不满

不满
太多了

每一字
每一句
听不下去

诸多道理
变成了借口

不悦
太久了

每一分
每一秒
苦忍下去

太多承诺
都成了泡影

不满
满满充斥了一颗心

欠缺的勇气
无以追寻

好想说
靠!老板,我不爽!!!

一个人

手指
在键盘上敲着
喀哒喀哒

手机
在桌上震动着
叽叽唧唧

电灯
在上面亮着
吱吱咦咦

空气
在窜流着
唆唆吁吁

墙壁
在呼吸着
咿咿嗒嗒

而人
在这里坐着
无声无息

吸气、呼气
左看、右看

就只有
一个人

~ Ashley

Mind Your Language

ARGH! I have not been blogging for the past 3 days! Shoot! My post-a-day resolution is going to be a failure again. -__-

As some of you who have been following my blog, may have know by now that I try very hard not to make simple obvious grammar mistakes when I write. I’ll read my post again after I hit the “Publish” button and correct the mistake if there is any. I am not perfect, there are times where I do make mistakes on spelling or grammar.

I get uneasy whenever I read a blog full of grammar and spelling mistakes. Or sometimes repeating the same small mistake over and over. Do they ever read what they wrote? Is their spelling checker not working?

I enjoy reading blogs that have their very own style. I appreciate bloggers who express themselves in their own language but not in perfect English. I understand what they’re trying to tell and I enjoy all the witty and humorous words of their own. However, when I have to read the sentence twice (or sometimes thrice) to figure out what exactly the blogger is trying to say, or when the blogger takes me on a long, long ride to come to a simple and easy conclusion, I get annoyed. I remember there was once I got so annoyed reading a blog that it gave me headache and I stopped reading it half way through. Argh… I was going round the bushes that the blogger led me in and there was no way out!

I seriously think that it is fine if you couldn’t write in perfect English and make some grammar mistake. No one is gonna punish you in this blogosphere. However, use simple English. English is just so easy and simple if you strip it bare. Compare this:

I have this nice feeling that I do not know how to describe but it certainly feels nice to feel that way towards it and perhaps I will visit it again.
Vs.
I love it and I’ll return.

Do you get me? It is worse when the first sentence is full of spelling and grammar mistakes and you have to work your brain double hard to interpret the whole thing!

I say, leave the long, descriptive English to the expert. Use your own “language” and style to express.

As the saying goes, “if you have nothing better to say, don’t say anything”. The same simple rule works in blogging too. Instead of typing all the rubbish, why not just cut it down to a few words that best express yourself?

Also, you can’t just impose something onto your style if you do not know how to use it, or worse, do not even know the meaning of it.

How wonderful if everyone could just write in simple, easy to understand language. Save our brain some energy.

Now you know why I love poems. They’re just so easy to read. The essence of a story. Mmm……

Lucky End of 2011

Year 2011 ended great!

Lucky star was shining upon me at the very last minute! I got the present from the MD, and it’s an iPad2!!! :D Although I have one, who wouldn’t be happy to win another one? :) I was so happy! When the MD called my name, I thought he was joking! LOL!

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Un-boxing my new iPad2 :D From the MD. Now, Andrew is using my 16GB whilst the 32GB new iPad2 is mine. Wuahahahahaha…… :P

My boss was telling me not to stop dreaming yet. Just before I managed to ask him what he meant, he handed me a L’Occitane paper bag with a gift box inside. “Here, for you.” I was so surprised! This is the first time he bought me a Christmas gift! Double happiness! :D Andrew was saying it’s an appreciation gift as well. Hahahaha……

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It’s a Peony Set! :D Aww… Smell lovely!

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On the contrary, I feel a teeny bit of uneasy. Yes, he appreciates what I have contributed thus far, that is also sort of reminding me to continue doing the best. Do you see that invisible “pressure” haloing over my head? -_- Ohmmmm…………..

Will the good luck at the end of year 2011 follow me to the year of 2012????? I hope so! Ah…… Everything is so full of hope now.

I am so full of hope even with the house issue I have with Kubiq.

2012, end of the world or not, let’s live like there’s no tomorrow. :) Cheers!

Bryan Adams

Have u really ever loved a woman?
You will know this if you and I are from the same era. :)

For quite a while back then, I was pretty crazy in love with Bryan Adams. I would look everywhere I could to buy his albums, even old ones. I would listen to every of his songs and memorize the lyrics. It was pretty much of eat and sleep with Bryan Adams. :) At this point in time, I do love him still.

Why does Ashley who always loves the good-looking hunks love someone like Bryan Adams who isn’t got the looks?

There’s one thing you probably haven’t know. I’ve got a thing for men’s voice. Hahaha. Men with throaty voice or some may call it the manly voice, would get the most attention from me. I could listen to Bruce Willis’ voice and drool over it. I would go dizzy when Liam Neeson speaks. Andy Lau’s voice makes my legs go weak. Andrew’s voice? Makes me feel warm. :)

Bryan Adams has got a very unique husky voice when he sings! It’s like a magnet and I’ll be like a piece of soft metal, hopelessly drawn to him! Hahaha. Don’t believe me? Try listen to some of his songs and you’ll understand what I mean. Try listen to this “Please Forgive Me”, my favorite with his most husky voice.

So, it isn’t the looks that really got me, it’s the whole package. :) He’s not just a singer, he’s also a song writer and a photographer.

By the way, the most loved football star David Beckham, does not have my love. Have you ever heard him talking? You should, and you’ll know why I do not love the most handsome man as they claimed he is. :)

Hmmm…… Writing about Bryan Adams reignites the passions I used to have for him. Listening to “Please Forgive Me”, melts my heart.

Another one to charm your night away……

IKEA Or Not? #2

Took us another 4 trips to IKEA to finalise the things that we wanted to buy, and we even went all out to examine the quality. We did not just think twice or thrice, but 4 or 5 times!

If you want to buy from IKEA, you have to first determine what are the things that you’re willing to compromise and the things that you could not tolerate even the slightest creak of the furniture.

Sofa. Andrew and I wanted a sofa that has wider seat area. We both have long legs (sorry, I don’t mean to show off), and we both know how uncomfortable it is to sit on a shorter cushion sofa. Secondly, we both wanted a good back support, or at least comfortable. We’ve seen a lot of sofas with the back designed so low that it only supports your lower back, which will cause strain to your neck and upper back if you sit for a long time, like watching TV. Only IKEA has such a sofa that met our requirements and with a price tag that we could afford. We sat on this sofa so many times and to make sure that it is comfortable, and at least could last us 5 years. Geez… Can’t believe that we actually thought so much before buying a sofa! Got the three-seat-sofa below from IKEA, at RM1799 in black-grey fabric. It could actually seat 4 persons. We’ve heard enough from people that we could get a bigger and nicer one in other furniture shop with RM1800. Heck with it. We have tried this, and it’s comfortable, good enough.

Dining table. When it came to dining table, Andrew and I wanted a square/rectangular one and with the extendable function. Both of us came from a big family, we know better what it’s like when family members gather together and not having sufficient sitting place around the dining table, end up taking turns to have a meal. I’m more lucky than him as I never experienced that since dad has an extendable table back in hometown. Andrew felt the need to have one like that even more than me. We tested all the dining tables in IKEA, our tolerance level for creaking sound from the table is zero. We too make sure that the table is steady and solid enough that it won’t shake. NORDEN is the most stable one, but it is too costly. We went for BJURSTA, RM625 oak veneer and could seat up to 10 persons after extended. Pretty solid I must say, even my dad gave his thumb up. :)

Dining chairs. I saw this AGEN rattan chair selling at RM69 each and I told Andrew I MUST at least get one. He asked, “where to put?” “I don’t care, I love it and I just want one.” Hahahaha…… I love rattan stuff, love its natural colors and smell. :D We were in a headache of what kind of dining chairs to get to match with the table. I told Andrew we could then get 2 AGEN chairs and go to the furniture shop to get another 2 wooden chairs, mix and match. End up, he bought 4 AGEN chairs for dining, solved all the problems and headaches. LOL! We spent RM901 for the dining set. Compared with those from the furniture shops, I would say it is pretty reasonable and I get what I wanted. Dad said it is such a waste to use such a nice chair for dining! Hahahaha…… “You don’t sit and eat there for hours, why get such a nice chair?” Well, at least it could double up as a chair for the guests IF we have more guests in the house. :)

TV console/bench. To customise one, our contractor quoted us RM800 for a 8 feet long TV wall shelf. RM800! Forget it. We have seen some really cheap one in IKEA and we thought of buy one and DIY it a little bit. Then, we recalled we have bought the 51″ TV and those cheap ones may not be able to hold. We were lucky to spot this LACK TV bench from IKEA, RM249! The cheapest and solid we have ever found! And it looks classy too. :)

Workstation/Study desk. I love this BESTA BURS desk from IKEA so much, but the price is a killer! RM999 for a desk!!! I must be out of mind if I were to buy it. Then, Andrew and I settled with VIKA AMON that costs only RM219 and both of us could actually share the same desk since it is long. When we made our final trip to IKEA, we saw a white MELLTORP dining table selling at RM159. We tested it, nah, bad for dining purposes. Hey, we could use it for study desk! It’s wide enough and long enough! Hooray! If this could serve us a good 2 years, we’re happy enough.

Bookcase. Being a bookworm, how could I not have a bookcase for my books? :P When I was doing my packing last week, I found out that I have 4 boxes of books and still have some outside the box. When the hell did I buy so many???? I told Andrew, seriously, one bookcase is not going to be enough. I fell in love with IKEA’s HEMNES bookcase. The grey-brown looks so classy and the quality is good. Of course lah, the price is GOOD too, RM799! Andrew is so not agreeing to it. :( Our budget for renovation over-ran, I told him my bookcases could wait. However, it was so nice of him to smuggle one BILLY bookcase for me. :) He loves the birch veneer and medium brown, but it’s RM245, RM76 more expensive than the white one. Every dime counts, we could only go for the white. Anyway, I’m happy with the white, matches the desk and wall color. :D A white study area.

Bed frame. We didn’t plan to buy any bed frame from IKEA. We don’t really trust its bed frame’s quality. Further more, most of their frames are in Queen size, there’s only a few selected designs available in King. Andrew’s father insisted to buy 2 single bed frames for the guest room. He got us 2 FJELLSE bed frames at RM139 each. It is of solid untreated wood, has natural wood color. I was pretty sceptical about its quality and was questioning Andrew why he allowed father-in-law to buy that. “He insisted.” Oh well…… When Andrew was assembling the bed frame, I was still doubting its quality. Shaking my head while looking at the thin legs, sighing when I saw the screws…… When everything was done, I was surprised with the slatted bed base. Wow… it is strong! Sister even went up and stood on it! The bed frame didn’t even move when I shook it! Surprise, surprise. When I laid down the mattress on it, my goodness, it makes such a fine and comfortable bed! So folks, you don’t judge a book by its cover, and now you don’t judge a bed frame by its look too. Again, do test and feel it before you make your decision.

Footstool. Saw this cheap footstool on IKEA website, SOLSTA PALLBO footstool at RM8.90! Grabbed one without thinking much. It could be used as a footstool or a stool. Quality? RM8.90, what do you expect? It comes with a cushion and cover! Pretty strong for RM8.90 price tag. Who says good things ain’t cheap and cheap things ain’t good?

Rattan lounger. Andrew’s father also got us this KARLSKRONA Lounger, RM399! I saw this when I went with Andrew, both of us love it so much. But we were thinking this could wait and we seriously do not want to splurge on other unnecessary stuff. His father, went with Andrew to get the rest of the stuff, saw it and told Andrew, “get this too! Nice!” Hahahahaha…… I was surprised that he appreciates rattan and having the same taste as us. :) The lounger does not just look good, it’s comfortable and pretty tough as well. It is now our favorite chair. :D The lamb skin I bought in Melbourne, match perfectly with the lounger! Happy with the investment back then, it isn’t expensive for a genuine lamb skin, cost us around RM150. It is better off to be on the lounger than the floor!

Rug/Carpet. We bought this HAMPEN rug 2 years ago after we bought the house. It was love at first sight for Andrew and he thought it was cheap. We remember the price back then was RM149, but now it is RM179. We planned to put it in the study area, but it is now in the living room. It’s very comfortable and definitely doesn’t look like some cheap rug that we’ve seen else where. However, the bits of the rug are coming off every now and then. It’s not some serious problem but it’s annoying especially when you see some green bits lying on your floor. It is too small for the living room, we may get a bigger one for the living room and move this to the study area later. Would I buy HAMPEN again? Yes, as long as the price is reasonable and the quality is of our acceptable level.

Bathroom mirrors. We were looking high and low for mirrors and shelves for the bathrooms. Nothing in IKEA caught our eyes. We gave up searching and thought we could get the mirror first and leave the shelf for later. On our last trip to IKEA, Andrew and I were delighted to see this FULLEN mirror with shelf, at RM49! We grabbed 2 sets, solved our problems once and for all! Not the best mirror and shelf, but it looks simple enough and less bulky for a small bathroom.

That’s all for now. There are still a few more that we may need to get from IKEA. The only concern we have right now is, too much of IKEA will make our home look too “familiar”. Imagine when your friends come to your house and say, “hey, I know this, it’s from IKEA! Oh, this one too! Hey, this is nice from IKEA!” -__-||| We are trying very hard to get those that you can’t recognize that they’re from IKEA from the first look.

IKEA is so deep into our life. You’re going to find at least one item in the house, that is from IKEA.

So, says who that IKEA no longer has good quality items? Look carefully, you can still find them.

The Challenge Continues

As much as I would like to blog each day, I did not meet the target. Last year, I only managed to write 202 blog posts. FAILED!
Hope I could do it this year. 365 posts. However, I’m not going to blog for the sake of blogging. I’ve seen people doing it, having a blog-posting marathon but nothing much to read. No content, no stories, nothing interesting…… Just for the sake of filling up the blogging space. That is pathetic.
Guess I over-estimated myself and I thought I could do it for everyday. The laziness got the best of me and I wasn’t blogging as much as I wanted to.
While trying very hard to post everyday, I got back my poetic side. I read more of what other bloggers are writing. My style hasn’t changed but I am definitely inspired by those bloggers.
There’s one thing I am really proud of and I’ll be doing it more, that is I’m writing poems again! And I’m picking up the Chinese side of me too.
In the journey of post-a-day-ing, I’ve found a few great bloggers. One Life by Jamie is definitely the witty one, I keep myself amazed with Analyfe‘s amazing blog posts, and not to forget the Dear Optimists! I often get a good laugh from Nadia and Den. There are still a few more other bloggers that I’m following. Like my friend, Melissa and Cheryl. :)
It’s no big deal if you can’t blog regularly. I do not have a secret recipe to blog frequently. Just go with the flow.
Hope I could blog as much as a-post-a-day in 2012. The journey continues. :)

2011 in Review – Fish Avenue

Just this year alone, my blog is viewed 33,000 times. Most of the visitors came searching for information on Taiwan. I’m glad that I was able to help some of them. I understand how frustrated it is when sometimes some bloggers could give some misleading information. When I do not know, I’ll try my best to find out and if I couldn’t, I’ll tell only the truth that I do not know. No point pretending to know everything and giving the wrong information. When you can find everything in the world wide web, there is still something missing.

Found a few new bloggers, feels great to read from such inspiring and witty bloggers.

I’ll continue to show my support to WordPress, a much better place to be with. :)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

IKEA Or Not? #1

All the while, people have been telling me that IKEA’s stuffs are not meant to last, the quality isn’t worth all the price that you’re paying. IKEA furnitures only expect to last 1 to 2 years, if you’re expecting to change them 2 years later, IKEA would be a good choice.

I’ve been buying stuff from IKEA, even when I did not own a house. From my experience and observations, IKEA isn’t a bad choice and the quality isn’t as bad as some of them described.

Bought a LACK coffee table many, many years ago. The photo above shows that there’s another layer beneath the top, but mine doesn’t have that. I can’t remember the price back then, it is RM79 now. The quality? I used it as a computer desk, you can imagine how heavy the monitor was and of course, the table actually sagged a little in the middle. Kept the table in the box for a while when I moved to another rented place, took it out again 2 years back. Now, Andrew told me he noticed the surface has some bubbles, wonder if it’s the humidity in the house that caused it or what. This table lasts more than 5 years, to me is pretty good enough.

Bought this ANEBODA wardrobe a year or so after I bought the LACK coffee table above, but mine is in birch veneer, price remains the same as RM249. It was on a lower price for few years. Quality? Damn good! I had 3 stacks of folded clothes at the bottom, almost reaching half of the wardrobe. Yes, the bottom did sag a little with all those clothes in it, but no difficulty in closing and opening the doors. When I moved all of the clothes out last week, I was shocked to see that the bottom bounced back to its original state! The legs are not even slightly bent. The clothes rail is still as tough as new, only that the coated paint is coming off, but it is not bent even when I had so many clothes hanging on it. I’ve seen my mom and sister’s wardrobes (bought from furniture shop) with the clothes rail bent to “V” shape! I’m surprised IKEA has such a good quality for a budget item like this. It looks new too after 5 years, my dad saw it last week and asked if I have just bought this. :)

Bought a FREDRIK desk 3 years ago, also birch veneer. Couldn’t remember the price too, perhaps the same as current one, RM449, but now they do not have birch anymore. Was using it for laptop most of the times, a flat screen monitor occupied one of the table top corner and the books and other stuff occupied the shelves on top. Quality? Good! There is some wear and tear marks on the table top, but it is quite a steady workstation. I used to sit there every night doing my translation, other than the “sweat” marks I left behind, it still looks pretty new.

These 3 were the biggest investments I had from IKEA. When we wanted to buy a bed-frame and a chest drawers, we went to the furniture shop and we regretted the decision. The bed-frame wooden supporting strip broke when I sat too hard on it. The locks on the chest drawers are rusted. It ain’t cheap, cost me RM500 for that drawers.

Andrew and I went hunting for furnitures since months ago. We do not have the budget for some super-expensive-superb-quality furnitures, Lorenzo doesn’t have what we wanted, Rozel is way out of budget, we resorted to those conventional furniture shops. We got so disappointed with the quality and the prices. They would give you attractive discounts, in fact they have actually marked up the prices. The quality? For a RM1800 sofa, IKEA’s sofas are way, way, way better quality than them! Designs? I thought I was living in the 80’s when I saw the designs available. A dining table (with chairs) the furniture shop sells at RM1500, is worse than the BJURSTA dining table (RM625) and AGEN chair (RM69) from IKEA. We were deeply saddened by the fact that the quality in those shops has gone so bad. :(

We have been to IKEA many times. Every time we saw something, we wrote down the prices and materials and we tried to find it somewhere else with the similar quality. Sad to say, either the quality is better but price is super expensive, or the quality is worse but the price is the same with IKEA. We came to a point that enough is enough, we got so tired with the hunting and disappointments. IKEA that is.

Ghost Protocol

The installation of kitchen cabinets and wardrobe last Saturday was a nightmare. I felt so sad. All I could do was sighing and sighing. Andrew, on the other hand, was tired. He was so busy with the house even when he was off from work for 2 days. He wanted to take his mind off the house for a while and proposed to go for a movie in the early morning of Sunday.

Mission: Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol is something Andrew has been talking about since early of the year. He is so impressed with Tom Cruise performing all the stunts on his own instead of using a stunt-man. Tom Cruise has been my idol for a long time. Andrew only likes his movies in the recent years. Partly because of me, he has seen more of Tom Cruise’s movies. He has been telling me he MUST watch MI4. Hahahahaha…… 5 years I’ve been waiting for another MI movie. What a long wait.

Ghost Protocol, a great one. Although there are things which may look impossible and man-made, it is still a great movie. Seeing Tom Cruise risking his life climbing the Burj Khalifa is already exciting enough, worth every penny you paid for a movie ticket. Mission Impossible never lacks in action. Everything is well woven that you will never feel bored. There is humours too, which made me laughed out loud quite a number of times.

I noticed, Tom Cruise doesn’t play cool and handsome in the recent MI movies as much as the earlier ones. I still remember he kept showing people how beautiful his hair was in MI2! LOL!

Love the movie so much. Of course, LOVE Tom Cruise too! :D

Now, let’s see how beautiful Tom Cruise’s hair was in MI2. Just watch and you’ll understand what I mean. :P