Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

Good grief, is it Christmas again already? Man, where does the time go... in a few days it's gonna be a whole new year.... and for the first time, I actually have a boyfriend to celebrate it with. :D Just so you know, Gerald and I are going to Singapore for new year's celebration. Should be fun...just hope that we won't get stuck forever in Johor coz' of all the floods. :( Well, I suppose I shouldn't be the one complaining if we do... lotsa poor Johoreans are struggling coz' the flood has ruined their homes. Man, the weather these days is insane. Must be coz' of all the global warming... Hope the floods clear up soon and the people there will be able to cope....

Anyway, before my topic starts straying into the black abyss of nothingness, sorry that I've been missing in action for the past couple of weeks. As you would all know by now if you've reading my blog (or noticing the lack of blog entries), I have been superbly busy coz' of school holiday camps...but the last camp was on Friday, after which I was literally jumping for joy! No more having to wake up at unearthly hours, working til late, carrying heave stuff all over the place and babysitting people's kids for half the day. *Whew!* I mean, I like kids... but when I have to deal with certain..... 'interesting characters' for six hours in one day, and then have to see those same 'interesting characters' at one or two more other camps... it kind of gets very da exasperating. Among some examples of interesting characters are:

- A brother and sister who will ask the instructor every single question they can think of once every 10 seconds. And they just don't stop talking. And when they ask questions and we try to explain it them, they say they don't understand, so we have to explain again.

- A kid who complained about the how green everything was, coz' we were outdoors in the Malaysian Agriculture Park, and facing a very green paddy field. He even complained that the plasticine we gave him was green. Truly a city kid, that one.

- A 6 year girl who laughs so loud that people could hear her from a mile away. And when we are taking a tour of the camp venue, she would just run off on her own, and ignore anyone calling her name. Not a good thing when having a camp at Sunway Lagoon!!! But coz' she was so cute and friendly, we all loved her anyway. And this one stuck to me quite a bit too...which was nice, but also a bit exasperating coz' every now and then she would jump up and hug me so hard, I could barely breathe... :P

And those are just some of the very many 'interesting characters' I had to deal with in the past month. Among other things, the new agong's children also joined us for two of the camps. The new agong has four kids, Tunku Nadhirah (aged 10), DYTM Tunku Muhd. Ismail (aged 8, and the next sultan of Terengganu), Tunku Muaaz (aged 6) and Tunku Zahra (aged 5).
They were really quiet and well-behaved on the first camp... and even though we were informed to address the eldest boy as 'Tuanku' and the others as 'Tunku', in the end, we realised they preferred to be called by their own names. And the younger ones were really cute. In the second camp they joined, which was at the National zoo, there was one activity where the kids got to eat some jelly worms and other sweets. The younger boy, Tunky Muaaz, liked the jelly worms so much, he grabbed all them, and after that he became so hyperactive, their caretakers were a bit peeved with us. :P The kids also had to have bodyguards and a few caretakers follow them wherever they went too. Once when Tunku Muaaz cut his hand slightly at the zoo, all his caretakers were crowding around him just to put a band-aid on him. I didn't even know what all the fuss was about til' my colleague told me later. The kid even had to make the oh-so-important decision of which cartoon band-aid he wanted on his hand. Deary me... now that's what I call pampering.

Anyway, even after all the camps, my work wasn't completely done, coz' yesterday was my church's Christmas eve dinner party, where I performed the High School musical dance with a bunch of kids, and I also emcee-ed...which is something I've never done before, and I don't think I was too good, so I think that might be my last time emcee-ing for anything. I'm much more comfortable doing a performance which I've rehearsed many times and know exactly what I need to do, instead of emcee-ing and trying to think of something interesting to say off the top of my head, other than superbly lame Christmas jokes. :P But people told me I did well, so I'll take that. I'm not quite sure how my dance went, coz' since I was dancing too, I couldn't exactly see how my kids behind me were doing. But from what I know, the older ones did well, but the youngers ones were pretty blur. Ah well, it's to be expected. As long as everyone enjoyed it, which they did, which is great. And given the dance is actually quite complicated, I'm proud that the kids managed to pull it off... And I'm certainly glad that I don't have to watch and rewind the High School musical vcd over and over again in order to get the dance moves down anymore. XÞ

Anyway, tomorrow will be busy AGAIN, but this time not for work. I'm going on a company trip with my colleagues to Tambun water park... it's a treat from our boss coz' we all worked so hard for the past couple of months coz' of all the camps. And we get two days of unrecorded leave too. Yay! And then when we return on Wednesday, I'll be going off to Malacca on Thursday to meet Gerald, hang out there for a couple of days then head off to Singapore for new year's eve. Bleh. I think I need a holiday from my holiday.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to everyone, and I probably won't get to say it later, so have a Happy New Year too! God bless!

Monday, December 04, 2006

A good day, a bad day and my first time changing a tyre!

Friday was a pretty fun day for me, coz' I taught another Mad Science camp at Taman Pertanian Malaysia (Malaysian Agricultrue Park), and there were only had 7 kids. After having to deal with 50-odd 4 to 6 year olds at the IBM camp just a few days before, trust me, a camp with only 7 kids was like a walk in the park for me. The most tiring thing about it was just shifting the equipment here and there, and the rest of the day was pretty fun for me and the kids coz' they were all well-behaved. The only problem was that one of the kid's tooth decided to pop out that day while we were having an activity where they got to eat some jelly worms and his little tooth got stuck on one. And one of the other kids had a bad tummy ache and had to poop several times, once on the way back in my colleague's car too (she had to go detox her car seat after that. Poor her!). And during one of the games where the we all had to chase each other, my two other colleagues who were there helping me out were almost ready to collapse coz' they never exercise, and chasing the kids around for a few minutes was too much for them! But other than that, it was a fun day... everything went well and the kids enjoyed it. We went to visit this Four Seasons house at TPM too, which is a building that simulates the same season that it is during ther time in the US. So right now, it simulates winter time, and when we went in there, we got to play with snow and freeze our tooshies off for a few minutes. It was seriously superbly cold in there, and I didn't have any extra clothes, so I wore my Mad Science lab coat in there. The other people in there must thought I was really mad! The really good thing was that it didn't rain the whole day until right after we all packed up and left, coz' our camp venue was this open air sheltered place, and I was a bit worried about what whether or not it would rain. Fortunately, it didn't. Whew!

After that camp was done though, it was back to the grind coz' the next day (which was yesterday), I and another colleague had to do a birthday party event for some 7 year old Japanese kid who had about 30 kids at her party and we didn't have the time to prepare for it before the camp. So we had to stay at office until 8pm to prepare for it, and even then we still didn't finish preparing everything, so yesterday I had to prepare some more stuff before we left for the party. And then, on the way there, I realised that I forgot something important and had to go back to office to get it. And coz' of that, we were late. Then, as there were only two of us doing the party event (all my other 4 colleagues were on leave yesterday for various reasons, so there was no one else to help us) and there were 30 kids, we were there longer than we expected. Two people trying to make slime, super science ball and cotton candy for 30 kids is no fun, I tell you that. And we also had to do some party games, where the 1st game was a major disaster coz' we had to get the kids to blow up some balloons, but the balloons kept popping. And then later, when we doing the cotton candy, smoke started coming out of the machine, which got me worried coz' I didn't know if that meant the machine's wires were frying. But fortunately, it still worked, so I just kept going. I really pray and hope that the cotton candy machine still works!

And if all that wasn't bad enough, after getting back from the party, I had another problem to deal with... my car had a flat tyre! I think it was flat since the day before coz' as I was driving home, my car kept going left when I let go of the steering wheel. At the time, I thought it was because my steering wheel was out of alignment, but on Saturday morning, on the way to work, I suspected something really wrong, so I got out of my car to check and sure enough, my front left tyre was flat. And since I had to rush to work for the party, the only thing I could do was drive to the nearest petrol station, pump it up with air and get to work first. So after the party was over, I had to figure out what to do with my flat tyre. My other colleague also had to rush off to pick up her relatives from the airport, so I had no colleagues to help me. It was a Saturday afternoon, so there was practically no one else around. So there I was, alone in my not-so-well-lit office parking basement, half dead after the party, and wondering if I could actually change a tyre on my own coz' I'd never done it myself before. If ever there was time I wished I could crawl up in a hole somewhere and disappear, that would've been it. :Þ

So anyway, I thought it can't be that hard. I learned this in driving school. So I rummage through my car boot (which has quite a bit of junk, which I must clean out one of these days...) and haul out the spare tyre, jack and other tools which I have no idea what their names are. Then I sat on the spare tyre while I looked at my jack and read the instructions to make sure I didn't screw anything up. And then I had the tiring task of turning the jack to lift up my car. I used one of those tools which I have no idea what the name is (I'll just call it the Jack Turning Thingy) to turn the jack, but I didn't know how to use it properly. So everytime I turned it, the long end would hit the floor, so I had to pull in through and push the other end round again. So it took a while just to get my car jacked up.

Then, I tried to unscrew the bolts using that other tool which I have no idea what it's name is (I'll just call it the Bolt Unscrewing Thingy). I tried to turn the first bolt one way. It didn't budge. I tried to turn it the other way. Still didn't budge. Then I remembered that the way to unscrew the bolts was to step hard onto the Bolt Unscrewing Thingy til the bolt came loose. But I also realised that if I tried to take the bolts off while the tyre was off the ground, I would probably break the tyre off my car! So I had to use the Jack Turning Thingy again lower the jack down so the tyre would be on the ground!! Argh!

Anyway, once I was done expending what little energy I had left on lowering the tyre again with the Jack Turning Thingy, I tried to unscrew the bolts again by stepping on the Bolt Unscrewing Thingy. And I didn't even know which direction to unscrew them. I certainly didn't want to make them any tighter! So it took me a few tries til I finally got the direction right, and got all the bolts off. Even carrying the tyre out was a pain. Do you know how dang heavy this chunk of rubber is? Well, the rim probably adds a lot to the weight. Anyway, I did manage to change the tyres, screw the bolts back on, lower the jack and throw everything back into my boot.

Then I drove back to Subang and got my car checked at the mechanic my dad usually sends the car too. That was also my first time sending my car to the workshop on my own, but at least the boss there recognises me coz' I'd been there with my dad before. The problem was that he can't speak English, so I had to explain in my half-past-six Cantonese that my tyre needed to be checked and fixed, if necessary. Turns out that there was a gigantic-O hole in my tyre, so it was beyond fixing. So the boss suggested that they change my spare tyre over to the rim, and I buy a second-hand spare tyre coz' new ones cost quite a bit. The new spare tyre would only cost RM50, so I thought that was ok to me. He says he didn't charge me worksmanship fee, which I dunno whether is true or not, but I hope it is. The really good thing is that nothing was wrong with my tyre rim, which I think it a miracle considering I was driving at normal speed on a flat tyre the day before. Buying a new rim costs a bomb, so I REALLY thank God that it was ok! So while, the guys are helping to change the tyre for me, the boss told me that my tyres have another 5000 km left in them, after which I have to replace all of them (which means more money...bleh...). He also told me that the Kelisa tyres can run for between 65000 to 70000 km.
He also told me a lot of other stuff, but I couldn't really understand what he was saying in Cantonese, so I just stood there and nodded my head every now and then. *grin*

Anyway, now my tyre problem is solved, and today, I finally had a good rest coz' after church, I came home and had a nice long nap in the afternoon. Tomorrow I have to wake up early AGAIN coz' of more school holiday camps. Dunno how much longer I can take of this, but the good news is that I complained to my boss about working such long hours, and my boss said he'll give us a few days break from work at the end of this month, and we won't have to claim for leave for it. Woo hoo! Thank God I have a nice boss! Anyway, it's time for more shut eye. Cheerio!