Monday, April 30, 2012

Chums, I'm Home

Three and A Half Ladies. Two and A Half Ladies. Sama, Tapi Tak Serupa. Tiqa, Mas, and I.

One Saturday, I almost cancelled a plan to enjoy lunch with my chums from university days. After a hectic stretch of weekdays, I preferred to be at home. I missed them though.

I missed their exuberant laughter. I missed their life perspectives. I missed the kindred spirits.

At Ben's, as I listened to the merriment surrounding me, a thought sprang in my mind. 'It is great just to be there.' I actually felt at home. Christian Morganstern defined that moment well. "Home is not where you live, but where they understand you."

Photos: My Instagram

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Universal Studios Singapore!

 ☙

Singapore 26.

Time is an illusion. It has been six weeks since Kamal and I spent a whole day at Universal Studios Singapore with Khalish and his half siblings, but the memory is still vivid in my mind, as though it took place yesterday. Thanks to a lot of photos, with a quarter of them finally being shared here.

Singapore 27

Singapore 24.

The amiable weather enhanced the beauty of the place. In fact, even from glimpses of places along the drive to Universal Studios, Kamal and I were impressed with Resorts World Sentosa. Too bad a family package within the resorts was not available during peak period. 

Singapore 33.

The children had tremendous fun. There were times the four of us decided to be apart as certain rides were only suitable for certain ages. Kamal accompanied Lisa and Joey. I, Khalish. That was when Khalish asked for daddy, Lisa, and Joey every 15 minutes. He was the happiest person again when all of us gathered for lunch at Malaysian Food Street. 

Singapore 23.  Singapore 32.

A visit to Universal Studios would not be complete without photos with the legendary movie characters. Along Hollywood Boulevard, we chanced upon Charlie Chaplin and Frankenstein's Monster. There were more, but the queue for a photograph was too long. To other attractions we went.

Singapore 22.

Before the trip to Singapore, Khalish was hyped about the opportunity to be face to face with Kung Fu Panda, but, at Universal Studios, he simply waved to Po from afar before running towards every car display. His unspoken message was loud indeed. 'I don't want any photo with the car, mommy, I just want to be in it'. 

Singapore 29.  Singapore 43.

Aside from car displays, he was also in awe with statues, particularly those erected in the middle of a fountain. This time around, he himself stroke a pose for my camera, seeing others did it. I, the one who preferred to be behind the camera, caught the mood for a photo, too. Never mind the chubbiness, which I blamed on shifted priority and sheer indiscipline. A note on that subject: I am back in the ideal-weight challenge now, phew.

Singapore 28.

Singapore 30.

Other things the little boy loved: chocolate cookies and live performances at Mel's Drive-In. Best enjoyed simultaneously. I loved it that he loved them.

Singapore 21.  Singapore 34.

It was great that Universal Studios Singapore granted free admission to children three years old and below. My three-year-old merely liked limited rides as he preferred to appreciate the view of parks and people from the rented push chair instead, with popcorn in hands. Oh, the popcorn was delish. 

Singapore 25.

The only ride he requested more than once was King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round. Look at that smile, that pure contentment. As for me, there were many rides I would love to try, but, being with Khalish was more meaningful. Nevertheless, Battlestar Galactica was a no no. Since Genting Highlands' Cyclone 15 years ago, I have grown terrified of roller coaster. Hey, I hollered louder than all the children combined on Enchanted Airways, a junior roller coaster at Far Far Away. I went high on Transformers: The Ride though. The 3D-HD media was superb.

Singapore 35. 

Singapore 45.

There were other splendid rides that we fancied, yet, they required a long, long while to queue for. The alternatives: simple rides, with shorter queues. While the older children spent the rest of the evening on those rides, Kamal, Khalish, and I admired the details throughout the place. 

Singapore 31.

Ultimately, all of us had a great time at Universal Studios Singapore. Thanks to the recreations, thanks to the company. We even decided to stay for Lake Hollywood Spectacular, scheduled at 9:00 p.m. 

Singapore 37.

Singapore 38.

Meanwhile, we spent more time at Far Far Away. There, Khalish fell in love with Donkey Live, an interactive digital puppetry show. Afterward, still spirited from the previous show, he coaxed everybody to the kids' ferris wheel, Magic Potion Spin.

Singapore 47.

Singapore 44.

Dinner was at Mel's Drive-In. While enjoying the dinner, we were entertained by more live performances. One was by a group of professional entertainers, and another by an amateur named Khalish, who repeatedly rendered the Duck Dance tune.

Singapore 41.

Singapore 46.

Later, we joined a throng of visitors by the lake. Once seated at a corner of the wide pavement, we played with the camera function to produce funky lights. Yes, never a dull moment.

Singapore 42.

The last sparks from the pyrotechnics show marked the end of a delightful day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reborn

Love, Again.
Photo: My Instagram

When it comes to DSLR camera, Nikon D700 is my first crush. Equally a first crush is my first FX lens, NIKKOR 24-70mm. They have been with me through thick and thin for the past four years, with wear and tear as proof.

For the record, the duo were often stored out of their cases. For practicality, I rationalised. How they went into and out of various situations, with ease. Until one day. The grip around the lens started to loosen. Followed by the grips around the camera. There was even a creak each time the lens was adjusted for the required focus. 

Then, I fell in love with iPhoneography and Instagram. The DSLR camera and the lens befriended their respective cases again, four years too late, a month too long. Meanwhile, I blogged photos from my Instagram, and, little by little, I was complacent with them. It took a frequent visit to a favourite blog, that daily featured exuberant photos from a DSLR camera and its lens, to awaken my love for the duo again. Oh, the blogger balances the use of photos from different types of cameras indeed, iPhone camera included.

Realising that balance is the best policy, I eventually sent the DSLR camera and the lens to Nikon Service Center in Berjaya Times Square. Total restoration. The camera took nine hours to be restored. Seven days for the lens. Both feel smooth in my hands now, as smooth as the first time I embraced them. 

First crushes, I am head over heels in love with you again. I hope to introduce you to a couple of new friends, Nikon D800 and NIKKOR 70-200mm. Soon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I, You

Us.

Miss Camera, I know you love being pampered at Nikon Service Center. Yet, I also know that you miss being in my hands, seeing what I see. Yes, you are missed, too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mister Doodle Do

Khalish and Doodle Board.

How I wanted to write, write, and write yesterday, but, both my hands were occupied with other tasks. One of them was to draw with Khalish. Which I will always love. 

Another fact that I love is how attached he is to the old doodle board. He does use papers and crayons, oil pastels, water colour, or paint to illustrate. Nonetheless, it is often the old doodle board that he runs to after school hours. Doodle board here, doodle board there, doodle board everywhere:

Doodle Board 8. Doodle Board 3. Doodle Board 1. Doodle Board 2. Doodle Board 4. Doodle Board 5. Doodle Board 6. Doodle Board 7.
Photos: My Instagram

From top to bottom, left to right:

1. Doodle board will remain the main feature at the little art shack.
2. A portraiture of mommy in Tintin's hair style.
3. Yet another one of his self-portraits in baju Melayu.
4. Narrate and doodle episode of a rescue helicopter saving a fisherman from a rough sea.
5. An attempt to draw his favourite items.
6. The first freestyle block letters.
7. A bedtime activity.
8. How he stayed awake during a supposed nap hour, engrossed with the doodle board,
and how the child sitter, namely the daddy, fell asleep first. 

It is official, the old doodle board is Khalish's best friend.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Simply

The excerpts of our weekend.

Weekend 1.
May I be in pajama all weekend long?
Yes, you may, Khalish.

Weekend 2.
Run, Camus & Chech, run!
We share similar running shoes, by the way. Yes, my feet are gigantic.

Weekend 3.
"H-a-e-b, lake!" spelled Khalish.
Oh, Kamal and I love his interpretation of lake.
Weekend 4.
Udang Merah.
Our first time.

Weekend 5.
The only one left at the playground.
Work hard, play hard, son.

Weekend 6.
Khalish and his best friend, Mister Doodle Board.
Inseparable.

Weekend 7.
'Uh oh! It is going to rain' he thought.
Again, the only one left at the playground.

Weekend 8.
Finally asleep.
The best place to do so? On mommy's lap, of course.

{Photos: My Instagram}

Monday, April 09, 2012

Spontaneous Sunday

Miss Sandals Need to be Out and About.

After a Social Saturday, during which Kamal, Khalish, and I spent the whole day with a lot of people, we decided to be at home on Sunday. Kamal worked from home and I did house chores. We took turns to play with Khalish. So, I told one of my best friends, Miss Sandals, that we were not going to be out and about that day.

In the middle of the day, Kamal came out of the study room. Khalish's half brother needed a number of items at The Curve. How Miss Sandals, Khalish, and I welcomed that. Never mind it being a brief excursion. 

We walked along the flea market and dined at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Khalish was hyper from the cinnamon bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and the presence of a beloved elder brother, but, it was an evening that I remember well because of the spontaneity. Yes, I missed pleasant surprises. 

Dine Forrest Dine.


Cherry on Top.


Cheeky Carl.
Photos: My Instagram
The little excursion did remind me to write about the recent trip to Universal Studios, Singapore. Soon. Today is too beautiful that I have the urge to walk in a nearby park first. Have a magnificent Monday, everybody.