Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Remember Now Why I don't Like Women's Magazines

I found this little thing in an article in January's issue of Cleo, one of Malaysia's lifestyle and beauty magazine for young women.

Written by a bloke named Adrian Christopher, he deciphers some favourite acronyms (I never knew they existed to begin with) guys give girls, there is one what totally cheesed me off:

WTS (Way Too Smart)
WTSes are not your cup of tea. These women are sharp, cunning creatures and usually do well in their careers. Why we (men) don't like them is because we cannot outwit them or out-manoeuvre them if ever we fall into disagreement. We leave WTSes to the wiser and older among us men because they are the only ones with the brains to keep the relationship equal.

How to lose the label (if you are a WTS) :
Forget about having the last say. try to stop intimidating men with your wit and remain more humble. Else, the only man who will ever date you will be twice your age.

Oh where do I begin?
The author is irresponsible to advocate that smart women stop "intimidating men" and play dumb. The advice dished out also severely insults young men by suggesting that they are incapable of appreciating a woman of intelligence.

What pains me is that it is CLEO, a leading women's magazine that is featuring this crap. If the media who claims to be a voice for women isn't going to stand up for us, encourage us to believe that we are worthy to be loved for who we are and foster healthy gender relations, guess we continue walking around as living stereotypes.

I don't care if the article is syndicated, the editorial team should have given more thought to their stuff as what they print is being read by so many impressionable teens.

I am going to write to the magazine.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I want a Hippopamus for Christmas

I love this ad!
Here is the link:

Telus is an ISP and it ran a commercial in Canada starring a baby hippo just prancing to the song I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. It was such a hit that unfortunately for Telus, it started a massive trend for toy hippos instead of for the company.

Well it may not have sold me ISP but hey, here is a girl all the way from the opposite ends of the earth who now knows about Telus and who is singing about wanting hippopotamuses all day.

Not bad for an ad.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Have ye a blessed christmas

My sheep and I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas comes early

On the fourth day to Christmas my true love gave to me:


Thank you thank you thank you.
Its bragging rights for weeks.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Turkeys

I never totally realised just how much our Ringgit has devaluated until I had to buy a RM5 present for the office gift-exchange. It is so hard trying to stay within that budget. I finally gave up and bought a RM10 gift.

At the office we had a splendid meal of turkey and chicken and lots of potatoes and cakes and fruits and bread. Working after all that was more than the drowzy eyes can take. Zzzzzzz.

The bosses joined in and their presence was felt strongly. Odd how people can't relax when their bosses are around. We were banned from eating in the conference room and all 20 odd of us had to cram in the pantry. I guess my office mates are not as close as it would initially seem. I started missing my ex-colleagues a lot.

I can't wait for the weekend.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming!

On the Seventh day to Christmas my true love said to me:

"Let's go to One Utama"

To which I chirpily replied, "Are you out of your mind?"
The Malls are packed, the shoppers are mad, the taxi queue stretches to the next county, why on God's good earth would I want to go to a mall? Christmas is coming.

The Urbanites are obsessed with shopping malls. Sure there are fantastic pantomimes, charlatan Santas who scare the bejeebers out of kids, styrafoam snow and scrawny plastic trees (well, this is not a country where pine trees flourish unless you want to hang your thisle and ornaments on a pokok rhu.) and the fact that amazing movies are now showing at a mall near you, but it is one stressful adventure and it starts right at the parking lot. Well it is conceptually a parking lot coz logically it means that it is a place where you can get to park your car but seriously, unless you can get your tires to glue themselves on the ceiling, you chances of getting a spot would be miniscule at best.

So I am not going to a shopping mall this weekend. Besides, book vouchers make sexy gift too, no?

Sunday morning

An ideal Sunday morning involves waking up to a beautiful day, early enough so it is cool still but late enough that sunshine has taken to pouring through the windows, casting bright watery reflections as it shines through the recycled jam jars half filled with happy yellow flowers.

And nothing quite comes close to filling the kitchen with smells of fresh coffee. In between waking up the dog and picking up the newspaper from the porch.

No I am not influenced by the Nescafe ads but I am stirred by a longing for my own place. Where I can have the space and freedom to enjoy simple pleasures such as keeping a pet and filling a kitchen with the aroma of said coffee.

For 3 years I have been living in a tiny rented room and it is so easy to get tired of the campyness and crampiness it. I can't even invite my brother in my room without informing my landlord and I can't even keep sandwich hams in my fridge as the landlord forbids me having any meat in the fridge while he can stuff a giraffe in there if he wants to. Of course it is unfair but when I moved in I desperately needed a convenient place to live and hence I tolerated it.

Hopefully I will be able to move out to a better place by the end of next year. PLease please please. I better start planning my future window curtains.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

For old time's sake

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Update, maestro

Good God I am so tired.
It is such a treat to be able to blog. With the many changes in my daily routine, I keep telling myself I need to get this all down before I forget but by the time I get home, all I want to do is crawl into bed.

Anyway, I filed my papers into the High Court just a few days ago so I am officially a Pupil now. I was not able to file my papers before as I had to retrive my birth cert from home which feels like about 900 miles away.

As a pupil I am only allowed to represent my firm in very limited instances and exclusively in chambers as oppose to open court. After three months, or after what is referred to as Short Call, I will be able to appear before a Magistrate in a court. Maybe I should explain, In Chambers just means the judge's office. Open court is the courtroom proper - where everybody can witness you kena properly from the judge.

Baptism of fire, with the complimetary brimstone.

So far I have been attending court with my master constantly. I have sat in open court with her to see her conduct hearings and next week I will be witnessing a full trial. My master's grasp of procedure is amazing.

I must say that my experience in court has been quite different than what I had imagined. Most lawyers are very courteous (of course this may be due to the seniority of my master and opposing counsels) and even the courts are not as daunting as I thought they would be. I am actually looking forward to go to court. ( Mark this as I bet this will be my famous last words)

And I have stopped wearing make up to work. Oddly, the more made-up and ego a chambering student is, are the more likely the officials will ignore her. Looking at all the stressed out , worst for wear litigation lawyers, I know that my livid look allows me to fit right in.

My black and white attire has also attracted attention. I.e "Can you tell me where the children's department is?"
I am just waiting for someone to mistaken me for a waitress.

I am also quite surprise as how fast my Malay has improved within these two weeks. And how fast my appetite has shrunk. But waist line still the same, damn it.

It is all so very different from my days at the tin factory. But one thing remains tho, I can't wait for the weekend.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Only day 4

Day 4 of my chambering.

Today I was at the High Court where I met the Assistant Registrar aka Penolong Pendaftar. Subject: Taxation of cost. That just means haggling over legal fees. Because when one party wins a case, the loser will not only have to fulfill judgement but also pay the other party's legal costs. And so, parties will come to a sum which parties can agree to (which hardly ever happens) so they go to the Assistant Registrar to get the matter decided upon.

The KL High Court is quite nice indeed. The courtyard is nice - green and pretty. SO different from the Magistrates and Sessions Court which are more gritty.
Nevertheless I bet the parties actually involved in any suit would rather not be anywhere near the courts.

Later in the day I even went to Cheras to an auctioneer.
And tomorrow I will be in Shah Alam for a Summary Judgement hearing and Land Office matters.

I am knackered. So much running abound. My best investment so far has been great pairs of pants and fantastic flat healed shoes. I have yet to see any short skirted, perfectly made up Ally McBeals at court yet. Yeah, like there is any chance she will be taken seriously. Well I can say, I have mostly met with senior lawyers/counsel and judges who have so far effectively ignored me. At this point, I can't say I mind. Half the time I am still as blur as a sotong on a stick.

Argh, there is so much to catch up. I even bring home stuff to read. This is quite hard.

I am getting a bit tired. And this is only the beginning. I think I need to go to bed. Will catch up on my writing over the weekend. I will tell you more.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Today I visited the Sessions Court for the first time with my master. It was a hearing for an application for leave to enforce judgment against the defendant.

We were acting for the plaintiff. Walking into the courtroom was not as scary as I thought it would be. But then again, I deal only with the Civil Courts and I risk no injury from violent criminals. I mainly just need to fear the judges. (which may be worse. Ooo I can just hear the echoes reverberating…contempt of court.)

There is no glamour in the local courts (except perhaps for the Federal Court at the Palace of Justice at Putrajaya) and rightly so. Lawyers in their dark suits loitering on the old long dark corridors, boy, those who chose to do law after watching LA Law and Ally Mcbeal must feel so disillusioned.

I got to witness a judge giving a lawyer a good scolding. I felt so sorry for her. In all honestly though, it could have been avoided if she did her research well enough and actually answered the judge with what she wanted to know as oppose to hedging the issue. Poor thing.

Oh by the way, the proceedings are in Malay. It was not as difficult as I imagined it to be although I was quite stumped with the terminology. English is still used in the lower courts but lawyers can only resort to it if the judge reverts to English first. Alternatively you can ask the court for leave to speak in English and pray that it be granted.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Where have all the flowers gone?

The law is far from accessible to the layman. I am up to my eyeballs in procedural requirements alone. You have no idea the amount of red tape and technical details that need to be done even before an action even glimpses the court doors.

I am so impatient for things to fall into place and finally make sense but it is difficult to see the woods as the trees are bloody massive.

I had to look through a corporate loan agreement and it could have been the Dead Sea scrolls as far as I am concerned as I could not make head or tale of it.

And I will be following my master to court tomorrow. I wonder if I will find it fascinating or will I just die.

I should have taken up ikebana and opened up a flower shop.

Significant nothings

It is always the smallest things, inconsequential everyday things that have the uncanny capability to stretch my heart to bursting point.

In the book Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, the protagonist was out shopping and finding a perfect red tomato, was so overcome with love.

The passage struck me not because it was weird but because I can totally relate (which may perhaps be even more unnerving). Although for the record I am not into green produce typically.

But my point is that sometimes it is the smallest things that have the largest impact.

For instance, K who in despite of all his admirable qualities, has me tingling with absolute facination with his ability to touch type at the speed of light.

Second example, I used to be so enthralled by a young man due to his superb driving skills. I remember sitting in his car just GLOWING.

Then there is Jessica whom I adore to bits because she use to have a bright window with yellow daffodils on the sill and checkered blue curtains.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fruits in the mirror

Working at a mall involves looking at reflections of myself against the shop windows and gheez, I look like a watermelon standing on its head i.e. small ends and large middle section. How did I let myself go.. sob sob sob.
And most asian girls are all skinny.
Whuahahahaaha (loud soppy cry as oppose to similarly spelt evil scientist laugh)

Self pity self pity self pity self pity.
I need a chocolate bar.

And the race begins

Oh first day at work.
Ironing my shirt in the early morning felt like shit.
Going to work felt like shit.

Generally people in the industry are one unfriendly lot. But I am glad I went back to the firm I once worked. Not so apprehensive and people there already have a reasonably good opinion of me. God I hope.

I finally found out (Nobody would tell me before) that the firm is one that deals in mostly civil matters i.e. banking, bankruptcy, land and on the rare occasion, probate and family law.
In other words, everything I wanted to learn. With one catch. My master (yes, they are officially called that, big lawyer - MASTER, small kuchi rat - PUPIL) where was I.. yes, my master wants me to do litigation while I wanted the safe protection conveyancing provides.

Well, it is all within one's learning curve. ( I have been trying for weeks to psych myself up). Most of the lawyers who come back from court look terribly dishevelled. That would be me soon.

Today, I spent the good part of the morning looking through the correspondences. I need to work both in Malay and in English - I am so screwed. The terminology does scare me. The subject matter and procedural matters - elements that I gleefully forgotten are coming back to haunt me. Boo.

So today, I spent the day getting loss at masjid jamek looking for the bar council to purchase my petition forms. And looks like I need to get my birth cert certified as part of the documents I need to file. And it is all at my hometown. And mom is already on her way to genting for a holiday. Phooey. Looks like I would need to make a trip back next week. At least I will get to be fed well.

And to think before this I had all the time in the world.

I wonder how Jo survived her first day?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Weekend trip

Day after tomorrow I start work. Phooey.
In anticipation I have been brushing up on land law. I had as much fun as a turkey on Thanksgiving. So I won't bore you with details.

I had a lovely weekend where K and I traveled to his hometown of Malacca for him to renew his ID. The registration department there was practically empty and everything was done in less time than it takes to buy a latte. Nice.

Of course the main reason I tagged along was to have lunch and officially meet his family. Was I nervous? I bring your attention to the turkey on Thankgiving analogy again.

Before checking into the hotel we nipped into a ancient looking coffeeshop. Quite full of character. And as we were leaving the shop who did we bump into but K's aunty and grandma!

Dust encrusted, sweat layered and smelling charmingly of diesal courtesy of our bus, and compounded by my charismatic 10-word mumbled greeting - I am positive I created an impression. I just can't tell you what.

And after that close encounter, we bumped into them again while we were walking to our hotel. K's aunt has an uncanny ability to recognise the back of our heads. We waved as they drove past.

So we settled in our room at Hotel Puri - one of the better boutique hotels in Malacca. Very comfortable. So after much face scrubing and mouth muscles aching from too much smiling practice, no point delaying the inevitable, off I went with K.

And guess who we met? (again) We bumped into the same aunty and grandma on the same road. We were beginning to suspect conspiracy or at least very bad spying.

Eventually we caught a cab to K's place, almost certain we would bump into the dynamic duo again somewhere along the way.

Lunch was lovely. Again I am not sure who felt more embarrased and awkward. I did not get an opportunity to speak to his dad although I had a chance of exchanging small talk with his mom. And I did get a rousing welcome by the resident mosquitoes. Covered in bumpy kisses I was. And oh, the aunty did phoned his mom telling her that they have seen me. I wonder if they mentioned FOR THREE TIMES.

We didn't stay long at all. Less time given to me to screw up the better. I bet I will have more opportunities to meet them again in the future. I am still analyzing the trip to death. You know, things like whether should have I washed my plate like a good potential daughter-in-law should, or should I have not gone at the food like a pig. You know, life and death stuff.

It was a pleasant break. Only gripe was how unreasonable cab fees are in Malacca. It is daylight robbery.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mind, Body and Soul

The one thing I am grateful for in my three week work-free break is the luxury of just being still. I was literally fraying at the edges. Not doing anything sounds awfully slothful but it is really far from it. And I am always happy to spend time alone.

I am an anti-social git.

This break has given me time to contemplate, reassess and just heal from the daily grind. Revisiting thoughts that have been shoved on the backburner, getting odds and ends organized, doing a little soul searching and spending time with those important to me.

I am starting to sound like Oprah, aren't I?

Of course I am still confused like hell as to what I want in life and conflicting wants and needs make future trajectories less easy to plot. I suppose trying to achieve order in this chaotic world is akin to making a tuna sandwich while riding a rollercoaster.

I can't help it. I like to keep things in little neat compartments. Yeah, as Jo correctly pointed out, I am a Monica. (from Friends. Gosh that was long ago, innit?)

However being alone does have its challenges. I now find it a bit intimidating stepping out of my home alone. The unpleasant cacophony and uninvited gazes rudely imposed upon me, I feel violated! Strange sensation that. When cold hard reality embraces me again, I feel the serenity I worked so hard for, shatter into a million icy shards.

I suppose it is easy to find peace in the quiet refuge of home but the main quest is to find sanity in the outside world and not get swept by the maddening tide.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Great read!

I have just completed Jonathan Stroud's third instalment of the Bartemaeus series. It is set in an alternate reality where the ruling class consist of magicians who summon demons to assist them in their official and everyday undertakings. This trilogy follows the life and adventures of a proud and ambitious young magician whose lust for fame and power acquaints him with the djinni Bartemaeus who is scathing, sarcastic and so full of wicked humour that I instantly took a fancy to him on first reading.

Ptolemy's Gate is the brilliant conclusion. Brilliant story telling and great humour. So enthralled I am by Bartemaeus that I regard myself as one of the earliest in the country to have read this last instalment. Well, kiasu as I am, I booked, paid and read the book on the very day the shipment arrived at Kinokuniya. All the other bookstores have not got theirs in yet. I know. I called all the major bookstore chains.

So it was Potter on Monday and Djinni on Tuesday, so do forgive me if I am dreaming of having an Ollivander wand, a spotted owl and a best friend who is a 5000-year old demon who wouldn't shut up.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My favourite things

Simple pleasures that totally make my day.
So what's yours?

The smell of fresh linen

A tight squeeze

A backrub after a long day

Neck nuzzled by warm nose

Sleeping dogs

Nursing a cup of tea when it is raining outside

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hear my blood vessels go pop

I really cannot stand two types of people

1. dumbass front line staff who possesses zero customer relations
2. asshole taxi drivers

I don't care how deprived their lives are but how can anyone be rude to a customer? I think I have kicked up enough fuss in enough restaurants to know that here, good customer service is as common as snow in Bukit Bintang.

Another breed which deserves absolutely NO sympathy is cab drivers. There is now a trend among these half wits to not give you back change, taking it like it is due to them! They will insist on you paying them to the exact 10 cents but they won't bat an eye lid when it comes to fleecing you. Once I took a cab where upon stopping the cabbie quickly reset the meter and demanded 4 bucks when it was clearly $3.40. Like Hell I was going to give him that.

And another time when the two of us took a cab in the morning and my companion only had a tenner. The ride cost about 3 bucks. The cabbie just shrugged and said "no change!" and waited, expecting us to pay him the tenner. My companion wanted to just hand over the money but yeah, over my dead body. I dug out my wallet and paid the exact fee... in coins.

Also if you are ever caught at a mall where the cabs go by the coupon system, for the love of God, let the cabbie know which route exactly you want to use. The up-front price paid does NOT include toll fees and if you don't tell him which way, you can bet your bottom dollar he will use all the tolls he can find on route.

Oh I have enough stories to want you to swear off public transport forever. I have heard of sob stories and cabbies being murdered for fee disputes and I know I sound mean but sometimes they SO deserve it.

They will moan of how difficult it is to earn a living but when asked to drive to a destination they feel out of THEIR way, they will shoo you away. If it wasn't for the fact that I have no car, I would like to blow them all to smithereens.


As K and I were walking down the road along SS25 and there crawling from under a van was a black snake! Easily 1 1/2 feet long, it was slithering across the road when a car passed and it did a U turn back under the van. This was in a fully populated neighbourhood hence this snake was a surprised.

Wonder who was more scared, the snake or us.

Key word search: Teetottler

It is amazing what you find when you do a random search ....

Posted on 1 April 2004 @ 17:31:56 on a matchmaking service

Looking for a bride for my son age 31, non smoker, teetottler having properties over Rs 15 million. Educated and retired parents of Sri Lanka Administrative Service, vegetarian. Son is looking after properties. Looking for a non working pretty girl, kind hearted with a good character. Apply with horoscope.

oh dear.. gold diggers take note

Monday, November 14, 2005

Stupid Monday

I still cannot decide whether I want this blog to be a platform where I cry, and rant and generally unload my negative emotions (thanks Mentalf for bringing to my attention that I write as if I am "going to die like that")


write about more positive things and actually entertain about my readers with my supposed wit and humour.


I found out that TWO of my friends have gotten hitched. Wow, everyone is getting on with their lives. And I still don't know what to do with mine. It is normal to be approaching 30 and still have identity crises? I guess that is another reason why I am Batman! (see below) At least Batman is cool. But I can relate to the emotional dysfunctionalism. And I think black is slimming too.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I kick ass

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight.

As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shake your booty

I miss dancing. Nothing beats gettin' it on with a bunch of mates without a care how stupid we look. I never made it to Ministry of Sound in London as Monica decided to go to Ibiza instead! Going to a club alone is just sad.

Grooving to Jamiroquai was so cool at one time. Now all I remember him as a bloke with a hat. Now the clubs are overun by collge kids and I feel so ancient and over dressed (= having on too many clothes. Club wear now consist of handkerchiefs, haven't you noticed?)

Top of the Pops

Not too long ago I got an invite to Retro Retro night at a leading club. A cd came with it and as I could not go that time, I chucked the invite and kept the CD.

Finally listened to it and whoa momma! I thought I remembered a lot of the songs of the glorious 80s but obviously I was wrong. In fact I don't know quite a big number of the tunes.

And all this time I laid claim to the 80s as MY time yet yesterday I had a brilliant conversation with a 36 year old who claims it for his own too.

So that got me thinking. In 1985 I was, lets see.. 8 years old! Gosh, I can't be that young! I remember so many TV shows of that era. So if I didn't belong to the 80s that would mean that I am actually a 90s girl. That's not bad at all in a kinda bombastic, romatic way.

Who is a 90s icon now? Let's examine 90s pop culture shall we? In no particular order

The Simpsons
The Wonderbra
Trainspotting (yeay!)
Hanging Tough (NKOTB)
Bungee jumping
Sinead O' Conner
Hammer Time
Sonic the Hedgehodge
Quentin Tarantino
Vannila Ice
Fight Club
Ali G
Robbie Willams (sigh)
Austin Powers
Spice Girls

Shucks, I do have loads of good memories. On the BBC website listen to medlies of the 90s. Find them at

Damn nostalgic. Man, I miss the clubs. There is this great club called Bobby Brown's at Broad Street Birmingham. Fridays were best as it was stricly over-25s only, hence no drunk students crowds.

I don't know how our lot usually got in as we were no where near 25 at the time, but I count not resist the R&B.

It was there that I developed a taste for strong tequila.
(And it was there also that I got picked up by a gorgeous man who owned a garden centre at Longbridge. A 6-footer with blue eyes, high cheek bones and broad shoulders. He was just SO freaking hot. Nothing happened as I left for home soon after. Sheesh. So fucked up, right?)

Time to take a cold shower now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Tis November.

This blog is 11 months old. I actually never expected that my enthusiasm would last this long.

I read somewhere that when men break up, they cope by dating other women (bastards, right?) or getting drunk. Women eat chocolates and write journals.

So 7 kilos and a reasonably decent blog later, here I am looking back at the experience. I am so glad that I have this little chunk of cyberspace to call my own. I guess the reason why it has for the longest time been a little on the negative side (i.e. oh a just tad bitchy) is because it was originally created as a platform to vent. (It's cheaper and healthier than Marlboro lights anyway.) It is quite cathartic for me although now that I have opened the blog to others, I sincerely doubt you feel at peace.

I am so sorry dear reader that you have to be subjected to such skepticism, cynicism and despair (and I have not even said anything about my sex life yet).

I have come to the conclusion that one's happiness lies only in one's own hands and that by delegating that responsibility to someone else, say a boyfriend, a parent or a peer, one is just setting oneself up for major disappointment. Nobody is going to ever thank you for being a martyr in this world.

So carpe diem!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Watch the Birdie

KL Bird Park
Taken with a Canon EOS 350D

1/200, f/5 at 131mm

I am not plastic

1/500, f/6 at 168mm

Can I blink now,please?

1/400, f/5.6 at 200mm
I will put up more photos soon. Thinking of setting up an online gallery as resizing the images removes a lot of the details and does not do justice to the subjects.

Simplify, simplify

The last layout was just too spotty. Here is a new look to my blog which I do think is a little more pleasing to the eye. Simplicity is good. I hope to be putting up more pictures here so I think this works better.

Anyway I was supposed to start work next week but guess what? I called up my new boss to ask for an extension and she just remarked "why don't you come in December?"

YEAY! I am pleased as punch!
A. I have not recovered from my last job
B. I have not had time to myself
C. I have not caught up with the law
D. I have not called up my ex office mates during lunch time to tell them that I just woke up.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Soppy movies

I caught the movie Sepet on TV over the weekend. Alone of course. It is a sweet story about inter-racial love. Of course I knew it was a romantic movie. That was why I left my unopened VCD copy in my desk drawer for close to two months now.

I dislike love stories. They are in essence, sugar-coated candy-flossed tales that have so lost touch with reality. Plus they make me cry like a school girl.

I scoff at the tissue waving, eye dabbing chick flick fans. But then again, when I think about it I am not really that different.

When women watch love stories, we examine it against our own relationships and we weep bitterly over its utter wretchedness/death.

Yet through chick flicks, we continue to live in hope. Not unlike men with their porn collection. Somewhere in our fantasies we hope our Brad (or Keanu or Johnny) in shining sports car will sweep us off our Bata slippers with roses and champagne. But of course the chances of that happening is about the same as most men scoring with their favourite pornstar.

It will be a while before I watch another love story.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Where are the sitcom moms?

I have disappeared for a while to go home and visit my mom. If you have been keeping up with my incessant complaining, you would know that my parents' marriage is at a turning point.

And like a wooden stake lodged into a vampire's heart, this trip back drove home one point - I can't live with my mom if I am to remain sane.

Her values and approach to life is very old-school, not that I have a problem with that. But she has a very hot temper and a tongue to match.

She never really fancied me. My childhood years were miserable ones. Affection and attention deprived, I don't know how to explain to the men i date why I am so emotionally screwed up at times.

Mother has mellowed down through the years although my dad had to bear the brunt of her frustrations a lot as my brother and I exited the nest. And now it appears even dad has given up.

My mom is all sweet to me now and as much as I try, I cannot help but wonder if it is because she has no one left on her side. Now with this problem she is having with dad, I try to be supportive but on our trip home, my brother and I ended up on the receiving end of my mom's fury. Sigh.

I am trying so hard to be understanding but it is proving to be difficult. Perhaps it is also because I have not forgiven her for a lot of the pain and heartache I was put through.

Who would have thought that being fillial would be so hard.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Morbid hangover

Living has turned into a quest for survival. And surviving is a terrible way to live. Yet millions do it everyday.

How wearisome.

Personally I am convinced that we are entering the Dark Ages again although not in terms of technological advancement as even the blind knows that we are indeed catapulting forward.
But we are growing progressively deprived of development in the area of humanity.

When we would readily make exorbitant payments to our manicurists than to the coffers of a charity, I begin to wonder the point of progress. Truly, we extol entertainers more than we award humanitarians.

And despite the education, technology and various resources, we still have not been able to root out fascism, hunger and disease.

Oh, I miss learning about inventors and the great achievements of our time. We get healthier through the breakthrough drugs from GlazoSmithKline and jive to Apple's Nano but the only faces we see are that of beaming CEOs with skyrocketing charts and lifestyle models pouting their way into our wallets.

I do wonder who will the kids of the 22 century learn about in our age? The future history e-books will have so little to celebrate about The Man as oppose to The Company.

But hope comes in surprising little packages. When despite the bleakness, faith is renewed and I see acts of love and unselfishness from the most unlikely of places. By the very same people who get by, just surviving. I suppose that is all that can be expected. Forget the government. Forget corporate social responsibility. In the end it is just you and me, helping each other making our lives a little brighter.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Terror of the skies

This time next week, I will be officially unemployed. Shifting out of comfort zones have always entailed a certain chilling anxiety that is akin to visits to the neurosurgeon.

I think women receive a more severe dose of this anxiety as we tend to become more emotionally involved in our responsibilities, relationships and work environment. A lot of the time we strive so hard to fit into our roles that more often than not, we succeed so well that it becomes difficult to extricate ourselves when its crunch time.

Anyway, back to the subject,I am shit terrified. I will be leaving my safe, predictable and not too stressful job for a stint as a pupil reading in a lawyer's chambers with the ultimate aim of qualifying as a lawyer in 9 months time. I will only be given a pathetic stipend from my new boss who has forewarned that I will be scolded often by the lawyers and magistrates, that I will have too much to do, that stress levels will cause my relationships to suffer and I will need to buy myself a car to travel across the state to attend court. (and I DESPISE driving) Plus quite a few of the local lawyers I have had the misfortune to meet are stuck up prats who think too highly of themselves.

Am I a sucker for punishment or what?

And my new boss, she likes to push people to their maximum potential which predictably includes evicting people from their comfort zones when it starts to look a little too cozy.
Oh joy.

But anyway, I am trying to keep a positive attitude although I am starting to feel like a prisoner whistling to the gallows.

But this IS crunch time and I need to disetangle my heavy roots and heavy heart and fly free again, albeit up to a stormy sky.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Wholesome Gibberish

The blog has been unusually quiet. The stress of modern living and having parents from planet psyco have given more than my dose of despair this past week which in turn hastened to mature into a room-spinning, venom spewing migraine.
Hence The Monster was miserably out of commission with an ice pack for company.

To be honest, Numb is good.
Numb = Not thinking = Not giving a toss
But what an irresponsible attitude.

One can always depend on ailment to bring to fore awareness of one's own mortality.
Would we do things differently if we knew we were to die in say, a month's time? Stupid question.
Of course we would.
There would be no question about it.

In between acquainting the jackass boss with one’s left hook, to shagging the shy grocery store clerk, I would imagine the pandemonium would reveal much more about us than all history books and psychology courses combine. A cataclysmic upheaval spawned by a thousand innate desires released from a lifetime of self denial and responsible rationalization. The forbidden is always so delicious. Isn’t being civilized a matter of keeping all our primal impulses in check or at least very well hidden.
(But I am all for the comforts of civilization. I am forever thankful for indoor plumbing.)

But I do know one thing for sure. If the world would end, Ben and Jerry’s and I would become inseparable. And oh, I would get a dog too.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


We work for money and weekends. I can stay couped up within the four walls of the room for days in my pajamas in blissfully contentment. Besides calls from my mother who rings to see if I am still alive, I enjoy peaceful weekends of not doing anything productive. I wonder how long this will last.

I am still presiding over my parent's peace plans and I am happy to report that diplomatic relations have been re-established. There is hope for a fragile peace.Not unlike the situation at the West Bank, drastic relocation of people and personal property will occur and a long term solution has yet to be found. Sigh. I hate it when parents fight.

I was reminded of my responsibilities of being the eldest child, and it freaks me out. Responsibilities entail sacrifice and that does not sound very welcoming. Being an adult with a conscience really sucks. I would make a horrible parent.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A disgrace

The state of public transport in the Klang Valley could indeed be greatly improved. For a developed city like KL, with the exception of the LTR, our public transport system is disgraceful. Until something is done to make public transport more efficient, convenient and actually public friendly, there will still be more vehicles on the road, regardless of the rising cost of petrol, as people will not view it as a reasonable alternative.

Something as simple as ensuring the cleanliness of the busses would go far in convincing more people to use the service. What we have on the roads are dust coated and mud encrusted to the point of embarrassment.

Air conditioning that does not work makes travelling a suffocating experience especially the Metro busses that come with no other ventilation. Imagine being stuck in a packed bus during a heavy downpour and being stuck in traffic after 5pm.

It does not help when the conductors make sure that the buses are packed with far more people than its regulated stated capacity. Having people stand on the steps of the bus hanging on for dear life is not an unusual sight for KL motorists. It is dangerous as it is uncomfortable.

Timing is another issue. The Metro busses are notorious for waiting for passengers to fill up before moving, regardless of time. Even if the bus is half full, the bus will wait, sometimes even for more than 15 minutes so that it can travel to KL with a full load. This happens at the Sunway Pyramid stop all the time. Bad timing is also the bane of Kommuter passengers. With the barrage of “technical difficulties” that continually wrecks havoc with travel time, perhaps it is time KTM actually do something proactive to solve the issue than repeating the standard apology recording played whenever the train is late (again).

The taxis services in the country also leave more to be desired. In appears that taxi drivers in KL have the privilege of choosing their customers and not the other way around. If one is not fortunate enough to have a destination within the cab driver’s interest, passengers often get asked to get out of the cab, even though the cab is within the cab rank. Many others are not willing to charge by meter and would often ask for an exorbitant fee. Once I was at KLCC and for a ride that what would normally cost RM10 I was quoted RM25! Plus I was rudely rebuked when I pointed this out. At LRT stations, in front of shopping malls, it is impossible that the relevant authorities are not aware of this.

Tourists often complain about the blatant overcharging that they have to endure when they travel with Malaysian taxis. What is the point of having amazing tourist destinations and attractions when even merely getting there would cause so much unpleasantness. Do the authorities conduct checks on the drivers? Some of them are not fit to service the public at all.

The plight of those who have no alternative but to take public transport does not get enough attention.
Perhaps our MPs should concentrate on the real pressing issues that affect the everyday lives of their voters than other trivial pursuits such as determining how certain songs should be sung.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Songs in the Night

As you know my Cantonese pronounciation is very bad.
But I think this song captures a lot in so little.

Very old song but still beautiful.



Thursday, October 06, 2005

Negaraku in French? Sacre bleu!

Jo's response prompted me to delve a little deeper into the history of our national anthem.

Did you know that the melody was composed by a Frenchman?

Taken from


It was not until 1956 that anything concrete was done about the choice of a National Anthem for the then Federation of Malaya. Up to that time, each of the eleven States that made up the Federation had their own State Anthems but there was no single National Anthem or patriotic song of any sort for the whole country. In the year, with independence just around the corner, TUNGKU ABDUL RAHMAN (1903-1990), then Chief Minister and Minister for Home Affairs set up a Committee for the purpose of choosing a National Anthem suitable for Malaya. On his suggestion, a worldwide competition was launched and 514 entries from all over the world were received.

After going through the entries, the Committee felt that none of the entries were suitable and it was then decided to invite selected composers of international repute to submit compositions for consideration by the panel. The composers' chosen were Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Sir William Walton (1902-1983), Carlo Menotti (b.1911) and Zubir Said (1907-1987) (who later composed the National Anthem of Singapore). Although the compositions submitted were of a high standard, they were still not considered suitable as the National Anthem.

The Committee then decided to hear the State Anthems to find out if any of them might be suitable. The final selection was made on August 5 1957 and an adaptation of the Perak State Anthem was selected on account of the traditional flavour of its melody. The lyrics for the National Anthem were written jointly by the Panel of Judges with the Tengku himself playing the leading part.

Up to the time of the choice of this melody as the National Anthem of the country, it was, while still the State Anthem of Perak, also a well-known and popular Malay song under the title, 'Terang Bulan' ('Bright Moon'). The song was very popular on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles where the Sultan of Perak, was living in exile. It was played by a French band, which gave public concerts on the island. It is believed that this melody was composed by a Frenchman, PIERRE JEAN de BERANGER (1780-1857), who was born and died in Paris. The tune was later introduced into an Indonesian Bangsawan (Opera), which was performing in Singapore. In no time at all, the melody became extremely popular and was given the name 'Terang Bulan'. Side by side with its dignity and prestige as the Perak State Anthem, the tune became a Malayan 'evergreen', playing at parties, in cabarets and sung by almost everybody. Many Malaysians who grew up in the 1920's and 1930's have fond memories of this tune. Today, of course, since independence, it is not played as a popular melody.

'Terang Bulan' was a love song. The 'Negara ku' ('My Country') is also a love song - a song of the love of the people for their country, a song depicting the charm and the peacefulness, the gaiety and the tolerance of the people of Malaysia.

In 1993, the Malaysian Government approved the re-arrangement of the tempo of the National Anthem into a "fast march" tempo (from 96 beats per minute to 126). In accordance with the National Anthem Act, 1968, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave his consent to the change on August 20 1993 and the new version was played for the first time during the National Day celebrations on August 31 1993.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I can't believe my tax money is paying these fools

I use to excercise my political right by not voting at all. With this new development, I am sure as hell going to support the Opposition at the next polls.

We have downright petty Barisan politicians who draw pay from vigorously polishing apples. I don't know who is worse, this joker or the government official who suggested sending roti canai to space.

To my non-Malaysian readers, Negaraku is our national anthem.

taken from The Star English daily

Tuesday October 4, 2005

Singer’s version of Negaraku slammed

SINGER Hattan, who apparently jazzed up the Negaraku when he sang at the Malaysia Cup final last Saturday, was slammed by an MP who said his version of the national anthem was insulting.

To prove his point, Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN – Sri Gading) sang aloud the last line of what he claimed to be Hattan's version of the Negaraku and the official version for comparison.

He noted that Hattan’s version, which among other variations ended with ascending notes, was insulting, and had trivialised the national symbol.

The situation was further aggravated by the fact that it was sung in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he said.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said action would be taken against Hattan if his version of Negaraku was found to be insulting.

Rais said he would obtain the television footage of the event and determine whether the version sung, which was not according to the official version, was inappropriate.

“If it is found to be insulting, action under the National Anthem Act will be taken,” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Mohamed.

At press time, Hattan could not be reached for comment.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pangkor - last entry

The next day, taking a cab, (no way were we going to cycle up there. Nope, never, forget it) we explored the town and boy it’s small! But certainly not without character. It plies the tourist trade and naturally the seafood of course.

Dried fish.
Fried fish.
Salted fish.
Satay fish
and that is not discounting the variety of squid, anchovies and almost every other sea creature except for a dugong.

Loud Hawaiian shirts still blinded us from the rows and rows of souvenir shops. And as tradition dictates, we tourists got Pangkor T-shirts. Have to stimulate local economy while were there ma.

Lunch was steamed prawns in rice wine, a vege and more crabs. Shucks, if I actually stayed in Pangkor, my blood vessels would just go pop from the cholesterol. A sleepy town on a weekday, I have a feeling I will be back.

In the afternoon, we took a 5 minute boat ride across from Teluk Nipah to Coral island. A round trip just to the island cost RM20 for the both of us.
And to think the boatman at Pasir Bongak wanted to charge us RM100 for the exact same trip just to drop us on the island!!! I can understand RM100 for island sightseeing but just to drop us off? So be warned!

Anyway, the waters at Coral island are very calm and very shallow, perfect for non swimmers. Floating is as easy as pie. Water was clean and we could even make out our feet. There are no toilets, food stall, changing rooms on the island. We found out the hard way. And at the shoreline, there are lots of shells, so slippers are advised.

We almost didn’t want to go back but as the sun was setting and we had the jungle survival skills of Singaporeans, so we did go.

But return to the island we did, the next day for a bit of snorkelling. Boat ride to the island with gear cost RM30 each. The snorkelling spot lies on the other side of the island as we were told we can’t get to it from the beach we were at yesterday due to the rocks. Later we found out that it IS possible to walk from one beach to the other. But we were warned that it was slippery and better not attempted with just slippers on.

Water was deep and the current felt stronger than the day before and it was a bit scary. It is always scary when you have no control as to how far the water will drag you into the sea. With orange lifejackets on we braved the waters and fed potato chips to the fishes. (we forgot the bread and it was either Mr Potato or my Oreos. And I liked my Oreos.)
Well it’s not as if the fish would mind the salt.

We were the earliest ones there and while it was cool to have the whole place to ourselves, it did strike us that in case something goes wrong, there was nobody there to help us. Well the boatman just dropped us off and would come collect us at a designated time. There was no safety instructions, no net, no lifesaving equipment and in our case, nobody around at all.

So when another young family was dropped off by their boatman, we were happy.
THEN came another small boat.
Then two boats full of Chinese tourist.
Then three more.
Then a group of students from a teacher’s training college.
Sigh. Our large school of fish who were initially quite contented to swarm us with their company quickly abandoned our affections for bigger chunks of bread. Those ingrates!

After striking up a friendship, one of trainers of the above-mentioned college was kind enough to bring me with her into the deeper parts of the water to see more fish. I stayed for a while before I chickened out and swam back closer to shore. My swimming skills are only fit for a kiddie pool and this was a bit overwhelming for me. As you go deeper the water is not as clear and not as many fish as what I experienced earlier by the beach.

The time was about 11 am only and even then K got really toasted in the sun. His bare arms turned an angry crimson, although he sun did also give him a very rosy flush across the face which made him look like he was perpetually blushing. No such luck for me. I just look like I the “before” model of a skin whitening product. A deep dusky tan. It sounds better than it looks, trust me. Well the other kids had long sleeved shirts on, with long trousers.

We rushed back to the hotel where we quickly checked out before 12 pm. With Hornbill, for every hour you overstay, you get charged Rm10. Anyway, we proceeded to Pangkor Island Resort on the other side of the island. Previously Pan Pacific, we wanted to try this place to see if its beach was really superior. They have this exclusivity rule where visitors can’t even enter their resort even to view it unless they are staying at the hotel or willing to pay RM60 to enter the grounds. So we were expecting a lot.

There was a promotion on. RM338 per night, inclusive of a buffet dinner and breakfast. It would have been cheaper if we stayed 2 days.

Anyway we opted for the garden view. Of course the sea view would have caused even more damage to the purse.

The rooms were quite old but with all the predictable comforts of a typical hotel room. Definitely more TV channels and tastefully decorated. And unfortunately for me,I found an unwelcomed jungle gecko IN my room. Oh I hated it. Whenever the plastic bags rustled, all my hairs stood on ends.

The room was right beside a jungle and everything was very green. We took a lot of photographs here, not so much of the sea or the greenery but of animals!
It was monkeys galore at the back of the resort. They have become so much apart of the place that they have even been labelled as an attraction! We were strictly warned to LOCK the windows and doors and these furry mammals have been known to make themselves quite at home.

The resort even had hornbills. We caught one having a good scratch.

I enjoyed the pool and the walks around the grounds. The stretch of beach looked inviting but the waves were beginning to act up and with K sporting unfashionable sun burn, we did not venture into the sea. Coral island was far calmer.

With plenty of Chinese tourists the buffet dinner was quite good, if you like that sort of thing. I missed my chilli crab to be honest.

I still have not made up my mind whether I would stay there again. Comfortable yes, but being a resort all on its own, it lacks the earthy simplicity that is Pangkor. It is a taste that permeates the soul. At the resort, well, it’s a resort with all you can want. Hmm

We left the next day. The resort even has its own ferry service to Lumut. Imagine that. At Rm8 it was cheaper than travelling to town to catch the ferry.

It was a very enjoyable holiday. While the fish/corals/attractions are not as impressive at the other islands it has its own charm to which I think I have fallen for.
It was a good break.

Pangkor - more of day one

As you can tell by now, Pangkor is an island. The sun was shining bright and the turquoise sea so inviting. We had lunch at a hut overlooking the sea.
By comparison, what a dump KL is.

Simplicity at its finest, even plain old mee rebus (blanched noodles to the uninitiated) tasted like ambrosia. Of course seasoned with the salty breeze and set against a gorgeous backdrop of sea and sky, what’s not to love?

Teluk Nipah has a lot of budget hotels. Upon returning I was told that another great place to stay is the Nipah Bay Resort. But that’s for next time.

The main road is a narrow strip flanked by souvenir shops selling garish Hawaiian shirts, humble food stalls and boat operators who will take you anywhere and everywhere for a fee. The road is narrowed to a lane with the pink mini vans hogging both sides the road. Good if you wanted to catch a ride around the island.

As the evening approached we caught a cab to Pasir Bongak, another popular beach. Since it was too early for dinner we decided to go on a boat ride. Ouch it was expensive. After a little bargaining, RM90 bought us an hour’s ride. To our defence we didn’t really know any better, having just arrived.

We had to charter the entire motorboat. Fine, it was large and had a roof but we could have gotten it cheaper at Teluk Nipah. It would have been more worth it if we had a large group with us.

I have not experienced taking a motor boat ride before and it was thrilling! Wind racing through our hair, face rosy with spray, and with the sea expanding all around us, wow, that sure put things in perspective. For all that the planet offers, our personal troubles are so insignificant, it make one rethink the meaning of life.

Anyway back to our ride, the boatman took us across to Pangkor Laut to view the sea lodgings of rich and famous. A small island on its own, it is home to one of the Malaysia’s and perhaps the world’s most exclusive and luxurious resorts. Patrons include Pavaroti among others. The chalets are on water, supported by stilts. There is even a helicopter pad for the Tan Sris and Marquises who are not inclined to travel by boat.

While our dinky little boats were allowed go close enough to view the island, naturally we could not land. Yet if I had the cash to splurge in a USD1000 chalet, the last thing I want to experience is plebeian tourists gawking at me through my windows. Tsk Tsk.. Remind me to never make bookings there. Ha!

Sam, our boatman then took us around the islands, past the familiar beaches to Turtle Bay. We did not spot any leatherbacks but according to Sam, during the egg laying season, turtles lay their eggs on the shore and anyone who finds a nest can do what he will with them eggs. I was about to rebuke this practice but seeing that he is local, I am a tourist, he is manning the boat and I can’t swim to shore, I wisely kept my mouth shut.

There is a rock formation that does look like a turtle’s head too. We were to be introduced to many other rock formations in the shape of other creatures, some that stretches the imagination so far that it borders on the ridiculous. A rock is a rock for god’s sake. I see no elephant/mermaid/whale.. sheesh.

We traveled on and watched monkeys, visited Coral island and even fed some fish. Coral Island is opposite Teluk Nipah. It is a very small island with just a tiny stretch of beach but it remains a favourite destination as it is shallow with calm waters. On the other side of the island, water runs pretty deep but a good place for snorkelling as there are plenty of fish.

When we got back to Pasir Bogak we had dinner at this restaurant which was pointed out to us by our taxi driver who assured us that it catered to mostly locals and that sounded good to us. Sam, out boatman, touted his “friend’s shop” but we gave it a miss. Bet he gets a cut. He is hardly the independent gourmet.

Anyway for dinner we had crab curry, assam prawns and white snapper. Bill came to RM55.00. It was a very enjoyable meal indeed.
I had a good feeling about this vacation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pangkor - Day one

It was torturous returning to KL. In the moments before leaving the island, K remarked that I looked like a person on death row.

Honestly, why would anyone willingly leave the clean air, the bright sun and the even brighter surf, and when the biggest decision of the day would be whether to go snorkelling today or tomorrow.

One kilo heavier and two shades darker, trust me to have had a fabulous holiday.

We took a bus from KL Pudu bus station to the port town of Lumut, a 4-hour journey up north. We took the Konsortium Bus which was punctual and comfortable. Definitely recommended. It cost about RM20 one way with a stop in Teluk Intan town. I snored throughout the journey so I can’t tell you much about the highway landscape.

The Lumut bus stop is only a stone’s throw from the jetty. We were accosted by hotel touts but upon hearing that we have booked our place to stay, they quickly lost interest in us. To be honest, I had no clue if my booking was made as the lady who took my reservation, didn’t even ask for my name!

At the jetty we found 3 ferry operators, represented by booths occupied by ticketing ladies with booming voices. Like land octopi, clusters of arms reached out from the dark recesses of the booths, waving through the iron grills calling us hither to award the chosen one with our RM5 patronage.

Seeing we knew nothing about ferries, we opted for one with the loudest voice. Terribly scientific I know. Anyway the ferries leave at half hour intervals.

As we travelled during a Saturday, there was a crowd. The ferry made two stops. The first was at a Chinese fishing village (you can see the red tokongs peeking from between the wooden buildings). But this was not our stop. Only locals who have business here disembarked at this stop.

All other passengers, holidaymakers included, alighted at the second stop, which is the Pulau Pangkor jetty proper. It appears that transport around the island is mainly by taxi-vans or motorcycle.

As none of us can’t manoeuvre a motorised bicycle to save our lives, we took a cab. Taxis here are these bright pink vans and cost the same regardless if you travelled alone or if you brought your entire football club with you.

We stayed at the Hornbill, a hotel located at Teluk Nipah (Nipah Bay). A budget hotel at RM85 per night for a standard room, we did not manage to secure a room with a sea view but seeing that we were practically across the road from the beach, it was just fine.

We had air conditioning, TV with only 2 channels (TV1 and HBO) and hot water. Pretty basic. Breakfast not included. I am sure there were other cheaper places to stay but as this was so close to the beach, we didn’t bother, although the bathroom smelt funny with a staleness I found disturbing. We attributed it to the water. Perhaps it was poor circulation. But then, how much can you ask for, for RM85. Would definitely check the bathrooms again before booking next time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Today's invoice

20 cents per floppy.
Oh did the girls at the office have a fine hoot!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Alobar syndrome

What a surprising discovery!
Following my morning attempt of taming my mop of hair, I found nestled among the briars, two shimmering threads.

Plucking the silvery serpents from their dark thicket, I wondered why I never observed them before. My auburn highlights have blinded me or at least spared me the anguish of realising that my body is turning older by the day.

Like the aching joints and a sudden interest in stretchy pants aren’t clues enough.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Gourmet pistachios

Said the crocodile to the alligator,
Cass will soon be a litigator.
So let us leave this river nile
Nodded the alligator to the crocodile
‘Tis good to have fresh meat to savour.

The carnivores of the legal world are out to get me, I swear.
Yet I have conjured up enough will power to banish this evil Procrastination and take the deep deep plunge into the river of fate.

I enjoy writing very much which surpasses my study of law, that much is evident.
As all members of the proletariat, I harboured hope that I may be able to earn a decent living doing what I love. But writers are paupers in this country and my writings are so dark that if they ever get published, they would come with a health warning or at least a cut out coupon for discounted Prozac.

Hence I ended up at the Communication Department of a major retailer. My job was to write for the company about the company. Then I got involved in advertising, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then it began to include PR for which am as talented as a rhino is a china shop is.
Soon the madcap juggling shall stop.

As I flip through the papers, drinking in the stories of the people I know and will get to know in the course of my future career, I feel a freezing of the heart sometimes. Excited that I will be on my way of joining their lofty lofts yet fearful that I will not meet my own expectation of greatness and fall down flat on my face, a muttering heap of mediocrity.

So I lay the papers aside to go back to work, writing about imported pistachios.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


My friend has just got a new job and I am so so so happy for her.
This place that she works underpays and worse, unappreciates her talents and dedication.

This vicarious joy I am feeling is fantastic. I know her employers well. And I would LOVE to be there when she drops in her letter! The look on her boss's face, Ooo it would be priceless!

Of course then will come the counter offer and she would find out what she is worth but have been prevented from getting. Of course it will be packaged in such a way that it would appear that the boss had to fight tooth and nail to get the increase - tis all a ploy to win gratitude. I wonder if she knows that she is as transparent as water and nobody trusts her.

But joy oh joy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

All hands on deck

The ugliest problems are the ones that you don't see coming until it slams into you at 60 knots. Between falling sick and falling apart, it is always with hindsight that we just realise a little too late how good we had it all along.

I am not ready to tackle what life is churning to throw at me. I am not grown up enough. I hate turning from sheltered child to the one expected to brave the bloody storms to tie the sails down.

My parents are hopefully looking at me now to care for them and I am terrified that I don't know how. Is this how new parents feel? But while parents have the advantage of sending junior to his room, do I box their ears when my parents fight? I actually prefer it when I DIDN'T understand what they were talking about.

I am not yet a responsible adult with a stable job, a comfortable future, lots of money and purchase plans for a mid-range apartment. I know so little, I fear so much.
I can't handle problems that are not my own.

I can't captain my own ship.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Swan song

Falling in love with a song literally involves falling deeply for a moment in time that becomes so glazed with each recollection that it takes on a surreal air which in turn makes it as fantastic as the song itself.

I was convinced that I have gotten over Maroon 5's signature tune after like about a billion replays but I was wrong. I had not counted upon the memories that were silently etched within the words and the curious emotions that have woven themselves between the notes.

Of course the music video still disturbs me, yet nothing beats snuggling in bed, in the dark, with a beautiful song and quietly sharing it.

I still have not gotten over it, even after a billion replays.


For the past year or so I have been afflicted with a hip problem. No, I am not talking of its obvious size although the term fertility goddess does invoke similarities.

Anyway, I have suffered from a nagging discomfort which has now fully graduated to pain on my right hip and despite x-rays and 3 different specialists, I was told that it's not spinal nor anything to do with the nerve, thank goodness, but muscular. Yup, only in one hip. Haven’t been cradling any babies/earthen pots around I can assure you, so I banish all domestic origins.

Well this last doctor wants to inject a muscle relaxant containing steroid, anaesthetic and something else into the muscle using a very long needle and all under x ray, followed by 5 treatments of ultra sound. And even after that still no guarantee that I will be well again to frolic like the lamb I once was.
Concerned friends want me to give it a shot, Mom is worried about the steroid and I am concerned that it will cost me 2 grand.

Tis a scary turn of events indeed when patients question the doctors as to whether they are actually out to get your money. Exorbitant charges, unnecessary tests, wanton hospitalisation - the list goes on. Government hospitals on the other hand means rude service, long queues and the refusal of hospitalisation.

The Aluminati

After being bitterly chastised for not keeping my blog up to date, I have obstinately left it exactly as it was for weeks on end. And not by choice mind you. Pity i know, but since I have taken on that mid year resolution of not complaining (much) I am pretty dry on things to say.

What can I say that will be of any significance to you besides reaffirming your belief that yes indeed, there is no other sorrier guppy that I.

In anycase, I have been a busy little trooper. The scholarship Alumni I have sworn my allegiance to is trying to organise a fundraising dinner. Problem is that the committee is split into factions and I got roped in to be in the committee running it.

Lets just say that there are members with outstanding personalities who are passionate about their causes. When titans clash, the wee people get trampled on.
In any case the funds will go towards buying uniforms for poor kids at the Kuala Selangor area. That is about the only thing we all have in common.

As my alumni, or at least its members are quite high profiled, we are hosting some big shot lawyers, hot shots from Government Linked Companies, university professors, art luminaries and members of the British High Commission. No social butterflies here, thank you. Models not invited. Its brains dripping from the ears type of crowd. (I got the award by fluke, I assure you. I feel as comfortable as an ant in an aardvark farm i tell you.)

I have been co-ordinating the guests lists and now guess who got volunteered to hold the mike for the evening? I suspect I got anointed emcee from birth. It never ends. And I thot I only people at work were conspiring against me. Its the three hags of Fate I tell you. I shake my fist at them and boldly cry "where's my script?"

Well it is going to be next week so stay tuned.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Picture perfect

Photographs consist of frozen pantomimes. The silent smiles, the toothy grins, of imaginary kisses in the air and sticky chocolate fingers in the hair, salient moments caught forever within a tight bright window.

Let human memory be ravaged by necessary forgetfulness, my pretty pictures will stand against the onslaught of time, recklessly defiant to the very end. For better or worse. Going on auto play each time the yellowed pages turn, what is to stop a fool from reminiscing?

I recall a picture taken when I was 3 years old, clueless in a blue frock standing unsurely in the middle of the floor, with my mother at the corner of the frame, persuading me to smile. Oh she looked lovely with her pale skin and long straight hair. My dad was always the one carrying the camera, so antiquated that we needed to but new flash bulbs every time we had to take a picture. It was expensive.

The earliest family portrait was taken when I was about one. Classic 70s picture set against a forested landscape bursting in bright autumn. The roman columns added the sensual mystique that was the Chinese photo studio. Paired with beige bellbottoms, Father had on this patterned shirt that was as art nouveau as the next flower pot. Mother looked beautiful with her long hair and flowing gown, the vintage Galadriel. I was that staring toddler, slumped on her lap, looking so sexless if not for the frilly dress. For the longest time my brother entertained a belief that it was him in that picture.

And now after 30 years of marriage my parents are one the verge of separating. One is out of the country, one is constantly in tears. The family is broken and all that I have is a cardboard box of happy photographs. How I stop going on auto-play?

Serves me right!

I sent a green towel to Captain Kleen, the laundry people at bangsar. It came back brown. I was about to throw up a fuss. Then I realised that in the effort of saving a few cents - its more expensive washing bed linen and towels then normal clothes, i knowingly chucked all my laundry in one bag with my towels underneath.
So how can I claim for the ruined towel when I myself was trying to "outsmart" them.

Well, now I got a brown towel.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It’s a hoot

Hooters is advertising for girls! But guys, don’t get your hopes up ( or anything else for that matter). The closest one is in Singapore. According to the newspaper ad a Hooters girl will earn S$1600 (that’s RM3500) and “other benefits”
All she needs to be is pleasant looking and be service oriented. And no experience needed.
Oddly it did not specify cup size.

Boo Hoo Hoo

No matter what people say about the BBC radio, I think it is absolutely fab.
Last night I tuned in to a lovely story entitled Theo.

It tells the absolutely riveting tale of a 20th century bear Cinnamon bear. Harrods bought by a very insistent 7-year-old, the b ear reminisces of its many masters’ and mistresses’ trials and tribulations, as well as its’ own joys and heartbreak.

You will never forget your first love and that includes bears.
Oh woe, how I have abandoned my Boo bear. You can see his ears from my profile picture. On the left. He is my first real bear, gifted to me my brother who bought it with his saved up school pocket money. It was a lot of money for that kid.

Time to get Boo washed and returned to my bedside.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bangers and Mash

‘Tis was a working weekend for me. The company had a fashion show/product launch/cocktail party.

Adamant that I am not going to waste more money by buying another frivolous frock, I wore my dress from my uni prom.

Felt like a blinking pork sausage the whole night.
Good thing it was an evening event and God bless scarves.

I had to PR the media and got to know a very pleasant Japanese editor. Okay, so he’s very cute. Very charming. Sweetheart material. He even taught Japanese in India before coming here to write. Of course I learnt all this in casual conversation. It was all work, you must understand.

Then I got high on three glasses of wine, and 2 gin cocktails before the fashion show started. Things started getting so much better after that.

Heck the products but I remember two male models on the catwalk. One looking like Brad Pitt and the other with a face like that squeaky clean mounty from the Canadian TV series Due South. Did I swoon? Yes. Did I grovel and beg to follow them home? No.
There was already a queue for that.

Not as disagreeable as I thought it would be. I was expecting to greet Kee Hua Chee. I think in my stupor, I may have found him interesting. Of course when sober, he scares the heck out of me.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bane of the Creatives

Here is an example of my typical day, which is also shared by my corporate graphics team. We all service internal clients, but my wrath is mostly directed to the promo manager.

1. Promo Manager has hare-brained idea.
2. Conveys strict instructions, in cold-no negotiations-bullet points, on how to deliver message.
3. I am given 8 hours to come up with titillating copy that would shame Neil French
4. I email copy to my boss who tunes it down to fit corporate identity
5. Promo Manager stomps to my table and tell me how my copy needs a rewrite
6. I beg another advance from the Devil to whom I sold my soul to when I joined the company.
7. Rewritten copy is delivered to Promo manager
8. Promo manager forwards copy to Big Honcho Creative Director for vetting
9. Big Honcho Creative Director rewrites the copy completely as original brief completely missed the point.
10. Promo Manager ecstatic, Creative Director thinks I am an imbecile and I lost more years of my life than I care count.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

43 things

Spending a lot of time on 43Things. It chronicles things and goals you want to achieve.
I have added it to my blog. See left.

They even have 43 places, the destinations that you wanna go.

Pretty cool.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thou shalt not

Today I made up my mind that I would not complain.
Plus I decided that I do not owe the world an explanation for everything I do.

My, it has been a very quiet day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Life is what you make out of it, K says. I think he is fed up with me being so miserable everyday.

Mulling in the office, I swear the walls are closing in. Surrounded by folders, scheming office politicians and paper high risers everywhere, I wonder how the heck am I going to break free from this prison of my own making. It is not as if I know what I want to do with my life anyway.

See how I effortlessly turn into an urban Morticia without even trying? I used to go to school with this girl called Joyce who, like her name is so bright and positive and chirpy, it irritated the hell out of me. Of course I didn’t mean to. It’s the ying and yang of things.
Some people are happy, some people are dead.

Choy choy, 8th month, must be respectful of the departed. The Chinese believe that the 8th month of the Chinese calendar corresponds to the Hungry Ghost Month. It’s when the gates of purgatory are opened and the spirits roam the earth for one month before returning to their prisons for another year.

On another note, I really think a dog will do wonders to my life. How can anyone be glum with a dog? Yet dogs don’t really fancy me. They usually don’t give me the time of day. My brother’s ex dog even buried a chew toy under my butt for safekeeping, that stupid mutt.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Like sands through the hourglass

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

I met up with a long time friend today. I have not seen her in 5 long years. She is the same bubbly young lady I knew from way back when. Aw man, saying that has just condemned me to acknowledging that I am indeed, old.

Shuck, I am turning 30 soon and I am as ready for that as a trip to a trainee neurosurgeon. Was it really 5 years ago that I was making eyes at my EU tutor and rolling the same ones during Feldman's lectures. I recall a mate doodling a criss-crossed pancake on my notes. Waffling, it was. Seriously, this lecturer can make a rock get up and scream from sheer boredom.

I was a geek extraordinare then. Chunky shoes, second hand jumpers, cold packed toast and quick lunches at the law faculty foyer as we were too poor to have lunch at the cafeteria. I sure have stories of suffering to bestow to my kids/grandkids/pets. Of course it would not serve any purpose in mentioning the plays at the Royal Shakespere Theather and trips to Europe.

With my rose-tinted glasses on, I raise my teacup and say a cheery 'hurrah' to life in Britain. My memories there have mostly been pleasant ones. And meeting Adeline again brought back bright warm memories of hot air baloons and pancake parties and trips around Hull in a Granny-mobile.

Only Nik Aziz

Taken from Berita Minggu, 21 August 2005

KOTA BHARU: Isteri diminta turut memikirkan masalah anak dara lanjut usia dan masih belum berkahwin yang jumlahnya semakin ramai di negara ini dengan tidak menyekat hasrat suami mereka untuk berpoligami.

Menteri Besar Kelantan, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, berkata isteri tidak seharusnya menyekat dan bertindak ganas terhadap suami yang berhasrat berpoligami, asalkan suami berkemampuan berbuat demikian.

"Sekiranya si isteri sendiri tahu suaminya mempunyai bakat untuk berkahwin lebih daripada satu... tiba-tiba dia bertindak ganas, sedangkan mereka berhak.

"Cubalah fikir pula bagaimana keadaan perempuan anak dara tua tak dapat suami sampai mati... sedangkan ada orang nak pada dia dan isteri pula perlu beri ruang selepas dia tahu suaminya mempunyai kebolehan.

"Benda ni benda lama, yang tak selesai sekiranya manusia hanya jaga nafsu dia saja... tapi tak jaga nafsu orang lain sama," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan majlis Muafakat Bersama Rakyat anjuran Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bharu (MPKB) di Perumahan Jalan Padang Tembak, dekat sini, semalam.

Nik Abdul Aziz diminta mengulas kejadian seorang suami cedera disimbah dengan cuka getah dipercayai isterinya kerana berhasrat ingin berkahwin dua di Tanah Merah, baru-baru ini.

Nik Abdul Aziz berkata, isteri perlu juga memikirkan nasib masa depan lebih ramai wanita yang bakal menjadi anak dara tua, kerana tidak dijadikan isteri oleh lelaki yang berkemampuan.

Katanya, Islam tidak menghalang umatnya daripada berkahwin lebih daripada satu atau berpoligami, asalkan mereka cukup syarat ditetapkan agama.

"Mereka tidak harus menyekat suami mereka berbuat demikian, apatah lagi bertindak ganas terhadap mereka yang berhasrat berpoligami,"

COMMENT: What exactly amounts to 'mempunyai bakat' hm? I am rooting for the woman who simbah-ed the cuka.

Friday, August 19, 2005


I have not left my blog for dead yet.
It is not to say that my little universe hasn't been sprialling out of control(again).

For one, my brother has graduated. As his graduation was in Malacca, the family enjoyed a nice long break there. We hardly had a war of words at all, which suprised me to no end. Perhaps it helped that it was my dad who drove and I was the map-brandishing navigator. Any other combination with my brother thrown in would have resulted in somebody walking back to KL.

Food was great. There is this quaint Perakanan restaurant by the name of Nancy's Kitchen which serves lovely food and nyonya kuih. There is this awesome dish that has a layer of pulut tai tai at the bottom and a top consisting of the green pandan jelly of kuih talam, minus the santan. Nice. Must try their mutton and pork curry puffs the next tme I get myself there.

My only regret is not being able to have my roti john in Klebang. It is just a super oily toasted sardine sandwich but I assure you it's food of the gods. I was at Klebang with a group of friends about a year ago and it was there that I got the name of this blog. Just because I had whacked full servings of chicken rice, bread, satay celup, chendol, muah chee, putu piring and still has room to polish off the roti john is no reason to call me monster.
Okay, maybe it is.

My brother was required to be at the Hall by 7.30 am. We were by 6.30. But we weren't the only kiasu people around as there were people there even before us. Made us feel better that.

So while my parents were given the honour to sit in an air-conditioned hall I was stationed under a pink tent in the lawn accompanied by TV screens with live feeds. What made it bad were these people who were sitting next to me who regarded the graduation as a family picnic. In their supermarket plastic bags, they brought a giant tupperware of cake, a big tin of jacob's cream crackers, pickled mango and bottles of water. And worse, they refused to shut up. Criticising every thing from other graduates and their course, to the chancelor, to the how it was different when THEY were graduating, man, this family of newts had to run everything down.
Sometimes education is wasted on the world's biggest idiots.

Anyway, the ceremony went by smoothly and we left feeling very satisfied.
Oh, never stay at Naza Hotel. The service is dismal, the rooms were musty, furnishings were unsightly, the buffet breakfast was sad as here was hardly anything good to eat and most of the time you had to keep running to the staff to tell them that the makan sudah habis. In short, don't go there.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Angels and Demons

I woke up this morning feeling very miserable.
Firstly it was dread. Okay I admit, I am not very happy for having to go back to the slaughterhouse that is the Firm. I resent the lack of free time I need to endure and the intense travelling and being bullied in court. I am banking that the intellectual pursuit will make me a better person and bring me better pay that will in turn get me a house, a car and most importantly, a dog. Yes, I have priorities and a vision. (cue : a beam of sunshine and singing angels)
Free time does not agree with me.

Monday, August 01, 2005


And today I handed my letter of resignation amid a chorus of 'no's from my bosses.

Far from relief, I actually feel dread. My course is set. I will be hurling into the world of lawyers and judges and flying statutes books and rude clerks and court offices that lose your files. A land of long hours and birdseeds for pay.

Am I overacting? Voluntary suffering cannot be pleasant. Yet it's now or never. It is all an investment for a brighter future.
Ah yo I hope so.

Things will change tremendously. I will change entirely, if I throw myself completely into this.

I will miss the people at work most. A nice environment where politics are at most child's play than sword play among buccaneers. Of course at times you would feel like shoving a rake down your client's throat but lunches with friends are always good.

Three months to catch up on what has been going on in law.
I am so screwed.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Black Tie, Mr Bond

I still stand by my view that men look so good in suits.


I attended a black tie gala the other day and lets say that oh, it was a sight for sore eyes. Because of their height, I must say that westerners look more dashing than their local counterparts but of course there were delectable exceptions.

I have been dishing out this piece of advice to all males and not one of them has taken it up.

It IS the suit that makes the man sometimes. (Of course we can rule Elton John as an aberration.)

Personally I like a man in Armani.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bangsar is a happening place

Drama – part 1
24 July, Bangsar – at approximately 3 pm a Honda Unser drove down the road where I lived, swerved right into a neighbour's house, smashed the gate, hit the Mercedes sitting inside, then reversed and scraped a Hyundai Sonata parked on the side of the road before crashing into the house opposite, bringing down a good part of the wall and gate.

It so happened that the occupant of the house, a nice old lady, was in her garden at that time. The gate fell on her and the spikes pierced her chest. Her screams could be heard throughout the street. Luckily there was a doctor living nearby. He did his best in minimising the blood loss. She could not be moved until the ambulance arrived. She was still conscious when it took her away.

While all this was happening the driver coolly stepped out of the vehicle and calmly walked away from the scene. Witnesses speculated that the driver was either drunk or suffering from a mental illness.
Nothing is known of the state of the victim or the perpetrator as yet.

Drama – part 2
26 July, Lucky Garden(Bangsar) – at 8.15pm I was having a meeting at Strudles Café where a fight broke out involving a Malay driver of a Proton Saga and a drunk Mamak driver in a Kancil. The Proton Saga was reversing when the Kancil drove behind it. There was no collision and the event that transpired soon after were sketchy however there was a heated exchange where the Kancil driver provoked the Proton driver by hitting him from behind as he was about to return to his car.

His fiancée in the Proton car yelled for help in which time, the drivers exchanged blows, with the Kancil driver collapsing in a heap. Passers-by helped restrain one driver while the drunk was held back by his friend. His friend was allegedly also drunk as they both soon started arguing louddly among themselves.

During this time, the scuffle attracted a small crowd and disturbingly, one busybody who had no business in the affair joined in with a rod. Luckily he had no occasion to use it as the police soon appeared and intervened. The matter was resolved within 20 minutes.

End of Newsflash

Monday, July 25, 2005


[ Yawn!]
Back in KL again after a nice weekend home.

I was planning to write about UMNO, the debilitating crutch that is the National Economic Policy and the how ridiculous Proton looks blaming the government for non-support it when every one bloody well know how Proton cars are barely up to scratch.

Show me one person who would rather choose a Proton car over a Japanese make if they both cost the same. But oh, I forget, we need to protect our automotive industry as we are not competing on a level playing field. This oft-quoted magical playground is the Shangri-La of our nation, one promising bounty and untold riches.

But as much sarcasm I can bestow on this, I will stop now. There are far better feats to celebrate in the world.
Lance Armstrong has won his seventh consecutive Tour de France.
More than a champion of the punishing sport, he has shown the world the sheer power of the human spirit. His successful battle against testicular cancer (which had soon spread to this lungs and brain), has given hope to millions as has his determined wins. His is the face of a survivor, warrior and a time and again champion.
Not bad for a Texan!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Away, away

Ah ladies and gentlemen

My parents are back from the Middle East and I shall be finding my way home to the countryside (sounds so romantic, innit) for good food, satellite TV and petty domestic bickering. Near bliss.
The Hainanese chicken rice in Taiping is da bomb, I tell you.

So I shall postpone my thoughts on the UMNO general assembly till next week… after a good snort at the newspapers and a vigorous boil of my blood reading the political weblogs.

And I hope to be reading Chomsky this weekend.

This cannot be good for my health.

My brain would have me be socialist if my heart had not been seduced by the spoils of modern living. Pearl earnings, unlimited Ben and Jerry’s and people to order around being just three of them.