Friday, July 30, 2010

Mum is Sick

Just a quick update..my mum is currently in hospital :( She had been complaining of a pain in her tummy for quite a long time and recently the pain didn't go away like in previously, it would come and go. Then when she went to to the doctor with me, he noticed that she looked very pale, made her do a blood test and when the results came back, it showed that her blood count, namely her haemogoblin, was very low. It could be related to the pain in her tummy so the doctor arranged for the ambulance to come and fetch her and send to tan tock seng hospital immediately.


I've never liked hospitals anymore because I used to frequent it so much coz of my father's medical condition and now Im at it all over again. I just hope it's not that serious although last I heard yesterday from my mum, the doctor said she needs to go for operation because of the bleeding in her tummy. I really hope it's nothing as serious as cancer. We don't have insurance and my medisave is only so much. But that's not a worry for now. In future, I also have to cope with medical expenses.


But I don't want to think that far yet. I just hope for the best right now.

follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dream a Dream

I have begun using my own savings coz I have used up my salary :S I so dread this day but it's such a monthly affair and Im just afraid my savings are going to be depleted soon. Anyway, I just have to be strong and face the challenge head on. No one says life is easy. Things will get better as long as I am confident it will. Meanwhile, I will do what I can to at least maintain my savings so that I will still be able to use it in the future. 


Oh, yesterday I watched the show Inception which starred Leonardo Di Caprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Page. I have nothing but praises for the actors and the show in overall. It's definitely thought provoking although the whole explaining what's going on in our dreams was quite a bore coz basically Im not a technical person or rather Im more used to those movies with easy to understand storylines..haha. 


So our dreams have many layers and hence the concept, dream within a dream. It wasn't a sleeper movie..heh..geddit...coz there was action going on in the form of the various people's subconscious which translated into projections that would began attacking because they sensed a foreigner. It was just like how someone tried to enter your private space and you get pretty defensive. And my friends joked that my subconscious is probably made up of many little minions that probably irritate the foreigner more than being attacked..haha.


The visuals were amazingly stunning and my favourite parts were the gravity defying fight scenes and also the van that took FOREVER to fall into the water to wake the people up. We were like..'still falling?!!' But it's a movie, what do you expect?


I didn't expect to catch the movie yesterday despite the hints coz Im pretty slow when it comes to hints. So my friend planned out this surprise when we met up yesterday. Well, despite spending $10 on the ticket (don't look at me, Im an established cheapo), I can safely say it's..er..money well spent?


Anyway, here's the movie poster for Inception





follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Saturday, July 24, 2010

All Guessed Up

Im in search of a perfect bag. Well, I actually found it already but then I often chicken out when I was about to buy it. Actually, Im pretty fussy coz I want it to be money well spent. I don't want to end up with a collection of bags that only collect dust or I grow tired of easily.


I know that if I buy it, people will think that Im oh, trying to be a 'Minah' or a typical Malay girl trying to be chic just like a typical hollywood girl. Im talking about the ultimate Guess bag. I just like the design and structure and at 100 plus, it's  pretty affordable compared to the..oh what say u..LV, Gucci or Coach. But like I've said, I will always chicken out whenever I have the money like thinking, hrm..I got better things to buy although I will end up buying the wallet instead coz it was cheaper (and heavily discounted) and I use it to death and is always proud of it.


But this year, no more! I shall..get myself a sturdy Guess bag and I am willing to pay the *gulp* price and I don't care what people say that it will be so 'Minah'. 


Then again, there's always the back up plan. I can also get an equally sturdy and chic looking bag from Charles and Keith for half the price. I was browsing through their online catalogue and was practically swooning over them.


It will be an ultimate present to me. Yes, me. Basically if you don't have a boyfriend, that's how things work sometimes. But hey, who needs a guy to buy for you that eh? You earn the moolah yourself through hard work, you get it yourself too. Simple.


For now, I will just be contented with getting a bag I recently purchased online coz I was simply dying for a white tote bag. So much so I spent part of the money I had recently saved last month. I mean, come on, Im just a girl with simple shopping desires. I don't ask for much, like how chocolates always make me happy, and I guess I deserve a break sometimes because you have no idea how hard it is to balance my budget and it can be painstaking trying to not overspend each day while coping with my mother's demands.


While waiting for the bag to arrive, let's drool over the Guess bag. You shall be mine one day...muahahaaha!!!





follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Friday, July 23, 2010

Unpleasant Encounter

Wah, some things should just be left unsaid. Yesterday had the most unpleasant encounter at my work place with a contractor who was verbally abusing me because I was not happy with him when he forced me to sign on the letter. And then he had the cheek to keep pointing at me and accusing me of being rude and he was not rude. What a joker. Yes I admit that I got worked up a bit but in no way was I throwing words at him like he did. Anyway he did more than he shouldn't do like grabbing our school stamp and refused to listen to instructions as if treating this place like he blnged her.
 
Never had I been so insulted in such manner but I was at least happy to know there were people who backed me up and complained to the company as well as even quarreled with the contractor when he was being defiant. He accused us of not helping and throwing around like a ball. But that's not true. We did help him call the manager, showed him where the phone line box was and accompanied him to the telephone riser. He became unhappy when we asked him to wait for the signature. We were all busy and he didn't come on time with all sorts of excuses. It was also the same day where we had the Primary One Registration so everyone would be running around and hence we had given him the designated time to come which he did not. I was mad but I tried to keep my cool instead of lashing at him back as in who the hell was the rude one when he kept pointing his finger at me...haiz.
 
Anyway, I'll just put the episode  behind me. But it was shocking though..all in a day's work.  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1000th Post!

Unbelievable! I actually just reached my 1000th post in blogger! *clap* *clap* *clap* I started blogging here since 2005 and oh my..that's like 5 yrs already..woohoo!! Thank you to those who read my blog because you are willing to put up with incoherent ramblings. Over the years my blogging style change but what never change is that I write here as an outlet because life for me isn't a bed of roses. Plus it's faster than writing in a diary. 


So to all those readers, new..old..non existing ones, thank you for your support! If you have learnt one thing or two about me, well..I can only say that not all are true! haha..okay, Im delusional as well. 


Once again, Im happy and thanks again! I will not stop my rambles writings as long as Im still here and have internet connection.


follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Walk 2010

I actually skipped gym for the first time this year and only because.......I had to go big walk! So fun, though I tot the route was pretty short. Anyway, I was not able to go to the starting point because apparently the entry there was blocked by masses of people where most of them were actually queuing up to get their goody bag. There weren't exactly people who actually guided us big walkers to the meet up venue too and I think I ended up walking a rather big round. 


But it was okay. I might not have started from the starting point where I would have actually walked on the F1 route but at least I managed to start walking from the helix bridge. I heard from someone on facebook that I was lucky enough to get my way there on the bridge because she got stuck with the masses of people and were not able to move through. In fact, she had to take a bus to one point of the route instead.


I had to tackle the route myself though it was pretty easy as just the day before I went on the same route but on the opposite side of the road as my brother and I went to the Marina Bay and had to walk that way due to the diverted bus routes. I ended up finishing the route pretty early and was like..'huh? thats it?' and even contemplated going to the gym later on coz I didn't feel that tired. But anyhoo, coz I didn't collect my goody bag, had to walk back again and this time I managed to get to the starting point as the crowd had moved already *phewh* So overall, I got tired a bit coz no joke walking all the way back again but it was worth it, coz I got a fantastic goody bag. Anyway, I paid $10 for it so I deserve such a goody bag unlike the last time where I got mostly lousy coupons which I didn't use anyway..pfft.


I like the free umbrella :P though the most expensive will be the Singapore Flyer ticket where I can use it for free...wheeee!!! Not cheap you know, the tix..I think it's $29.90. But anyway my brother took the umbrella coz this morning, I was frantically trying to find it in my room but it was nowhere to be found and I suspected he took it even though I told him I wanted it. Oh well. 


I think the event would have been more fun if I had company but I guess next time then. I still dislike the shirt though coz it was too small for me as it was the only size left and I couldn't be more jealous seeing other people having the bigger sized one. Lucky can still fit in...well, somehow...


So here's a montage of the Big Walk event!





follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Marina Bay Sands Carnival

Wow, we are really expanding those former 'ulu' or isolated places to make them more accessible for the public for recreational and leisure activities. Basically, we have more places to have our gatherings..ha! I just think they should work on the public transport a bit like have more buses plying those routes :S


Anyway, my brother and I..yes, we of the Incredible Duo, went on a trail to the Carnival. I said trail because it was a rather long darn walk because of the bus diversion routes as there were two rehearsals going on. One for NDP and the other for the YOG. We love acronyms. 


But going with my brother, we couldn't get lost easily like the others where many familiar bus routes had either closed or diverted and I had no idea how the heck he knew where he was going even though he isn't that well traveled. I have lived in Singapore fourteen years before him and I still get lost among the 'chamber' routes in Orchard Road.


We were pretty lousy at the carnival where we didn't even take part in any activities unless you count buying of snacks from the F&B area. We did discover this really nice chewy brownies that come in a bar. And we watched fireworks up, close and personal as a closing. So nice..those things practically blew up so close in my face! And to think I seriously didn't feel like going out coz going out means spending money..heh. 


But what an experience..













follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Universal Studios Outing

Ok, I shan't be too upset about my hard earned money gone with the wind. I shall talk happy stuffs like how my ever so knowledgeable about the going on in boring ol' Singapore. I've no idea how he got the info that Friday to Saturday, the entry fee for the Universal Studios Singapore from 7pm to 10pm is only $5. Then next I have no idea too how he knew Marina Bay has a carnival. I practically live under a rock. Anyway, I had fun with that teenager. See, it's not always bad having a teenage brother..coz it makes me younger..heh.

Btw, I love the retro car and I love the food at the Mel's drive in especially the Chili. 


Go on and check it out. I think it's great for phototaking and family or friends gathering. Nicey nicey..


Universal Studios Singapore








 

follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Have Some Faith

It's kinda hard to blog when my brother has been on the computer for a rather long time and yesterday, he claimed that he was playing for a longer time than usual coz it was Friday. Well guess what? It's the same for the previous days as well! 


So...how am I coping after the last blog post where I complained about having to pay $550 to the town council? Im still trying to come to terms with it and at times, I do regret that I am not doing a good job in terms of using my money wisely try as I might but then, you can't go on in life without paying a single cent for things. Im not earning much either so it's rather impossible for me to earn back what I have spent. 


Then, this week, I don't know if it's a conspiracy or something but many things in my house ran out :S so I have to spend quite a lot on groceries and household items. Hopefully, things will get a bit better in terms of my household expenditures.

But life is not always unfair. Early this week, I FINALLY got my money from my ops manager who promised to give me $20 after helping him type the two documents. But then the next day my mum asked me to buy takeaway food from a restaurant and it cost me $16 and she said that it was pretty justified coz this month I got my bonus *sigh* What she didn't know I used my bonus to repay myself the money I spent last month and currently, I have been cutting my own personal expenditures so as to stretch whatever money I have.


Apart from that, I found some money also though I was not proud of it coz I didn't return which reflect how dishonest I am. I think one day, I may get karma for it...haiz.


But gotta be positive about all of this. At least I am still in the habit of saving on a daily basis. So far, it has been helping me in small ways like helping me cope with my current expenditures especially when pay day is still rather far away. My family may be small but my mother is one who does not want to act poor because she has enough of being poor back in her younger days. I wish I am one of those who do not buy groceries almost daily and can come home straight after work. But even if they didn't spend on groceries, they will still use their money to buy other things like clothes, shoes, bags, dinners at restaurants etc so the world is....fair? Coz I basically don't unless I find some good bargain which is hardly. It helps that Im pretty fussy too..hehe.


I still believe that one day, maybe out of sheer luck or good faith that I have the so called courage to get myself a new white bag. It's a really trying period for me at the moment because the last thing I want is to be accused by my mum to be a spender with no conscience for my family. Well she is good at blaming others.


As for the hefty amount I paid recently to town council which could have been my personal savings instead, I say to hell with it. I am going to spend the exact amount on a new netbook at the end of the year because Rahayu deserves some lovin'. It's not cheap living in Singapore I tell ya. Seriously not cheap. 


So I don't want to be sad anymore. People go through rough periods in their life but these will only make them stronger and more importantly, we must have faith in ourselves to know that things will get better.

follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Big Hurdle Crossed

I have finally paid town council the outstanding amount just so that I can get them to sign the stupid letter pertaining to the transfer of ownership. It's not a small amount..but rather, an amount that could get me a decent netbook. Oh well, at least I settled it and now I just have to tighten my belt even harder. 


Oh yes, I got my mid year bonus already which explained why I could afford to pay them. But it wasn't after painful calculation and heartache from separation with the money that I can go merry-go-round with. But bottom line is that, once the transfer of ownership is done, they can take my cpf money away to pay for the housing instalments for all I care. I just want a roof over my family's head.


But I thought that well, even after paying them and other miscellaneous bills, at the very least, I managed to repay myself back the amount that I spent using my emergency savings, have some cash in my savings pouch from my daily savings as well as some money for spending inside my main bank, so it's not so bad. Still, it's not an excuse for me to go crazy. It's pretty unfortunate that this month because I have repaid myself back, it will be rather absurd for me to take it back again so that I can shop. I'm going to take yet another backseat again and be a good girl and not spend unnecessarily. 


I believe that if you know how to budget well, you can make do with what you have. There will be times when I get to buy what I want. Sometimes, you don't have to purposely shop around. Once in awhile, there will be good bargains where you can plonk your money down without any guilt because it's worth a buy. I call it the 'if I don't buy I will be an idiot' moment.


Now I just need a pair of sandals. Cheap one will do lah as long as I can wear back and forth to work. My current work sandals is falling apart. You just need a magic wand...or a big stone on the pavement which will break them apart if I accidentally hit against it.


Oh, by the way, my good friend Nats gave me three bags. Two have been worn to death but still breathing and the other is brand new. Ethnic looking, not really my style, but well..Im sure I will make the bag look good..heh. But I just love the two pre loved bags and one of it has really travelled the world with the owner and I call it the.......Natasha bag. *grins* The straps are worn out but so far, they are not breaking. Once they have broken and I can't wear it anymore, then it's alright to throw. 


But Im itching to buy a white coloured patent bag. I thought at first, I want to get a red coloured bag but then, it will be quite 'cheena' or chinese looking for me. It's not the bright colour coz I do have a hot pink bag..hehe. I still think white will look fine. I will keep a lookout for it though. 


For now, I will just take a chill pill and start living each single day doing things that I like or have to do like cut my rather long toe  nails (ok fine..too much info) instead of having to constantly worry how to 'expand' my budget. Things will fall into place. 

follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Satisfying Bread Pudding

I may not cook coz I think it's such a huge hassle but I don't mind baking. And I have proof! Like earlier on, I made bread pudding..yumm!! At first I was quite disheartened because it didn't really look good but it was my first attempt so I just let it go and improvise on it later on. 


But lo and behold, about half an hour later when it has semi cooled down, it looks so nice!! It has that nice layered look and spongy taste but too bad, I was quite full already to cut myself a big slice and eat it. I ate two small pieces before that when it just came out of the oven and I was quite disappointed that it was too soft. But then, my mum said we were too greedy coz we wanted to cut it and eat it immediately after it came out of the oven..haha.


My brother loves it! My mum..at first she said well, I could have added more of this, less of that blah blah..but then it was only when it cooled down and tasted better that she said, oh, it was nice and perfect. Yay!! 


See the pic..see the pic! :D



Now I have finally made the bread pudding and didn't have to look out for it anymore outside and then end up with either an overpriced one or a not so nice one. For someone, who hardly cooks, bakes and...er....clean, this is such a good attempt though yes, there is always room for improvement. It's such a no brainer making this I keep wondering why they charge so much for it..hrm...


Next up, I may make a brownie? Or maybe a no bake cheese cake..easier..haha. I did warn you Im rather lazy.




follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Gimme a Motivational Reward

Im currently aching from my shoulders. I thought I am used to the weight training but guess not. I suppose I was a bit overambitious and hence the aching. Anyway, currently on a tight mission to lose 3 kg because 'someone'..oklah, more like me, has not been successful last mth which is sad and I don't quite know what went wrong..hrm. It's ok, it's jz a number. I will work hard next time, no biggie....starting from later because my boss treated us out to some vegetarian food which thankfully didn't taste so bad. I also went for some team building event at a new school which was actually called EAS Day and there were dismal tasting finger food.

You know what, come to think of it, I think it was fated that I had to eat mostly vegetables and finger food that I couldn't even eat as coconut milk was one of the ingredients. How can it not be, they were Malay kuehs or snacks..pfft. I suppose it was fated that I had to eat the dismal food since I had put on 2 kg but Im seriously hoping it was due to me being bloated coz I often go to the toilet the last few days. Thankfully, it has stopped now. I was thinking that it could be a medical condition and I fret that.


Next month will start the fasting month and I am only left with this month to be at the gym. So far I have miraculously not skip any gym session and if I have to miss it, I will make up for it. Yup, it's that sheer determination..haha..which I didn't expect to have it in me since Im a naturally born sloth.


It's always good to have a food diary to keep track of what you have eaten. At one point of time, it did work for me when I first started out my aim to lose weight but then I get lazy trying to write it down so nowadays I just keep track of it mentally which drives my mum nuts especially when I'm sitting infront of her and saying it out loud the food I have eaten for the day so far. It's also good to know or at least expect what you will be eating later so that you don't just pop food into your mouth, namely calorie laden snacks, as you don't want to overeat later on. Plain water is always good as a filler before your next big meal if you have the hunger pangs and you are still not back home yet or it's not time to eat yet. It helps for me.


I think it's good to have a bit of a motivation. I suppose getting a new red bag will be......good? :D I am, after all, getting my mid year bonus very soon and I have to reward myself for the hard work put in, eh? Now I know how those kids feel when they do well in their exams and their parents reward them with a brand new handphone or Ipod. Lucky ass. This reward, I have to pay for it myself :S


So let's keep it that way, yah? A nice shiny new bag...whooooo.....wish me luck! 3 kgs, away you go! haha..


follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Monday, July 05, 2010

Ipod Mania

How time flies. It was somewhere towards end of May that we found out that we are getting our mid year bonus and then now it's like less than a week. But of course, as usual, I have to pay myself back some money since I have used them in advance. $200, mind you :S but whatever. At least Im contented that I have bought some new clothes. Im still chummed that I didn't manage to get the long sleeves purple top that was on discount from a whopping $39 earlier on. Still upset abt it coz I could afford but it's a matter of priority. Eventually I have to pay myself back the amount later on come payday and other things have to be put on hold and I don't want that coz don't forget, I still owe town council money *sigh*. I would rather have spare cash to tide me over difficult times in the future or rather until the end of the year when I get the year end bonus. I need to further discipline myself or I will be pawing the ground for money or my mother will paw me to pieces for finishing up my savings. She's already on to me now.


So that aside, my office actually called  me back from my half day coz apparently, the I.T. department decided to loan us the Ipod touch for one week. Why? I dunno. Apparently, it's all so hush hush :S so Im like quite hazy over the reason why. So I actually had to go back there from the children's hospital which I took my brother for his medical check up. It's only for one week and so far, the one who has been using it so religiously is..well..my brother. For him, I actually had to tinker with the wireless router at home which I actually thought had gone kaput already but now, it's in good working condition. He pestered me to fix the router because he can use it for the Ipod touch. I had to re-read the manual and after a few tries, I finally realise it pays to follow the instructions carefully as to which wire goes to which slots..haha.


He knows how to use it although he doesn't own one. How can he not know it since he tinkers the ones at the apple stores and he also reads and watches videos on apple related gadgets so he's basically on his own. Me? The qwerty keyboard is rather frustrating for me although I think it's just a matter of short time that I will be able to master it but I don't really care coz it's just for a freaking one week.


He takes it everywhere he goes and he couldn't care less about surfing the internet on the laptop except for a short while instead of taking the entire time like during the June hols. I can safely say he's pretty addicted to it, haha. I thought maybe.......I will get for him one at the end of the year instead of a netbook. But he's just rather ambitious in which he would rather own the Ipad coz it's better and also because he reads about the rumours that in September, a new Ipod touch with camera will be released so it's really no point getting for him the Ipod touch despite its addictive nature. Boys and their toys. Anyway, my pocket is safe and sound then..haha..since Im most definitely will NOT get him for him the rude sounding Ipad.

Infact, while Im typing this out at almost 3am in the morning, he's still on the Ipod touch. He even creates his own account just so that he can download some free apps mainly games which he eventually did through the wireless network at home and earlier on at McDonald's.


He will have the entire day later on playing with it because it's a school holiday for him since it's Youth Day. My brother is one contented young man, though only temporary..haha.






follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Food Critic

I dislike going out late at 11 plus to buy groceries but at times ive got no choice but to go coz my mum asked me too. Apparently my safety is not a concern to her. I know she thinks life is unpredictable but uhm...why go look for trouble. Ok fine, Im being all drama mama and it's not so freaking late and people are still up and about. But well, I get scared too. Grandmas can be molested, what more a twenty something girl like me, right?


Sigh, what to do. This is called living with a neurotic mum. Sometimes, though Im not asking for it, a little appreciation goes a long way. My brother and I endured a long bus journey, times two, to Lau pa sat, a popular food centre in the city area just to buy satay for her. It's basically scewered pieces of meat barebequed over hot flames. She kept complaining about the dismal taste and why my brother didn't buy the ones from serangoon garden coz they were a heck lot nicer.


See, my brother was tired after school followed by project where he stayed back to help his schoolmate. It was good enough he peeled himself off from the comforting sofa at home to buy other food which was nearby but she kept harping on eating satay.


So obviously she called me and she was complaining. She said it was hard for him to go to serangoon garden coz it was quite a long walk to the food centre itself. Then when I was half hearted in getting satay for her, she just hung up. I didn't want the same episode to happen where she was making such a huge ruckus when I told her I was scared to go there myself. The people there resort to hard selling and being rather shy in nature, it was pretty intimidating for me. After that, she treated me like sh*t as if she totally hated me.


But what to do. I had to miss two tv programmmes just to make her happy and the appreciation we got was....nothing. Anyway, she finally got her wish when my brother and I went to Serangoon Garden to get her satay which she said was a lot better than the ones at Lau Pa Sat. So imagine that. I ate satay twice in a week. Gawd I hope the 2kg weight gain I had was due to water retention (since I have been going to the loo often these past few days) and not coz of the food I have been eating.


On the other hand, my mum has been cooking. Simple stuffs but anything for us as long as she cooks it and knowing that she has two fussy eaters as children (hehe..). I would say that I enjoy eating her cooked food not just because she seldom cooks but also because it is healthier than those at the food centers. She doesn't use a lot of oil but just mere drops so they won't stick to each other and she uses the oven instead of traditionally using the stove. There is no msg or monosodium glutamate if you want to be all scientific about it and though I can't deny that food cooked this way tastes better, it's called artificial flavour enhancers. I notice that many snacks like potato chips uses that so if you are a frequent snacker, perhaps you should cut down on them since too much salt isnt good for anyone's diet. Of course it's a huge bummer. But I don't want to spend my off days visiting the doctors though. So it's a choice, I suppose? My brother said that all this while, they have been using MSG but don't really put it down as one of the listed ingredients. So now I know that when they say flavour enhancers, they really meant MSG. What the hey.


I think I'll stick to chocolates, dark ones preferably to counter my sweet tooth. Now I wonder for this week, if my mum will also stick to her plan of making nasi briyani. You know I don't eat a lot of food nowadays not coz I don't like but I just don't eat them anymore and nasi briyani is one of them since they're sinful as ghee or clarified butter is used to cook them and it is high in trans fat. But it's served at malay weddings which is probably the only time I eat them and thankfully, I don't often get invitations.


Her version is  probably the healthier version as well, if not she knows I will refuse to eat them. But her modified version often taste good, I don't know why. Cooking with love, perhaps? As long as we don't criticise her cooking, all will be fine. Her only critic is herself. I'll give the verdict later, eh? With pictures as well..haha.


follow me at http://twitter.com/rahayupopz

Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...