Monday, October 31, 2005

london strolling

Today’s weather was kinda dreary – drizzled for most part till evening when it finally stopped and a little sunshine peeked through the thick clouds. I bought myself an Oyster (travel card) for the week, and hopped onto bus 266 with Cheryl early in the morning. Her stop was only a few minutes from home, and I had a longer way to go to Hammersmith to take the tube. Another 40 minutes of bus & train rides, I reached the London Bridge station, only to realise that my walk should have started back at Pimlico instead. Underground I went again till I reached Pimlico, and headed towards Tate Britain.

I’ll have to confess up front that I’m not a great Art fan, modern or otherwise. Having said that, the collection in Tate Britain was still interesting enough to keep me there for an hour, going from room to room and looking at all the different styles and periods of British Art history. I know I’m not supposed to take photos in the gallery, but I couldn’t help sneaking 3 shots, one of which was this sculpture called “The Kiss”. Enchanting.

My walk continued towards Westminster in the wet weather. Reaching St. Margaret’s church, I only took a couple of quick shots from the outside, an decided not to join the very, very long queue going inside. Another day perhaps. Turning towards Big Ben, I headed in the London Eye direction. I had intended to go up the Eye and have a good view as far as I could see, but postponed it till weather was a little better.

Continued along the Thames and passed South Bank Centre. By that time I was hungry, tired, and enjoying the sights despite the constant drizzle. My ears were constantly entertained with sounds of Coldplay which kept the mood upbeat enough as I went to my next destination. Bought a sandwich from Eat and went to a spot somewhere (shows that I really didn’t know where I was!) to munch. Funnily enough as I observed the name carved at the bridge next to where I was… A-ha. Found the original “London Bridge”.

My feet were aching after that long trek, so a quick stop at HMS Belfast and a shot of the Tower Bridge in the distance, I decided to head back to Acton and rest before dinner. Ooh, did some grocery shopping at Tesco too, to stock up on grub for the next few days. (By the way, there’s this brand of yoghurt called Müller, and it has this absolutely divine flavour called Lemon Cheesecake which tastes exactly like lemon cheesecake! Yummmm! Why don’t we ever have these in KL?)

The day hasn’t ended yet though – Cheryl and I met up with another friend of ours, Kim-Mi who brought us to this Spanish restaurant that served really good tapas. Forgot the name of the place, but it’s around Soho. Had lovely ice-cream and coffee too, at Amalfi’s after dinner.

First day out, and I’m already pooped by the time we reached home. I guess I’m still a wee bit jet lagged, but with all the walking I’m doing, I think I’ll be sleeping well tonight…

touchdown & knocked out

It’s 5:01AM in London, but already 1:01PM in KL. Woke up about half an hour ago and felt totally wide awake. Oh no… the first of my jet lag?

I’m typing this in the dark – didn’t want to turn on any lights in case I wake my friend Cheryl who’s still in dreamland. I can’t even see the keyboard, and typing this almost totally based on familiarity of where the keys are, ha-ha!

Ok, how is it so far? Well, it wasn’t all that cold to begin with when we landed. In fact we were able to walk around town with just a long-sleeved t-shirt and no jacket. Of course, it got colder at night, and it’s a little chilly outside right now I’m sure, but nice and toasty inside the unit.

I’m sure those who have been here would agree with me when I say… man, that was one long walk from Terminal 3 to baggage reclaim, and then to Underground! Quite a bit of crowd, but quickly dispersed after all luggage was collected.

At the immigration counter there was this young Indian chap who asked me the usual questions –
“Where are you from?”
“How long are you staying for?”
“Where are you visiting?”
“What nationality are your friends?”

He asked it in a polite tone so I didn’t feel like I was interrogated, which was a little different as to what my friend had experienced (the rude version). Then he went on to say that the shops are closed early these days, the Tower’s closed, I came in the wrong season, etc. And I went like “Huh? Really? That’s just my bad luck!”

Then came the half grin on his face… “I was only joking. Have a nice stay…”

Ahhh… was that the first Brit humour encounter? Heh. Not that funny, really. He got me, though.

Got to Cheryl’s place close to 6:00PM local time. Off-loaded all her stuff, rearranged some of the other things for friends, got mine sorted out a little as well. I still wasn’t feeling that tired despite it being 2:00AM in KL. Stayed up a bit more, ate a light dinner (by the way, plane food wasn’t too bad, had Crunch ice-cream!), had a shower…

Then 9:30PM rolled around, my eyelids started closing. I hit the sack a little after that.

Now I’m awake lah… Heheh. Checked who’s online but didn’t want to chat just yet. The KL gang’s all awake but out for lunch. Maybe will say hello a bit later.

Ok… time to check my mail…

5:25AM London local time

Sunday, October 30, 2005

1 trip

"Malaysia Airlines flight MH4 to London is now ready for boarding..."

Friday, October 28, 2005

it takes 2

Did I say something wrong?
I'm sorry. It's hard to know what to say sometimes when you don't say anything in return. I didn't mean to sound patronizing. Only wanted to help where I could, to give suggestions or to seek ways in cheering you up and making you feel better.

Did I do something bad?
I'm sorry. I didn’t realise my actions would've made you turn the other way or made you annoyed. I apologise for giving you reasons to avoid me. I had no intention of trying to run your life or fix your problems. Just wanted to be there for you.

Am I being paranoid?
I'm sorry. I could only do so much to control my emotions based on guesswork. I can't read minds, much as I'd like to so I won't fumble and say or do the wrong things. Forgive me if I seemed a little off when I felt emotionally drained and worried, wondering if you're ok.

Was I meant to be your chew toy?
I'm sorry. It didn't dawn on me that I was only there to help pass the time away when you needed a distraction. Thought I'd mattered a little in your life no matter when, even on your busiest of days. My fault for letting my hopes and assumptions cause me this misfortune.

It takes 2 to communicate.
To bond.
To share.

I'm sorry, I didn't realise I was doing it alone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

3 no-no's

Our boss had graciously treated us to dinner last night at a Shanghainese restaurant, called “Xin Shanghai Jiu Jia” (“新上海酒家”) on Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. The food was absolutely delicious, very unique as you don’t get it in a typical Chinese restaurant around town which serves predominantly Cantonese-style cooking.

You could guess the feeling after eating to the heart’s (and stomach’s) content – overfed, bloated, and if I were a stuffed toy I’d be bursting at my seams. Felt guilty and decided to wake up a little earlier this morning and hit the gym, since I’d already missed yesterday morning’s run.

But oh… the agony of it… I could hardly do any more than 20 minutes on the mill. Usually I’d run 2km at a pretty fast pace before I feel a slight tug to slow down, but today even reaching 1.5km was a killer. Shites. Gotta take it easy on the wine the next time.

Which comes to one of the things I’d intended to write on this post. What not to do when on holiday in the next couple of weeks? There are lots of no-no’s I can think of, but these are the (almost) ridiculous ones which I need to refrain from doing:

No-No #1: I will not go to the gym.
I know, it’s such a lame thing to do, but I usually have this urge to exercise at least once a week otherwise I’d feel like such a pig. It’s like a weekly does of adrenaline to keep the batteries charged. Makes it even more tempting to check out the gyms since I do have quite a number of days there, and it’s hard not to want to check out the local gym scene in hopes of seeing some toned, good-looking dudes (hmmm… it’ll just be my (bad) luck if they’re gay…). Ok, ok… maybe a passing visit to check out the blokes…

No-No #2: I will not watch re-runs on TV when jet-lagged at night.
It would be morning here when it’s past midnight there. I’ve been told that X-Files (ah, Mulder… long time no see) is on when most of the nation’s in a comatose state. Appealing as that might be, I will have to find other means of entertainment and not lie in bed in hopes that my eyes would close and my brain switches to hibernation mode. In fact… make that “I will not watch re-runs on TV”, period. There’s gotta be something better for me to do than to sit at home and sulk in rainy weather.

No-no #3: I will not speak with a fake accent to my Malaysian friends who are there.
Gawd, slap me if I do, pleeeeaaase!!! However, I do ask for forgiveness in advance for having to speak the English “tone” when asking for directions, ordering food, etc for fear of them not understanding what lah means. I’ll take Hobo’s advice on Travel & Health, and try not to contract the Exaggerated English Pronunciation Disorder.

To off-set the no-no list, here’s my other “will (try to) do” list:

#1: Again referring to Hobo’s guide on Travel & Romance, I’ll attempt to speak to strangers. Or rather… I’ll try not to be afraid to engage in conversation with a cute dude if he decides to strike a conversation. How else am I going to find holiday romance while travelling, right? And I promise I won’t come home speaking with a fake accent (see above no-no #3).

#2: I’ll cover all the places based on the Monopoly game board (except Jail, for obvious reasons). Shouldn’t be too hard, eh? And I’ll take photos of it as proof! If my camera’s battery doesn’t die on me first, that is… or worse, run out of memory card space.

#3: Catch Stomp at the Vaudeville Theatre while I’m there. I missed it when they were touring here a month back, and hey it’s only £10 for the cheapest ticket. And not forgetting the chance of meeting another cute dude along the way…

So… any other suggestions for “no-no’s” or “should do’s”?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


No lah, not that kind of foursome! (Just in case you’re thinking differently)

Met up with a few good friends over the weekend for a makan session at Italiannies, 1 Utama. I have to apologise, there won’t be any food pictures in this post although it’s sort of food related, we were so hungry we devoured everything before I could remember to take a few shots of it.

Back to our little gathering...

It’s been ages since I last saw Jo, Jac and Murli (btw, that’s not quite his real name, heh! Long story, maybe another time). Perhaps it was mid this year I’d last caught up with them. Time really flies and it’s gone in a blink of an eye before you know it.

After lots of misses, Jac finally managed to pull off this little arrangement for a lunch date on Sunday, when she could manage a “day off” from caring for her 2-and-a-half-year-old son (who shares the same birthday as me, what an honour!). Time to relax, kick back and have a little sangria while we’re at it. The spaghetti & meatballs, fettuccine carbonara and marguerita pizza were fantastic to famished tummies. Oh, and the (ice-cream) cake to leave a sweet after-taste on the palette at the end. Had a blast catching up on lost time, old news, new news, personal traumas, difficult times, news of friends, future plans, future meets. Absolutely satisfying to one’s soul.

It seems just like yesterday – ok, can’t say really say “yesterday”, but recently – that all four of us were colleagues at a big 5 accounting firm doing IT audits and consultancy. We were all in the same little sub-department doing audits and assignments together, working under the same lady boss, sharing the same work experiences and situations. From there, personal friendship developed, and we remained close friends after we left the firm. Jac was the first to leave… then I made the jump… followed by Jo… and finally Murli just a few months back.

It’s amazing how each of us, from the same beginnings, went on to do totally different things from what we used to do. Jo now works for a multinational in compliance; Murli just started his new IT job in another big MNC; Jac is a full-time mother to her son; and me… handling projects in an interactive agency, totally unrelated to what I used to be working as!

After that gathering I am reminded again how much I miss my old friends whom I’ve not seen or heard from in a long time. Perhaps it’s also my fault for not keeping my end of the correspondence alive; for that I’m guilty as charged. Totally no excuse for me not to make the efforts to keep in touch. Hmmm… time to write a few long overdue mails. Some text messages while I’m at it too…

Despite our different personalities and ways of life, we all come together and accept these differences, become and remain good friends. They say that friends come and go throughout life, that we go through phases and there’s a natural ebb and flow to friendships. I certainly hope these will remain for as long as they can; they’re real treasures to keep.

We can’t choose our enemies.
But we can choose our friends.
And I’m honoured you chose me to be your friend.
Thank you, dears.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Top 5

Ever watched the movie High Fidelity? One of my favourites with John Cusack. I think it was after this movie that I'd really taken a liking to this actor, and started catching the other flicks he was in - Runaway Jury, Serendipity, Being John Malkovich. Lots more to go which I haven’t seen, might get them later from Uncle DVD at Sungei Wang…

Ok, back to High Fidelity. Did I mention I loved the movie? Some said the book (by Nick Hornby) was better, and the original story took place in the UK instead of America. Hmmm. Bought and read the book. Loved the book! IMHO… both the book and the movie are striking in its own ways, and complemented one another.

The highlight of the story is probably his great Top 5 lists. Yea, you could guess where I’m going next with this post, ha-ha! Nah, I can’t do all of the top 5s. I’ll attempt only the 5 that make sense to me (can’t do “Top 5 floor-fillers at the Groucho” for sure). Most of it done on the spur of the moment depending on my musical mood; so would probably change my mind a few months from now.

...Top 5 side one track ones
  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen, Greatest Hits Volume 1
  2. Delicate – Damien Rice, O
  3. All I Really Want – Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill
  4. A Thousand Years – Sting, Brand New Day
  5. You And I Both – Jason Mraz, Waiting For My Rocket To Come

…Top 5 records (not vinyl lah. Let's just say albums)

  1. Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette
  2. O, Damien Rice (you can tell I’m a great fan of his)
  3. Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984 – 1994, Sting
  4. The Best of 1980 – 1990, U2
  5. X&Y – Coldplay
...Top 5 dream jobs

  1. Owner of a 5-star resort at Bora-Bora, so I don’t have to think of where to go for a holiday
  2. Tai-Tai of a multi-millionaire (hey, it’s a job to keep the Tai-Tai status!)
  3. Eternal bum with fixed income of at least $10,000 a month
  4. Some rock star or musician
  5. Shareholder of billion-dollar businesses that’ll never go bankrupt

...Top 5 songs about death
Hmmm. Never really paid attention to those. How about Top 5 songs for a miserable night (those on my iPod’s playlist at the moment):

  1. Delicate – Damien Rice
  2. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
  3. You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
  4. The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice
  5. Waiting In Vain – Annie Lennox


...Desert-island, all-time, top 5 most memorable split-ups, in chronological order
Uhhh… I don’t have the numbers to fill, ha-ha! Ok, I’ll replace it with one requested by the Codger, top 5 fetishes. I don’t have any in particular, really. But if you insist, I’d say…

  1. Hands
  2. Hair (on the head! No hairy chest, please.)
  3. Err… eyes + eyebrows
  4. Ears
  5. Uhmmmm… Nah. Too embarrassing.


Side post – read something on Friendster that made my heart skip a few nano-beats. Isshhh. I’d better stop stalking to prevent further palpitations.

Friday, October 21, 2005

6 lessons

Strange happenings, strange doings. It's amazing how recent events had taken a weird turn, always a twist at the end of things when least expected. I had a quiet night to myself to ponder on the few candid “lessons” that had surfaced time and again throughout this year of change, and the drama-minggu-ini episodes that took place which made them even more apparent. Yea, they’re nothing new. Everyone’s heard of them before. No harm repeating them another time as a reminder, eh?

- There's just no way of pleasing everyone. By the time we work on making peace with a misunderstood party, someone else gets huffed and puffed about things you did... or didn't do.

- Take life and everything else with a pinch of salt. Rilek lah! We have to be able to see the lighter side, and no matter how shitty things are, it's the humorous side of things that pulls us through tough times.

- Don't hold a grudge. Or if you must, don't hold it for too long. It'll only hold you back. The rest of world moves on, whether you like it or not.

- You know what they say – keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer. Everyone has them (enemies, that is). Nah, no need to murder them or anything, and can’t do anything much about them either. Solution? Know who they are, but stay out of their hair. Be a little bit more mindful about what’s going on and hopefully you’ll be able to side-step some issues that you wouldn’t want to get your foot into. The worst thing to do is react in a big way, then the shit really hits the fan! Interestingly though, it's not too bad either to be blissfully ignorant about them (what you don't know won't hurt you, right?).

- Letting go is one of the hardest things to do. We cling on to the very things that make us feel whole, needed, wanted, loved, cherished. Once any of it goes out of balance and needs to be free, it's a really tough decision to let go. Takes time, takes effort... but at the end of the day, it's the only thing to do.

- Time heals. Always. Just have to give it a chance, and the amount it needs to work its magic.

"Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century."
S. J. Perelman

Thursday, October 20, 2005

in loving memory

Our condolences to our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his family, for the passing of his beloved wife Datin Sri Endon Mahmood this morning.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

7 baddies

I’d originally wanted to post a different topic for #7.  Except today I had such a comically bad day, just had to move that one to a different slot.  No, seriously.  This is purely coincidental.  Or maybe I just found 7 things to gripe about which made up the right number.

The office had no line again today.  No Internet connection till late evening.  By that time our uploads were delayed, clients couldn’t get into sites hosted on our server for reports, emails were clogged up with items flagged “urgent”.  I had to spend friggin’ $$ downstairs at Starbucks for an iced latte just to get wi-fi connection (not thick-skinned enough to surf for free).

On days like these I wish I was Donald Trump and able to say “you’re fired!” to this co-worker who’s been giving me (and other colleagues) unnecessary stress.  Unfinished fixes, sloppy work… and the site’s due for client review tomorrow morning.  I don’t want to rant about it here, but let’s just say it’s the same person I wanted to murder yesterday.

Most people were gone from the office by 7p.m.  Suffering from a hungry growling tummy and a bad mood from baddie #2 above, I still had some documents to print and collate before I could call it a day (or night by then).  Yes, bad luck persevered.  The printer had to give me hell for about half an hour, flashing out printing error messages on my screen each time I sent a document to the queue.  Turns out the toner cartridge wasn’t set right and I had to be the maintenance woman, opening its many little compartments trying fix it.

Traffic was still bunged up near the office.  Decided to take an unknown short cut and see if I could get onto the highway with minimal congestion.  Turned into dead-ends TWICE.  And I was low on fuel.  Ironically Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” was on the radio at that very moment.

The clothes rail behind my door came loose and fell on me.  I’m still trying to figure out how the heck that’d happened.  Closed the door and whack! right on my head.

For the third week in a row, I missed Mandarin class.  Had to call my tutor and tell her what I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time now… I quit.

A fish (from our aquarium) died today.  Not related to me, but I take that as a bad occurrence anyway.

Complain, complain, complain. Best-nya, hari ni.

Monday, October 17, 2005

8 what?

Boring-nya malam ni. Let’s see if I can find some feng shui death-cheating predictions again… Google… search… same old, same old…


Apa ni… the Kuakulator?

Albert Ee:
"The Kua Number determines ones Elementary nature based on the Date of Birth using the Lunar Calendar. The Kua number, which runs from number 1 to 9, divides them into either East or West Element Grouping."

Ok, a lot of help that was. But what the heck does it mean?

Quick use of the Kuakulator...
Date… Month… Year…

Your Kua Number
Your Kua number is eight. A person with this Kua number belongs to the West group.

Ooh, I'm an 8. Is that good ah? Sounds like "Patt Kua" (kepochi, penyibuk, busybody) in Cantonese, ha-ha!

Your Element
You are an Earth element person. In general, you are practical and independent. The Earth element is associated with square shapes and the colours of yellowish brown.

So… I’m square? Cheh…

Your Directions
Your best direction is South West, followed by North West, West and North East. Your most unfavourable direction is South East, followed by East, North and South.

Damn it. Gotta bring my compass along everywhere I go now…

Your Numbers
The number 2 is your most favourable number, followed by 6, 7 and 8. The number 4 is your most unfavourable number, followed by 3, 1 and 9.

Ehhh…maybe can buy number strike lottery…

Your Character
You are active, sociable, and aggressive with a strong sense of feeling and emotion.

What? That’s it? No more?…

Aiya. Waste time.

- - - - - - - - - -

On another note… line was down in the office today. No Internet. I felt so disconnected, literally.

On another other note… I wanted to f***ing murder somebody today. Just wasn’t funny.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

9 reasons

So when you going to Australia ah? I thought you gone already…

This past year I’ve been asked this too many times, and it’s getting harder and harder to think of a good answer. Just this past week, I was asked twice. Well… good question. Why am I still here?

Years ago while studying in Sydney, I had a dream. I’d wanted to live in that city full of life, with long beautiful beaches, ever-busy markets, quietly unassuming suburbs, adventures lurking in every corner, everything that was so appealing to a young student. After graduation, my choice of job and professional certification were aimed towards acquiring the credits required to apply for permanent residency. About 3 years ago, that dream was granted. And now…

I’m not so sure anymore.

Did I “lose steam” in chasing this dream, even when it’s already within the grasp of my hands? Did I get jaded, disillusioned by something that seems so far away now?

I’ve been thinking about it ever since the day I had that nice 5-year visa pasted on my passport. I know eventually… I’ll get there. It’s something deep in my subconscious that’ll nag me till I up and get my arse down under. Why am I stalling? Having been interrogated many times by external parties, I did some personal interrogation of my own. A thousand and one excuses reasons, of which 9 stood out that are keeping me here for as long as my visa’s expiration date would allow:

My parents aren't getting any younger.
It’s a frightening thought to all of us. They’re getting on in their years, and slowly showing ailments that make them weaker. I'm afraid of losing them when I'm not around. I want to stretch my stay here as long as I can. Who’s to say they won’t go (gulp! touch wood!) when I’m not here later but… I don’t want to think about that.

Duit belum cukup lagi.
I’ve been putting off seriously saving for this big move, for all the other reasons here. Still no buyer for my apartment, which I’m hoping after its sale would boost my $$ position and not have to worry about starving for at least 3 to 6 months without a job. In AUD. Cost of living is so friggin’ expensive there. Frivolous unplanned purchases (see post “a material girl”) aren’t exactly helping either.

Home is where the heart is.
Alright, this is a lousy excuse. But that’s how I see it. I’m not talking about family love and security, it’s the matter of the other heart, know what I mean? And my heart’s not there lah. Tapi, kan… it’s not here either.

I ain’t “white”.
Now this, even I know is a subjective matter. I haven’t really experienced any discrimination while I was a student there. Then again, I was a student. I wasn’t exposed to the larger corporate world. This was told to me by a friend who had been there, done that, and now has decided to settle here instead. “No matter how you try to fit in, lead a life there like one of them… you’ll never exactly fit in.” Ok-lah, this one I will reserve my comments until I get there and experience it myself. But it sure did put some doubt at the back of my mind.

Hilang connection.
Maybe it’s being away from Oz for so long, I don’t seem to have that so-called “connection” with her anymore. Reading the news and updates, looking for jobs and property online just isn’t the same. It’s been… too long, I guess. I’m sure it has changed from what it used to be, from what I used to enjoy about it.

I actually like where I’m working now.
Yea… it’s true. Management holds the company together pretty well. No (or very little) politics. We take care of each other. In all fairness, I’ve only been here for about 5 months. I see quite a lot of potential where its heading, the bigger picture always visible and we could see the efforts that are put in to achieve it. And I respect that. So… I do want to give it a chance to see how far it’ll go. From what I heard, there may be a way to secure a job in Oz via current company, if I play my cards right in the next few months. (Hah! That’s the real reason lah.)

My other, lesser, original reason is reason no longer.
Ha-ha… this one made me feel foolish. There was this guy there (isn’t it just typical??) whom I used to have such a huge liking for. Dated a short while, and needless to say, he broke my heart. Thus he became part of the reason, for me to go back and say “Hey, I’m still around, don’t leave me out of the equation just yet.” Now, it’s like… out of sight, out of mind. Thank gawd. What the heck was I thinking then?

I'm not ready to uproot myself and reinvent the wheel again.
I’m chicken shit. I’m comfortable where I am. I squirm at the thought of a big change. I’m afraid of failing and having to come home with my tail between my legs. (What? I call myself adventurous? Phooey!)

You're not there.

Alaa… pergi je lah, kan.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

10 wishes

Things haven’t gone right lately. Ok, maybe not “right”… Let me rephrase that – things haven’t gone “good” lately. Maybe it’s because this year my eyes have been opened a little wider, my senses a little more in tuned to those around me. Or maybe it’s just turning the next-tick-box age which made me a little more mellow, more empathetic, more… like that lah.

So today… it’ll be a day of wishes. Anything I’d like to wish for, but not for me. If I had 10 wishes… I’d wish for…

  1. …my Mom to recover from her ailments that are keeping her from truly enjoying her prime years, and not worry so much about her health.
  2. …my friend who had just started a new life far, far away… a mended and healed heart with courage to love once more.
  3. …my two friends, also incidentally in the same far, far away place… to find what you’re searching for, peace in your troubled minds and your worries to ease. And much, much needed sleep.
  4. …my cousin to find happiness neither based on age nor status, but based on what’s in her heart and soul.
  5. …my old schoolmate who is feeling stressed over being a new mother… to recover from the blues, enjoy motherhood and for her baby to be in the pinkest of health.
  6. …Dad’s late-scoutmaster / headmaster / teacher / friend – may he rest in peace and always in loving memory.
  7. …my chum who’s struggling to decide whether to tell or not to tell… the guts to tell. It’ll lift a big burden off your shoulders.
  8. …an acquaintance whom I’ve the pleasure of knowing briefly a few years ago… to have the child you’ve been hoping for.
  9. …those whom I’ve just met and seem to have been hurt in love… not to give up hope. There will be someone who will bring a smile to your face and that warm fuzzy feeling to your heart.
  10. …all who’re reading this, and badly need a wish to heal your hurt or erase your worries… to have your heart’s deepest desire.

Looks like grey skies today.
Then again… there’s always that silver lining to look forward to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

for our furry friends

Please sign the petition to our Prime Minister for harsher penalties for animal abuse.

Follow the links:

SPCA Malaysia:
Petition Link:

Help those who can’t help themselves.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

a material girl

I’m a self-confessed shopaholic.

Before I go on I’ll have to clarify that I don’t really go for the super expensive labels like Prada, Chanel, Armani, etc. I somehow don’t see my money being put to good use in the kind of things which look very similar to other cheaper more affordable labels (maybe the other labels are trying to copy the expensive brands instead, but heck, they do a good job of it most of the time).

What I’m referring to would be the so-called cool, up-market, trendy brands which have created such names for themselves that you (or I) just gotta have. It’s a magnetic pull to own the goods with known labels, either for the sake of functionality or just for the name. I’m guilty for the former, maybe on occasion for the latter.

So what have I been indulging these days? Hmmm. I know, I know… it’s so vain of me to post about what I have. But I’m just itchin' to do it. I won’t include the usual threads, footwear and basic necessities; those are given that a girl’s just gotta indulge in during retail therapy sessions. Besides, they don’t cost a bomb, though many quantities of each do thin the wallet quite a bit.

What thingamajigs, then, have been keeping my bank account balance a little lower than it should be this year? My big non-essential purchases for the past 9 months, those that churn up 4-figure entries (ouch!):

My iPod 30GB – also my Gadget of the Year. This would be the best “investment” I’ve made. It kept me company in my solitude, stored all sorts of junk where I wouldn’t have been able to fit anywhere else, let me reminisce about the past with the stored photos. Muahs.

Trek 4300 – my new bike! Well, not really new. It’s second-hand but in very good condition, so it was a steal and an excuse to start biking after many years of procrastinating. Oh… and a Bell helmet to go with it.

The Palm Tungsten T5. Something I bought on a whim and now… sorta regretting it, ’cos I don’t use it often enough to justify its purchase. Bad, bad me.

Collectively, 3 mini holidays – Singapore, Serendah, Kinabatangan.

My biggest splurge (and more to go with it)… the Ticket.

Despite these biggies, there are still things this material girl wants to get before the year’s out (if the holes in my pocket don’t grow any bigger). Notice it’s “want” and not “need”. I really don’t need them. But… I want!

The iBook 12”. I’ve been meaning to get my own laptop since I started work eons ago, but have put it off since the companies I work for all supply me with one to use. However I’m getting a little tired of not having one to call my own and dump in whatever it is without having to worry about company policies, privacy and the likes. But… maybe won’t happen this year… nice to just dream of it for the time being, tho.

A nice Crumpler – the Breakfast Buffet to lug my laptop (hopefully the iBook!) around. This hardly qualifies as a 4-figure purchase but it's kinda expensive for a bag anyway.

Hmmm… that’s it, really. The year’s almost out anyway. I think I could easily fulfil the second one, but the first… Gotta think long and hard on that one! My mind’s already on next year’s big budget buys.

Ok, dears. You’ll be getting handmade Christmas pressies this year. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Sunday, October 09, 2005


It had been raining almost the entire day yesterday, and quite a bit as well last night. The air was cool, the soft sound of water droplets hypnotizing. A nice start, despite the usual unplanned early waking hour.

I’d made a date with Serena for morning yoga. Over the last couple of years I had (somewhat) diligently attended yoga classes at the gym, but since my change of job and office location I hadn’t been able to go for my favourite instructors’ sessions, as they only taught in the bigger gym branches downtown. Stuck in one of their smaller branches, the gym downstairs of the office had very few yoga sessions, and not by the instructors whom I favour. No offence intended, but I’m pretty picky about yoga teachers, and having followed classes by Vincent Tan since I started my yoga practice I just couldn’t get used to the other instructors’ styles. But I was in luck – Vincent had opened his own yoga studio, called Jiva Yoga at Plaza Damas where his fellow instructors conducted classes pretty much in the same style and manner as he does.

Having not practiced yoga regularly enough the past 6 months, I convinced Serena to join me for the slower-paced Aman yoga instead of Power yoga. There weren’t a lot of students in our class this morning, only 11 of us. Jacque was our guru for the session.

Listening to her instructions, our yoga practice started off with a few breathing techniques, then moved on to basic poses to stretch the limbs before going into sun salutations and the more advanced poses. I always found the Sanskrit names of the various poses interesting; they have a pretty melodic, strong yet humbling sound to them.

It felt good after 1.5 hours of stretching, keeping still in the least comfortable "contortionistic" positions, balancing inversely on my shoulders, and finally lying down for the final 5 minutes of the session, in corpse pose. In this pose we’re all suppose to relax, concentrate on our breathing, and lie still. When our minds wander, we’d have to accept their wanderings then bring it back to the present.

Hmmm… that’s one thing I haven’t quite achieved yet. When I lie still and let my breathing become more slow and rhythmic, my mind would always take a walk down memory lane… and many lanes at that, too. Sorta like a pinball machine. Imagine the little silver orb, springing slowly from the narrow chute into a maze of dings and lights, never ceasing its bounce and reflective reaction until it exits. I try time and time again to bring my mind back to the present… and in 10 seconds… off it goes again. And worse, towards the end of the 5 minutes my head starts getting heavy, and the familiar feeling of drowsiness creeps in every once in awhile… Oops, did I just say that? Ha-ha! So much for trying to be a model yoga student.

I’m not sure when my next yoga session is, though I know regular and diligent practice will help ease my mind and soul. Takes discipline and a little help from a good friend in getting my lazy arse to class…

I bow to the divine in you.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

just gotta do it

My internal alarm woke me up at 6:06 a.m. this morning. Friggin’ 1 hour earlier than my usual. I tried to shut my brain down again for a few minutes but it didn’t work. Heck with it…

I got up.

Turned on my table lamp and started up my computer. My eyes were bleary but my mind’s abuzz. I squinted at my screen… A quick chat with a friend who’s just going off to bed on the other side of the world… Checked what’s on the news… Picked out a few favourite blogs to read…

Interestingly one of them had this “Three Question Personality Test” posted on it. Hmm. We’ve all come across numerous of these “tests” that throw out many questions, have some weighted scores tied behind each of the responses, mumble jumble and ta-dahhh… some answer about your personality comes up. Sometimes they’re generic enough to cover just about every basic or common personality traits everyone has. Sometimes… they’re friggin’ close to the truth. And more often than not, we take these tests to:

  1. Affirm what we already know about ourselves
  2. Affirm what we already know but try to deny about ourselves
  3. Desperately find another weird trait about ourselves and either believe it or don’t
  4. Pass the time away

3 questions, right? Easy-peasy.

Your Personality Is
Guardian (SJ)

You are sensible, down to earth, and goal oriented. Bottom line, you are good at playing by the rules.

You tend to be dominant - and you are a natural leader. You are interested in rules and order. Morals are important to you.

A hard worker, you give your all at whatever you do. You're very serious, and people often tell you to lighten up.

In love, you tend to take things carefully and slowly.

At work, you are suited to almost any career - but you excel in leadership positions.

With others, you tend to be polite and formal.

As far as looks go, you are traditionally attractive. You take good care of yourself.

On weekends, you tend to like to do organized activities. In fact, you often organize them!

No shit, Sherlock.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

keeping my head above water

Last night I went to visit my ex-tenant to retrieve the apartment keys from her, now that she’s moved out. At a junction, the traffic lights turned red on me, and I had so wanted to just do the turn anyway. My mum was with me at that time, and she exclaimed, “Woi!…” before I could make the turn. I hit the brakes and stopped in time.

What did I think I was doing?

My mind wasn’t with me then. In fact, my mind hasn’t been anywhere lately.

And I haven’t seen my appetite, it seemed to have disappeared.

My mood’s gone all yo-yo on me yet again… or should I say it’s always been like that for sometime now?

I’m trying to sleep at night but keep waking up 2 hours too early.

I’m desperately trying to reach a friend who’s nowhere to be seen.

I’m trying to keep my sanity long enough to do my work and not screw up.

I’m driving some friends crazy lately with my sporadic bouts of silence and solitude, I’m sorry for pushing them away but I couldn’t help it.

So my dears, if you see me online and say hello but I don’t reply or I seem cold in my responses, I apologise. I don’t mean it. I needed to be alone.

Or if I say hello to you, don’t be afraid to reply and chat me up… I could do with a little human contact every now and then to keep things in perspective.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

sunday @ FRIM

I was in another indecisive mood early this morning. Waking up at 7:00 a.m., my insides were unsettled, my thoughts were clouded. For about an hour I allowed myself to drown in the lost-ness of things. I knew if I stayed in bed, I would’ve sunk further into the abyss and chances are, my mood would spiral down even more. It was so tempting to just let it take over me… but…


I’m going biking.

I text Kerk to say I was going to join her and Roselle for a biking at FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia). Quickly, I gathered what I required for the ride, got changed and out the door before I changed my mind.

Located in Kepong, FRIM provides much enjoyment to the general public longing for a green lung to escape to (especially popular on weekends). Many families, friends, school kids, hikers, bikers and more frequent the place for various activities – picnics, walks, rides, even outdoor wedding photography. This morning was no exception – the place was quite alive and buzzing as we got our bikes ready for the ride.

Roselle & Kerk

We finally got onto the trail about 9:30 a.m. Being dubbed a “baby route” by many seasoned bikers, we were just happy to take our time on the slight incline till we reached the wide, open area where 4 trails meet, one of which led to “Steroid Hill” – a steep uphill which is a real challenge to even the most seasoned rider. We weren’t crazy for torture, so we opted to take the trail down to Sungai Buloh where the nurseries are.

It’s a pretty long and exciting downhill for those who’ve not gone on that trail before. Having ridden on it a few times, I was cautious going downhill especially on the bends where many have flipped, sailed and crashed not too gracefully. Once we reached the bottom of the downhill, Kerk and Roselle decided to hang around that spot while I took a quick ride to the nurseries.

Along the way, a delightful sight met my eyes – 6 ducks taking a stroll along the road! I couldn’t resist but ride up close and snapped a photo of them. They amusingly waddled and quacked their way a little further till they turned off onto another smaller road. Well… I guess I won’t be eating duck rice for a little while out of respect of our feathered friends, heheh!

I continued on the road – left and right of me were lots of grass was being planted in square little boxes. Very much like the grass in golf courses (you could guess why I never made it as a horticulturist, I don’t even know the name of the type of grass!). Once I reached closer to where the Sungai Buloh hospital was behind the nurseries, I made a u-turn and rode back to where the girls were waiting.

We didn’t hang around for long – took a quick breather and made our way back up the downhill. This was where I’d usually get down and push my bike all the way, but I felt like a challenge and managed to ride three-quarters of the way up… woo-hoo! And what made it worth the ride was a glimpse of 4 to 5 little wild piglets running up the hill on the side. Too bad I wasn’t quick enough with the camera, but then again, I didn’t want to risk them charging at me if I did stop for a shot.

It was 11:30 a.m. by the time we made it out from the trail. Time to feed our hungry tummies and quench our thirst. We adjourned for a quick lunch before heading our separate ways for the rest of the day.

A good ride overall – I didn’t fall, and I didn’t get any new scratches which seemed to be the trend in past rides. My mind was more settled from this morning’s hazy thoughts, and it was good having done something productive instead of idling away on my bed.

Hmm… maybe I should start planning for next week’s ride…

Saturday, October 01, 2005

lunch @ teapot café

Teapot Café

The last time I saw my close friends from university, it was about 5 months ago when we celebrated two birthdays in May. This time, we gathered at the Teapot Café @ SS2 to catch up on what’s been happening, and of course to celebrate the birthdays of May Yee, Melinda and Prissy.

ultimate omelette & bread pudding

Teapot Café is a quaint little place which has been around for quite a number of years. It’s usually packed with patrons on Saturday, and we were quite lucky to have seats in the house for some afternoon delights. We savoured their ultimate omelette, chicken salad, chicken & mushroom pie, fish, and yummy desserts of blueberry pie, peach & almond crumble, and bread pudding with caramel sauce.

Prissy & Siang

It was nice having some company for a Saturday afternoon instead of my usual roaming around the outdoors or hanging around at home during rainy days. Despite our very busy and different schedules, we still do manage to pull a few meets every once in awhile, though it’d be nice if it were more often than once in 3-5 months.

Jeffrey, May Yee & Prissy

We caught up on the various goings-on… Our other close friend, Carrie couldn’t make it as baby Lauren had intestine flu and took her back to Ipoh for a little more TLC in quiet surroundings. Another old university friend, Eunice is getting married. Melinda booked a new home at Setia Alam – a nice corner lot for her cats to roam around (I lost count but I’m sure she has at least 20). What else? There’s a bit of talk about a little sensitive topic concerning mothers and baby-feeding which, due to the delicateness of it, I won’t repeat here. And amusingly enough, my blog became a little topic of its own…

“So what’s new with you?” they asked me.

“Errr… ups and downs, ins and outs. Quite the usual, really…” I replied.

“Hey, I read your blog, it’s quite nice!”

“Are you referring to a particular post?”

“Uhh… no, it was the very first one you had sent to us…”

“Hey, I update it quite regularly, yea! That’s so you don’t have to ask what’s going on the next few times we meet,” I laughed.

“Oh, you really do update your blog? Vigilantly every day?”

“Nah. Only when I feel like it, which is quite often for now. So read it-lah, you’ll know what’s been going on…”

(A little personal note: Don’t worry girls, I won’t hold it against you! Read it, or not, doesn’t really matter.)

Melinda & Eric

There were a few more bits and pieces of news that floated around… oh yes, and my trip to London, which ended the day with a bang as I spilled my glass of water all over my jeans, strategically over the front where it looked like I had peed in my pants.

After much talking and eating for 2 hours, the sky looked a little overcast outside and we decided to say our goodbyes. They’re already planning for the next gathering, most probably to visit Carrie and her baby in November, but by that time I’ll be freezing my arse off in the cold London weather. No worries dears, there’ll be lots of other times we’ll catch up!

Till then, there’s always my blog… wink!