 8, 2007 • Leave a Comment

hehe..I’m a late starter, which means normally I don’t get into the office before 9. Some months before I can proudly say the reason why I come in late is because I work out in the mornings. Now it’s just pure laziness. There were a few weeks of bliss where thanks to the jetlag I could wake up fresh as a daisy at 7 AM, but now I struggle my way out of the comfy bed every morning (at 8). No matter how early or late I sleep, I can’t get up early!! The sun not being up yet in the winter sky doesn’t really help – just checked, sunrise is 8.45 AM!!! Gaaaahh…no wonder I can’t wake up!!! 😐 Apparently my body is still accustomed to waking up with the sun, which has been for over 20 years at a steady 6 AM :P.

Anyway, since I enter work late and spend looonnnggg lunch hours traveling the streets of our centrum (or more entering the shops in our centrum :P), there are times when I go home at 6 or 7 just to make my working hours.

Continuing the unhealtiness of not working out is my hunger attack at 5, a short hour or two from going home. Normally I’d snack on small things, but lately I’ve found the evil thing that’s called instant noodle. With newly found the ‘pour hot water’ variation, lately I could be found eating this at my desk after 5:

Office1Yes, that’s the christmas mug, hehe.. I shudder to think the amount of sodium in there, but it’s sooo good to eat when it’s just getting dark (at 5 PM that is :P). So much for the new year’s resolution 😐

I’m not sure when the last time I worked out was…more than a week ago, and I’m getting more and more lazy. I actually received a 10 days free trial at the gym, only to find out that my normal work out at home routine is actually more vigorous. It might have been different if I had taken aerobic-like classes, but as I concluded that such classes would involove pushing myself to cycle to the gym in the blistering cold (they only start at 8 PM :|) and be friendly with dozens of nude females in the locker room, I decided I’d be more successful in sticking with my home video /  tv routine. Besides, Itsco’s got a cross trainer that has been sitting there collecting dust. Someone has to save it from early retirement! 😀

Don’t get me wrong, back in Indo I used to be an avid gym-fan, going to aerobic sessions daily or even twice a day (how did you think I lost my 16kgs??), but now it’s just not worth it, especially not when it costs me 70 a month – in a year I could buy a ticket home to Indo 😐 (ja ja, perspective perspective :P)

Pffftttt…gotta get my lazy butt moving again!!!

Involving Chocolate (Part 2)

•January 6, 2007 • 2 Comments

I buy chocolate by the bulk. And I’d stock flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Always. I never know when the cooking pangs hit, and somehow when I use chocolate, no matter what recipe you I, the cake raves.

But these are the recipes I use when I have more time and energy, since the cake involves more than just mixing the batter and throwing it into the oven. Recipes that I don’t try on working week nights. Recipes I use when I’m out there to impress. The degree of failure is quite large, and it takes up hours. Itsco usually moves out of the way then :P.

CheesechocoThis is my most recent attempt for New Year’s eve…Black and White Chocolate Cheesecake. The original recipe uses white chocolate batter and dark chocolate pieces in it, but I switched it. I substituted the heavy cream with Bailey’s Irish Cream for the aroma, and used the walnuts I had in hand for decoration. The cake is rich enough without it though ;). If you just wanna eat cake and presentation is number 2, never mind about the au bain marie thing, your cake might crack, but it’ll taste the same 😉

Chantily This one I’ve baked so many time – it’s also Itsco’s favorite, German Chocolate Cake with chantilly filling. First attempt at this cake involved a small microwave oven, three times mixing and three times baking. Big mistake. The cake was beautifully delicious but I was too exhousted to care :|. I know better now and use the largest rectangle baking sheet I have, then divide the cake in three – saves loads of time!! Itsco’s colleagues always thinks he bought this at a fancy cake shop – if I ever quit my day job I’ll be selling these 😛

Operacake And this one is my favorite. This cake has seriously ruined me forever. It’s so soft and delicate, and ever since I’ve eaten this cake I haven’t had any better. They name it Opera Cake, and seriously, in musical term, this cake is grandioso… If you love almond, chocolate, coffee, and not afraid at recipes that goes over one page, this one is definitely you. The above link gets you to a detailed (complete with the cake’s history) step by step of how to make the cake. If you’re really into chocolate, you can use more layers of ganache. As far as I can remember the only substitutio I made was to use Tia Maria instead of coffee syrup. And make sure to use ALMOND!

Jump Start?

•January 5, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The best new year wish sms’ were tangled with ‘good luck with the baby’ stuffs newlyweds often get. I wasn’t really thinking of having kids – yet, no matter what my family or friends told me, I need to settle down first, thought stubborn me. And then I read this article:

"More and more women are getting married later and putting off childbearing, expecting to focus more on family building once their careers stabilize. But what happens when we think we’re ready for children, but our bodies tell us it’s too late? Whether you’re in your 20s or 30s, single or married, it’s not too late (nor too early) to starting thinking about your fertility now.

All your life, you assumed you’d have children. Just like you assumed you’d go to college, assumed you’d get married, and assumed you’d live happily ever after.

Then something goes slightly off course. The next thing you know, you’re in your 30s, with a promising career and maybe even a partner for life — but no pitter-patter of little feet (and that baby pug doesn’t count). What went wrong?

Females generally are born with 1 million to 2 million eggs. By adolescence, that number decreases to 400,000. According to Dr. Thomas Kim, medical director and board-certified infertility specialist at CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles, “the quality of the eggs in a human ovary starts declining in the late 20s, about 27. And the rate of decline at that point is rather slow, but once you turn 35, the slope changes and it starts declining very fast. And once you hit 40, literally it starts nose-diving.”

And it’s not just the chronological age of the woman that matters. Even more important is the age of your ovaries. “You can be 35, but your eggs can be younger or older, unfortunately,” says Dr. Chung. “We have seen 31-, 32-year-olds with eggs like those of a menopausal patient.” Generally, one’s ovarian age is compatible with one’s chronological age, but ultimately, your genes are going to affect the age of your ovaries at any given point.

More and more women are discovering these important facts sometimes too late.

Its quite a long article, with tips at the end on how to protect your fertility.

Pffftttt…well, I’ve got my year goal set! – no, not babies, but getting the house done!! It’s so very not baby-proof at the moment :|.

Just met our financial advisor to get the financing aspect of it straight, get me the proper insurance to be a house owner (yippeee), and the next step is getting Brett to make a quote of how much the renovation would cost. I really hope things work out…

Job Apprasial

•January 3, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Sometime ago I got my job appraisal. Not job evaluation, where the communication goes both way between you and your superior, with appraisal the communication goes one way – they tell you how good or bad you are in workterms, period.

I was quite surprised since this happened only after 6 months – I don’t know what’s normal, but I thought they’d wait and do this at the end of my 1st year – or at least a month before that.

Anyway, as I misunderstood appraisal for evaluation – I actually had a list of things I planned discuss with my manager (as you might have noticed this is not my best effort blah blah) – I didn’t even have the time to worry what their grades were going to be. I only had 5 minutes to fret before the appraisal was handed out. It turned out that I was ‘on job expectation’ for all but two, where I was ‘exceeding job expectation’.

I was relieved when I walked out of the office, seriously, with my stress level up there with the engagement and wedding preparation, work was suffering quite a lot (like: eh, the datas are filled in, did I do that? eh, yea, that’s my name on the paper, it should have been me…eh I don’t remember!! :|).

Later on a colleague told me that as long as there’s no mark in the ‘lower than job expectation’ column, I was safe. On the other hand, if I continue to have the things in the exceeding column, I can persist for a promotion. Ah, music to my ears :D. Oh, and there’s actually 5 columns, not only 3. The on on the higher end is a straight ticket to promotion and the one at the lower end kicks you out (I suppose).

I think it would do me good to read what is actually expected from my job, but as I only saw the columns and bothered to check out the 2 ‘irregular ones’, now I can only tell you about those two, hehehh..

The first one was my relationship with other colleagues.

Seriously.

I didn’t even know such an appraisal exsisted! Apparently all the cake I brought to office and the hours spent on ‘networking’ did result in something good, hihihi..

The second one is more serious, my problem solving ability. Manager said I had the ability to be cool and tackle the problem straight on the head. (gee..I wish this ability stays with me out of office hours :P)

Honestly, I’m overjoyed to have that one ability acknowledged :D. I never knew how I’d turn out in the business world until I showed up in Holland. My univeristy years were filled up with too much social events to pay enough attention on getting proper GPA, and it took me way too long to get my studies done. In the mean time I did freelancing and part time jobs, nothing in an office. I think among my homegirls I’m considered to be the most hippie styled (did I say ‘I think’?? :P)

Even in Holland, the second job I got via the work agency turned out to be with people I know. The interviewer turned supervisor was Itsco’s good friend. Yes yes…nepotism in the air – he hired me for a week to help out one of the section which were lacking work force (it was summer, 4 out of the 5 were on vacation) – as in, no harm could be done.

Only after that week did I realize that he previously thought I was blond.

B.L.O.N.D.

DOH, I might have realized that before! – I mean, when I meet him it’s always either at the pub or at the party, where I was problably laughing my head off being silly. You should have seen his face when he realized I actually had a brain attached to my face…I didn’t know whether to rejoice or feel insulted – in any case I took the ‘real’ job offer he gave after the week trial. He actually had to bitch with the section’s supervisor who wanted me to work there longer (yes, yes, let me bask in my glory here!! :D)

So you kinda understand why I dont get totally elated when I receive compliments from this person – I mean, he once thought I was blond!! – well, yea I know I’m blond, but not THAT blond (hopefully!!). But finally, finally acknowledgement from serious working people, people who judge me for my ability to get the job done 😀

BTW, that was an irony, as my then supervisor has now become a multi-powered manager, and had to do an assessment test in order to become one. The result says that he has an outstanding ability to judge a persons character ;).

Welcome

•December 24, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I think I’ll always remember this year’s Christmas. I’ve come to realize that Christmas for most of the people in this part of the world is more about love and family. It’s special because it’s the time of the year when people make more effort to be with their loved ones, families from all over the world unite again. I like the warm feeling it gives.

This year’s Christmas, Itsco and I both stood in front of the Kruiskerk congregation to share our faith, and to ask them to receive us to be a member of their family. I don’t know all of them yet, but through some members of this church I’ve felt once again the beautiful relationship that can only happen in a fellowship. So that was our Christmas gift, a new family to grow together with. ^___^

Honesty

•December 15, 2006 • 1 Comment

It gives you such a warm feeling when you know that there are still honest people in the world!

A few weeks ago I gave my Sony DSC-W1 to my brother, since I noticed he had an artistic feel when it comes to handling the camera. I don’t have much time to spend with my brother, and I know I’ve been missing out a lot of things in his life. I wish I could give him more time and attention, but I know I can’t give him much. I really don’t want to fall into the category of person who replaces attention with money, but now I kinda know how those people might feel – it’s the least they can give. I hope that the cam didn’t fall into that category, since I gave it thinking that he’ll be able to develop more of his talent with it. And also share more of his life and my family’s through the lens :).

Anyway, I had to replace the camera, right, being the lens freak that I am. Normally I would go through weeks of extensive research before buying electronic things, but I really didn’t have time for that, so this time I asked my wedding photographer for advice. And so I ended up buying this cheerful little thing:

210t

I haven’t even downloaded any pictures from that camera when it got lost. How it got lost? Well, I left it at my sister in laws place during Sinterklaas, and Its’ father was going to get it for us (he had to go there and meet us later in the week anyway). But then he lost it! I was in complete disbelief – how do you loose a camera?? He searched for it in all three houses he’s been to that day, in the car, in his pockets and bags, but it was lost.

I was really confused since I hated the situation: my in laws were of course going to buy us a new cam and I didn’t want them to. It would be tiring to persuade them not to get us a new one, especially since I knew I’d loose anyway :P.

But anyway, it all ended well: some kids found the camera on the street and after read the "Missing Camera, Please return to bla bla" notice that was placed in the area, returned it to my in laws. Isn’t that sweet of them? Isn’t it great to know that kids are still thought good values? ^_____^

on a monday

•December 11, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Sooo…did you miss me here? 😀 I’m back now, as a married woman, hehe.. And yes, it feels great ;). I got to meet almost all of my relatives and quite a lot of friends whom I haven’t seen in years came too. It’s crazy when you think that nowadays a wedding is the only way to have a reunion with them, people are so busy busy busy!!

I’m still kinda sick at the moment, but if I take a close look at my behavior in November, I should be thankful I’m not in a hospital, attached to a (lard) IV! It’s a nice different feeling, like a glowing warm happiness that stays underneath all the layers of tiredness – yes, TIREDNESS. Try arranging a wedding for 500 AND take care of your never-been-out-of-the-country in laws and see the kilo’s melt away, haha!

Anyway, the newlywed me not only lost 4% of her body weight, but also have layers of highlighted hair and loads of tan. I look soooo very (more) exotic now, haha.. 😉 (yes, the pictures+stories will be available soon!!-hopefully, hehe!) What is not so exotic was the pile of laundry that took me a week to finish (and I don’t even believe in irons ;)), and the bedroom that is not totally done yet (read: not done at all).

So among the year end excitements well have to put our heads together to decide the color and design of the room :D. Knowing that I have an ehm, somewhat expensive taste (somehow the things I pick out usually turns out to be the costliest in the collection, ggrr..) we’ve set up a budget…since the bedroom is only the first of many rooms in the house that will have a makeover.

Well, at least I get to design my own home, hehe..I don’t really know if Itsco will survive it – at least he survived the wedding, that’s a super good sign 😀 OK, that’s enough for Monday ramblings 😀