Wednesday, November 30, 2005

oh, for a little privacy

Hey you...

Yes, you.

Are you one of those who look at other people's monitors or laptop screens when you pass them by from behind? Or when you go and speak to them on some matter, do you sneak a peek at what application window's open?

We all do our little private things at work. Instant messaging, online banking, online shopping, blogging, personal e-mail writing, photo viewing, etc. I doubt there's anyone in the world who wouldn't do anything non-work related during work hours. Unless of course, you really don't have the time to do your own stuff, and your tech administrator has barred the non-work related sites you frequent. Or if you're really anal about it and work is work, play is play, keeping both separate. Otherwise, it's acceptable to do your own little things once in awhile when you have the few minutes to spare. Of course, there shouldn't be any abuse of it either (like when the whole office is rushing to get a proposal out, deadline's at 5PM, you have 80% more of your portion to go and... You blog). That's just asking for trouble.

Anyway, back to the topic. Do you, or do you not, peek at your colleague's screen (whether intentionally or not)?

I admit, once in awhile, my eyes would do a sweep across the screen, then I'd avert my gaze with embarrassment if I spot something I shouldn't have seen. I know I'd feel that my privacy's invaded if someone stared at what I was typing if it's not meant for him / her to read. Unless of course, I've nothing to hide and left my screen wide open for everyone to look-see (what, are you mad??).

I've got used to curious eyes looking at what's keeping me glued to my screen, and these days I can't be bothered hiding my nonsense chat screens or browsers with and some blog I'm reading in the background. But there are times when I'm uncomfortable with it when it just so happens that someone's having a private chat with me about problems and a sensitive phrase or two catches a passer-by's eye, or a little paranoid when I do a quick bill payment online and someone would see how much (or little) money I have in my bank account.

It's such a human instinct, isn't it - curiosity. It always gets the better of us. Quite embarrassing, upsetting even, for the exposed party to realise they've been "compromised". Or when they fall prey to an online "crush meter" hoax sent as a joke (sorry Zed, not meaning to rant on you, it was quite funny as an afterthought, heheh!). Or when even having the computer "locked" with Ctrl+Alt+Del, yet have people use your computer without permission if they happen to know the password (as in the case for Binx. Ok, this one's another matter but it touches on privacy and I thought it quite unfortunate for it to happen).

Eh, I'm posting out of context again. Apologies... *ahem*.

Thus it comes to (the original) question - when is it ok to look at someone's screen? Never? Even if you didn't mean to look at their opened chat windows and see whom they're talking to? Or catch a glimpse of what they're purchasing online on eBay?

I guess there's no answer to this. We'll always be curious beings. We'll always have roaming eyes with an instinct to kepoh at everything we see. But be respectful of what had your eyes had feasted upon, and don't use it against that person. It's just not morally right. Curiosity is one thing, but blackmail is another.

Moral of the story is:
If you don't want anyone looking at things they're not supposed to be looking at, intentionally or unintentionally, don't do it out in the open. You're just asking for it, kan.

And if you do, be prepared for a few sneak peeks every now and then by passers-by. You shouldn't be upset by it if you know it's going to happen anyway. Why hide if you want to risk exposing your deepest, darkest secret at work, of all places?

And shame on you if you intentionally snooped around... *PIAK*!

Monday, November 28, 2005

sticky date pudding

Nice hor, nice nor, nice hor!

My first attempt at baking sticky date pudding. (Ice-cream buy one lah.)

Actually I baked this on Sunday, but I merajuk (sulk) a bit so didn't post about it till today.

Why merajuk lah?

Because no one was home to taste it while it was nice and hot, fresh from the oven. Humph. My parents more happening than me, went out to some open house get-together, left me alone at home to jaga rumah. My brother gone dunno where, every weekend also gone dunno where one lah.

So left me alone lor. Whole day at home make pudding and watch TV. So the happening.

But nevermind, today mama ate my sticky date pudding, said very the nice. Now happy a bit, can post about it.

Next week maybe make bagels. See recipe damn cow hard to make but still crave for it sometimes, so got to make anyway. If buy from Cold Storage, wahhhh... so the expensive, RM19.99 for a frozen pack of 4. Frozen! Not even fresh! Gila want to sell so expensive where got people want to buy one? (Except maybe the really rich lah.)

If like that I make my own bagels, maybe sell them for RM15.00 per fresh pack of 4, I think maybe make money also, ha-ha! But if damn cow hard to make, keep for myself better... *nyeh nyeh*!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

bimbo on a bike

This morning, bimbo (that's me) went ber-biking with friends Eric (macho man), Veron and Mel (the chics) at FRIM. Wah, long time no go there! The last time I pedalled through that reserve was… when ah? Got more than one and half months ago leh, beginning of October. Today first time do so much exercise, I so the gung-ho, hor?

Was slightly late there lor, forgot how to pack my bike into my little car already, took so long time. Take out front wheel lah, put down back seat lah, lay out ground sheet for bike lah, mah-fan a bit. What to do, spend money on expensive gadgets and holidays, no dough to buy proper bike rack. Summore I don't go ber-biking that often, a bit waste money lah.

So anyway ya, when I got there, my friends already setting up their bikes liao. So I fast-fast also set up my bike, wear my shoes, put on helmet. But… wei? How come my front wheel squeak wan ah? Like nguek nguek nguek sound. Not very loud lah, but not very healthy sound also. Eric said the bike's brake clamps rubbing against the disc (huh?). Maybe go to Ah Leong's place to get it tuned later.

We took different road leading to the reserve today, not bad also lah. Something like back-road, rather than following all the cars on the main road then only turn left somewhere inside-inside (dunno how to describe that turn off). Better also kwa, less danger of car banging me down before I even start ber-biking in the reserve.

Wahhhh… beginning of the road already mini uphill. Pedal… pedal… pedal… downshift gear… puff… puff… Ok lah, not so bad. Still can get up the small hill no problem. The other two chics with Eric doing quite well also, they first time go ber-biking can do so good already. I remember last time my first day off-road biking, almost died liao. End up pushing bike half the time. Cheh.

By the time get to the turn off from tar road into not tar road (haiya, off-road lah), my legs already tired a bit. If continue like this, maybe no need to go gym tomorrow. Pedal summore… nguek… nguek… nguek… eh, the sound getting damn irritating leh. Nemind, pedal faster, maybe sound cannot hear after that.

In half an hour we all reach that open area where got road going up Steroid Hill, Sungai Buloh, and some other place on the left. So? Want to go Sungai Buloh or not? Eric said, “Come, let’s go. Plenty of time left.” So we go lor. By that time my legs can feel tired already, but I kiasu a bit, so said go mai go lah.

Whee! Trail to Sungai Buloh a lot downhill one. Fly damn cow fast if you want to, but if not careful can skid and really fly also lah. Today I chicken a bit, jammed my breaks a lot because got fallen logs on trail, I scared langgar nanti then really fly like superwoman also not good leh.

After all of us were at the bottom of the downhill already, we rested for awhile. Going back uphill no joke, man. But like I said, today I damn gung-ho so I decided just kayuh all the way up only lah! Sure can do one. Cannot, then push bike lor. Rest enough already, we all start going back uphill.

Macho man went first, he damn power. Can pedal all the way up (or maybe he push also I dunno, since he faster than me, I cannot see if he cheat or not). I put the smallest gear (same concept like car) and started doing the hamster run. Not really run lah, but pedal fast-fast that look like hamster running only.

Puff... puff... wheeze! (Heavy breathing)… nguek… nguek… nguek… Aiyo, my thighs damn tired, very the pain already! Push lah, push lah! So… I got down and pushed. Haiya. Thought today can finish uphill but no power already. At least got cycle ¾ uphill quite good also. No more gung-ho after this. And definitely no need go gym tomorrow.

After finish uphill, we faster-faster go back ‘cos look like going to rain. Good timing also lah - when we got back to the car park, lepak a bit, drink coca-cola a bit, started to drizzle already. We - macho man, two chicks and a bimbo (that’s me) - did pretty well today, under 2 hours of torture.

Got go Ah Leong’s place to get my bike brake clamps tuned after that, but haiya, I saw some nice Shimano Visente eyewear for ber-biking, and nice Fox jersey too. Ooh! Bimbo a.k.a. shop-a-holic could not tahan. I had to get them!!! But haiya, didn't bring my credit card out. (There was a reason why I didn't, and now you know why.) But… but… haiya, I said to Ah Leong, you keep first, afterwards I come back to get from you ok? (Must go home and calculate budget. No budget also buy anyway.)

Now, 5 hours after ber-biking, my legs so damn tired man! Thighs like perpetually cramped, cannot walk for long, must always sit down, sit down already legs feel cramped so have to stand again. Summore tonight got dinner outside, drive manual car. Haiya.

Ok folks, this bimbo’s gotta go get ready already.

And buy the nice Shimano Visente and Fox jersey.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

what becomes of the broken-hearted

This isn’t a melancholic entry nor is it a funny one, but more of a reflective post of what’s on my mind for awhile. A lot of my friends have been through this, a lot of you have been through this, and at some point I have been through it too. Maybe some are still going through the motions. This isn’t anything new to read or discover about. Just decided to ramble about it today ‘cos I felt like it (and too bad if you don’t like it).

What am I yakking about?

Love. Relationships. Or rather, the lack thereof.

Better known as “crash and burn”, or the broken-hearted.

In all aspects of our lives – our career, our wants, whatever it is that we need to get on with – they’re all controllable. The only thing we can’t control is love. Much as we all want to meet the right person, fall in love, marry and live happily ever after, it’s the only aspect that I can think of right now which isn’t under our single-handed control. Because it takes another person to make a relationship work as well. And that’s what frustrates us, when we fall for a person but it’s not reciprocal.

It’s strange, isn’t it.

We get excited, flustered, always waiting for the other party to respond, to acknowledge, to just notice us. And when nothing is returned, we feel dejected, find ourselves in the deep end of the pool, struggling to stay afloat, wondering if we should just let ourselves drown in our misery because we felt unwanted, unappreciated, unloved.

And what becomes of the broken-hearted?

Oh, the usual…

Depression sets in, crying in the most public places in some extreme cases, always wondering, “why doesn’t he / she care about me?”, or “could it have been better?” or “does he / she think of me still?” or the ever popular “is there still a chance to get back together again?” We sink into misery, coming out of it briefly for a bit of fresh air, but lapse back into despair within the hour, and the cycle repeats itself. Not forgetting the zombie days and sleepless nights, loss of appetite (or for some, comfort food), loss of interest in other things, mood swings, unfocused, even to the point where thoughts of suicide and death creep into mind. A little scary, but that’s the truth.

At times like these there are few things friends and family members could do. Words of comfort could be uttered, help in providing distractions, maybe an offer or two to beat up the other party to make us broken-hearted souls feel avenged. Some fare well with constant company of loved ones, and regular reassurance that it’s better off without the no-good scumbag anyway.

Sometimes though, the best way to help is… do nothing. By that I mean you could offer yourself up as a sounding board and a shoulder to cry on, but leave it as that. Sometimes that’s all we need to know – that someone is always there to help. And when we do need help, we’ll have to be brave enough to ask for it, and not feel silly for doing so, instead of self-imploding with all the emotions battling inside us for air.

Yes, we all know that we gotta get over it and move on. But heck, don’t keep repeating it to the death. Sometimes we just need the time and space to grief a little, wallow in self-pity and not have people repeatedly saying, “You’ll feel better soon”. Everyone knows that time is a healer. But that’s not what we want to hear right then during the grieving period. If we’re not ready to move on, we’re not ready.

Once the grieving period has passed – be it a few days, weeks, months, even years – things do get better. Life does go on. And well… maybe we’ll wear their heart on the sleeves once more. Maybe we’ll build a wall around them to protect ourselves from being hurt again. Different people, different reaction, different outcomes.

There’s always something to learn out of everything. To me, this is not about learning how to “crash and burn” better the next time. It’s not about being wary or on-guard about falling in love again. It’s not about choosing a better “target”.

It’s about accepting your sadness and your hurt. It’s learning how to pick up the pieces and stay sane while everyone else is happy around you. It’s learning how to accept the help of friends and family members, and that sometimes they understand you better than you do yourself.

It’s about believing that there’s always a silver lining behind every cloud.

And that there’s always hope.

Better to try than to always wonder why, kan?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

the hamster run

Why do you exercise?
  1. To be fitter and healthier
  2. It makes your body look good
  3. Everyone else is doing it
  4. You’re bored and you need to fill your time with something
  5. All of the above
I am #5. This morning I woke up at an ungodly hour and trudged to the gym just downstairs of the office building. I used to be able to do it with no problems, but after more than 3 weeks of ambling around without any activity that required my heart to pump at 151 beats per minute, it was almost a chore. Get up, you lazy fat arse!

When I reached the gym I realised I’d forgot to pack in a small gym towel. Haiya. Gotta look damn unglamorous with sweat dripping down my face later. I resorted to folding 4 pieces of 2-ply facial tissue together to do the mopping job, and pray that it doesn’t roll into little bits and cling onto my face, hair, etc.

So. Onto the treadmill I went. After 21:18 minutes of unceremonious running, my legs decided to protest and my lungs were… well, they weren’t really short of breath but they could use a break. Stop? Don’t stop? Ahhh… let’s not push it on the first day back! At least I got my little dose of endorphins that’ll help keep my brain comfortably numb for the rest of the day (and if they run out, just replace with coffee).

Time for a double-cheese toast and cappuccino…


Sunday, November 20, 2005

limiting beliefs

Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping out in facilitating a teambuilding event organised by a friend of mine who’s been in this business for a little while now. We adjourned to Namaste, a really nice Indian restaurant at TTDI which had surprisingly very little yet simple deco and a cosy ambience. You would never have known that it served your favourite Indian cuisine such as roti canai, naan, tandoori chicken, vegetarian rice and a whole lot more (but of course, with a slightly inflated price).

Over a scrumptious lunch / tea, my friend, another facilitator and I caught up on old times. Somewhere along that conversation, something caught my ears standing at slight attention (it had been a long day). My friend was telling us how a particular consultant (for lack of a better name to call this person) had asked her on how she felt her business was doing, and she answered that she was pretty happy with the current situation, how it’s a small company that provides personalised service.

A-ha. Why a “small company?” questioned the consultant. Does it mean that large multi-nationals do not provide personalised service? Take Ritz Carlton for example. They’re a huge hotel chain yet they know you by name. Isn’t that personalised service?

To make a short story longer, it seemed that my friend was limiting her beliefs by that sheer statement – that only small companies could provide personalised service. But of course, this case is not true (as per Ritz Carlton example). This mindset was limiting the growth of her company to something bigger. So what’s the way to start improving it? It’s a far better thing to say, “We are a company that provides personalised service” without mentioning “small”. That’s a more powerful statement, to herself and to her staff. It’s saying, “You’re not working for “small” company. You’re working for a company that provides personalised service.” And that in itself is changing the way people look at your business.

Or take another example (I know I’m ranting a bit but bear with me here).

A guy – let’s call him Izzy – is more than 200lbs overweight, yet he thinks he’s healthy despite his giant size. But even though it’s a positive thought – “I’m healthy” – it’s still a limiting belief. In thinking he’s healthy although he’s 200lbs overweight, he’ll never push himself to lose the excess lbs and become even healthier. Again, a change of mindset is in order to break away from that limiting belief.

I guess all of us have limiting beliefs that stop us from doing any better, working any harder, or even feeling great about ourselves. More often than not when we think, “oh, it’s ok for me to stay at this level because I’m already doing well”. But are we really doing well? Or are we just staying comfortable in our own little space because we limit much potential we have?

Hmmm. I wonder what my limiting beliefs are…

What do you want to believe about yourself today?

Friday, November 18, 2005

do they taste better smaller?

M&M's® minis.

They don't really satisfy the need for the *crunch* effect if you eat them one by one, and when you do pour a whole bunch into your mouth for a good bite, they don't last very long - you finish them up a little too quickly...


But it's such a nice novelty.

(You could tell how bored I am today, huh?)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

kopi, I lap you...


I think I can safely announce that I’m 95% cured of my jetlag and insomnia. All the lethargic days and sleepless nights have now been set right with an early tumble into bed at 10:37PM last night. Can’t say it was totally undisturbed and dreamless, ada-lah skit gangguan from the pesky mosquito, but it was a gooooooooood rest.

Oh yes…

And I have to thank coffee for keeping me sane the past few days at work. Despite my semi-high intolerance to caffeine – it usually zings me up for at least 8 hours per cup – I was going about the day very sluggishly even after downing hot giant mugs of that substance. Yesterday was the worst, with one cup regular, one decaf, and one regular + decaf mix (even my colleagues were banning me from the coffee jars). And I was still falling asleep at the wheel driving home. Hmm, I wonder if I'm cured of of this intolerance?

I used to be sorta addicted to caffeine too. If I didn’t have a cuppa by midday every day, I’d get a massive migraine by mid-afternoon and a very bad temper to go with it. I decided not to be dependent on the pick-me-up perk and switched to decaf for about a month, before going totally without my daily fix and proclaimed to be “caffeine free”.

That lasted for 2 years.


A couple teaspoonfuls of coffee (instant-lah, takde brewer sini)…
A teaspoonful of sugar to taste…
Milk with a hint of vanilla essence…

There’s no sweeter substance that nourishes the pangs of warmth and good lovin’.

Kopi, kopi… Don’t ever let anyone make me leave you again.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

you've got a friend

For Lady Luthien and Cheryl.
And for those who need a friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend

If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you'll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there

Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend
When people can be so cold
They'll hurt you, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them
Oh, but don't you let them

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend


Artist: Carol King
Album: Tapestry

Monday, November 14, 2005

back in business... almost

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
Mmpphhh. Huh? Oh. Aiyoooooo…. Morning already ka…
(Hit the snooze button)
Just a bit more…

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
Ok ok ok… I’m up. Mmmppphhhhh. *YAWN*!
(Check downloads...)
(Type on keyboard...) "Hello jimmies... how are you..."

Shites… gotta go already… where the heck are my keys? Oh… I’m holding them.

Wah, girly behind me driving damn fast. Knapa laju-laju sangat ni wei?
Whatever lah… let you cut in front of me… I don’t wanna die today…

Wahlau-eh. I’m still the earliest to work.
(Unlock front door)
Damn it. I should learn to be late sometimes. *YAWN*!
Hmmm… no more milk… issshhhhh… Gotta settle with creamer. Yucks.

Wei, chou san!” my colleague greeted.

“Err… let’s pretend I’m not here…” I replied.

Talk-talk… laugh-laugh… eh, let’s go for kopi. *YAWN*!

Check mail… Ooh, good-good… no emergencies to attend to…
Surf net…
Check Friendster…
Check blogs…
(Eh, like no need to work laidet…)

“Lunch wei! Let’s go!” *YAWN*!
Mmm… sui kao not too bad today.
Must drop by supermarket to pick up some fresh milk for coffee.

Haiya. Have to make another cup of coffee already…
Aiyooooo… why laptop hang wan… bluddy ‘ell… (restart)
Damn. Still another 4 hours to go before quittin’ time.
I wanna go home…


Saturday, November 12, 2005


I'm home.

Jet lagged quite badly - slept for a few hours in the afternoon, which is early morning London time. I didn't catch any sleep on the plane, as there was this young toddler who kept crying on board. The elderly couple next to me didn't know how to work the video controls and the lighting; I felt compelled to show them how, even looked for the old man's spectacles which accidentally fell to the floor. When my eyes did close for a moment, strange images would flash through my mind, totally unrelated to current events or anything that I've been reading or watching on the flight. Disturbing, uncharacteristic, peculiar.

It's evening now - I can't shake the grogginess from my heavy head. I know I have to be awake - it's already 10AM in London, which meant I would've been out and about anyway. The coffee isn't helping like it used to.

Maybe it's the drawn curtains in my room that's keeping the lighting low enough for another nap.

Maybe it's the notion that there's nothing to look forward to anymore.

Maybe it's the depression that's setting in once again after the bout of excitement.


Maybe it's because I still can't let go.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

i did what i came here to do

The last ride into town on the bus.

The last sight of the busy city of London.

The last rush with the hasty crowd on Oxford St.

The last cup of coffee at the cafe.

The last long ride on the tube.

The last slow walk back to my temporary home.

The last hug of a friend.

The last glimpse of your face.

I'll miss you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

trattoria mondello, cafe emm

No more shopping, no more sight-seeing... enough. Spent another makan day with friends whom I wouldn't be seeing for a very long time...

Lunch at Trattoria Mondello

Dinner at Cafe Emm

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

the reality of things

Woke up this morning with the realisation that I had 3 days left in London.

That itself was enough to dampen my mood for the rest of the day.

Decided to do the final bits of what I’d left out the past few days – visited Kensington Palace, checked out the Victoria & Albert museum, got a mailing tube to store the posters I picked up for a friend, bought some goodies from Harrods for my family. Even went to Lilywhites to see if I could get a VAT return on the footie jersey I’d bought for my cousin, but I missed the minimum by £5. I contemplated buying something to make up that amount, but after some calculation I decided to heck with it, not quite worth the extra 5 quid to save £3.75.

Went home earlier than usual; by 5:00PM I was already showered and tidying up my stuff. For a moment I thought I’d misplaced my plane ticket and panicked, till I found it hidden in one of my bags’ zipper pockets. Ah.

I thought I wouldn’t go through a melancholic mood while on a long holiday, but I guess there’s no escaping how you feel no matter what you do to avoid it. Maybe it’s the knowledge that all good things must come to an end, and I’ll have to go back to my mundane life this weekend.

Or maybe it’s because I know I have to say goodbye.

Monday, November 07, 2005

makan time

Duck rice for lunch at Four Seasons restaurant…

Coffee at Café Nero…

Lamb kebab for dinner at Beirut Express…

Teh tarik at Mawar Restaurant…

Aaahhhhhh. Kenyang...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

eye in the sky

Woke up this morning feeling the blues. Strange yet not surprising that I should be back to my moody self while on holiday, especially since I had a good yesterday at the gardens and concert. Despite it being sunny outside, it didn’t quite lift the gloom that was hanging above my head.

10 minutes. That’s how long I allowed it to brew before I gave myself a mental kick in the arse and got out of the house.

Cheryl and I went on board the London Eye to have a 360º view of the city. The long queue surprisingly cleared very fast, and within the hour we were on board the bubble going up and around.

The ride was supposed to last for 30 minutes, but it felt much faster than that. Boarding and getting off the ride could be a bit tricky – the wheel doesn’t stop turning, and you kind of have to keep walking toward the turning direction to get into the bubble.

The view was quite spectacular all around. Some landmarks stood out clearly – St Paul’s, Shell House, Parliament, Big Ben, BT Tower, Swiss Headquarters, Waterloo Station… as far as the eye could see.

Spent the rest of the day boot-hunting and shopping around before adjourning to Chinatown’s C&R for dinner with Kim-Mi and Heng. I was quite amused with the variety they had on their menu, very typical Malaysian dishes like nasi lemak, kangkung belacan, Chinese-style noodles, even herbal tea. It definitely doesn’t quite match up to the “real thing”, but close enough to satisfy the occasional cravings for Malaysian food.

Dead tired by the time we got home… at least my brain’s kinda dead too.

Comfortably numb.

Friday, November 04, 2005

kew and sheryl

A rare sunny day. Time to visit yet another outdoor place instead of a gallery or museum, I kinda had enough of those already for the week. Hopped on the train and down southwest to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, or better known as just Kew Gardens. It was autumn so most of the scenery was full of browns, oranges, yellows and greens, unlike spring’s multitude of hues. Nevertheless, it was still not short of a spectacular sight walking around the grounds. I won’t write about it… I’ll let you see instead…

Later that evening, met up with iJun for Sheryl Crow in concert at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith. We stopped by Café Nero for hot soup and a snack before joining the crowd at the concert hall.

As luck would have it, Daniel Powter was the opening act, yay! Such a rare treat! He sang a few good ones – Bad Day (but of course), Song 6, Styrofoam and a couple more. Only had his keyboard as accompaniment. Listening to him play only made me regret not touching the piano for the past 12 years because of pride and a childish reason.

Out came the diva… and as expected, Sheryl Crow was superb! Opened with Run, Baby, Run wearing what she called her wedding dress (was that for real?). She wowed the full-house crowd with songs from her new album as well as all-time favourites like If It Makes You Happy, All I Wanna Do, Strong Enough, Soak Up The Sun, Cat Steven’s The First Cut Is The Deepest, and the list goes on.

All throughout the concert iJun and I sneakily took multiple shots of the concert. As the hall was dark, it was tough taking clear photos without flash. Every few minutes we’d attempt a few clicks, hoping for that one perfect shot (I think he had way better luck than me judging from the outcome). The usher wasn’t too pleased with my camera’s night-assist light, she mistook it for a flash and aiyo, kena sound pulak. But heck, we kept taking photos anyway, ha-ha!

Ah, excellent end to a beautiful day. Couldn’t have had a better holiday than this…

perfect lie

Burn like a cigarette
Hole inside my head
Reminding me not to forget
Words, words I'd never say
Things along the way
They're telling me that I'm the best

Look at your face, it doesn't look like it did
You give away everything now that you've hid
You, you want to be only
To never get lonely
So you opened up your arms and took me in
And this our last goodbye
And this is a perfect lie
Told by someone that I used to know back then

Help, help is on the way
That's what they all say
It's a thing that they don't know
'Cause I, I know everything
And maybe it's just a ring
But that won't make me let it go

Look at your face, it doesn't look like it did
You give away everything now that you've hid
You, you want to be only
To never get lonely
So you opened up your arms and let me in
And this our last goodbye
And this is a perfect lie
Told by someone that I used to know back then

Look at your face, it doesn't look like it did
You hide the love
That you're not willing now to give, willing now to give
You, you want to be only
To never be lonely
So you opened up your arms and let me in
And this our last goodbye
And this is a perfect lie
Told by someone that I used to know back then
And this our last goodbye
And this is a perfect lie
That I'll never have to use that voice again

Sheryl Crow performed at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith on 4th November, 2005.
Thanks for taking me to the concert, iJun!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

revisiting the past

The British Museum was my key destination today, as I had to meet a friend there in the afternoon. The weather didn’t look that promising either although there was a nice ray of sunshine every once in awhile in the morning. However, having checked the weather report earlier, I knew it wasn’t going to last for long.

The museum is by far the largest and most vast repository of historical artifacts I’ve ever seen. From Greece & Rome to Egypt, Africa, Asia and the Americas, the place is massive. The moment I stepped through the front entrance I was wowed by the high dome-like ceiling and spaciousness of the Great Court. In the middle of the court stood the Reading Room with an amazing collection of books on all subjects.

I started with the Egyptian displays, then worked my way through Greece & Rome before pausing at the gallery of Living & Dying. I can’t begin to describe the exhibits; you just have to be here to experience them yourself.

I took to the Asia exhibit an hour into my visit, then popped by Africa and ending at the Enlightenment Gallery. I didn’t want to do the entire museum in a day, I knew it would’ve been an overkill and get what they termed “museum fatigue”. I decided to leave the upper floors for another visit and stepped outside for a quick bite. The drizzle had started, grey skies as predicted.

As I sat there munching on my sandwich, I came to a rather ridiculous yet amusing conclusion – the reason why London had so many museums and galleries was because the people needed something to do indoors in bad weather. (Ok, that was a bad joke.)

1:00PM rolled around – time to meet up with Thee Heng, whom I used to work with in an ex-company. When he turned up at the museum steps, he looked exactly how I remembered him – skinny, boyish looks, bespectacled. Ah, so nice to see another familiar face in a foreign city. We popped into Starbucks just opposite the museum for a drink, catching up on old times and what’s been happening. He suggested a few places to visit while I was here, and we decided to meet up again on Saturday for a trip to Portobello Market.

The rain had let up by then, and next on my itinerary – or rather, recommended by Heng – was to check out Covent Garden, the setting for the musical My Fair Lady. It reminded me a little of the Rocks Market in Sydney, with lots of knick-knacks for sale. Nice, quaint little market to visit, though I’m sure there would be more stalls open on weekends compared to a Thursday.

There wasn’t much left to do after that but to go shopping (yay!). Made my way to Oxford St where hoards of shoppers were trekking up and down the street, bargain hunting. I only picked up coffee and a scarf; other items on my wish list would have to stay on the list until next week when I assess how much money I have left… sigh. Wish my mind didn’t do auto-conversion every time I looked at the price tag…

And I didn’t miss my stop this time. Woo-hoo.

Note to self: do not listen to melancholic music on a cold, rainy day. Not a good idea.