Friday, December 29, 2006
1. I learned that travelling is one of the greatest things in life and I am blessed that my job brings me to the most amazing places right at my doorstep. Even if I have to deal with leeches down my cleavage.
2. I learned that the biggest obstacle you can face is yourself. I didn't think I could rock climb or trek for five hours uphill and upstream but once I got over the whole, "Oh my god I'm going to die" phase, it wasn't so bad.
3. I learned that my girlfriends are invaluable. Be it a bad day at work, impulsive shopping, unexpected news, your car breaking down and failed relationships, no one stands beside you quite like they do.
4. I learned that my family is the one constant thing in my life that I take for granted.
5. I learned that I'm getting older and there's more to life than hitting the clubs every weekend.
6. I learned the 8-second rule: Everytime someone pisses me off and I'm about to say something I might regret, I count to 8 and I find myself actually calming down and walking away.
7. I learned that people are not what they seem, even if you think you've known them for years.
8. Hence, I learned that he never really loved me anyway.
9. I learned that high heels can make you feel fabulous...But for only 2 hours. After that, you'd better have a good pair of Nike trainers on standby
10. I learned I'm never going to be skinny and I'll always love food. So there.
11. I learned that having your heart broken hurts like hell. And having it broken over and over in a span of 12 months is even worse.
12. But I also learned that the only way you'll recognise and appreciate the good is to experience the bad.
13. I learned that no matter how i try, I cannot hate Christmas.
14. I learned that long distance relationships are difficult, expensive and frustrating. But with the right person, distance is irrelevant.
15. I learned that one year can crawl painstakingly slowly or zoom by ridiculously fast: It just depends on your frame of mind.
The past year has been a circus of sorts.It only gets better from here. Watch this space.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
But i could not. I CANNOT. I'm a schmuck for Christmas and I always will be. Sigh. Yes, I am disappointed I won't be spending it with Haw but I suppose 'punishing' Christmas won't solve anything. It will be less than merry given the circumstances though. I'll get a little nostalgic, cry a bit and continue to shake the presents underneath the tree hoping there's something else besides a flouroscent green photo frame that has 'I is wishing you the happy day of your life' emblazoned across it. That said...Stay tuned for my wish-list!
I finished my Christmas shopping too. It's all about strategy and time management (of course it helps I'm on leave). Now to wrap them. Not exactly my forte.
Christmas can be such hard work.
"You give me something
That makes me scared alright
This could be nothing
But i'm willing to give it a try."
- The very earnest James Morrison. Currently playing endlessly in my head.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Oh oh oh and guess what? I went into the office today. Because there's an urgent meeting that I must attend. My boss sheepishly said, "So sorry to have to call you in." Yeah, I bet you're sorry. Had to tell the admin to withdraw my half day leave today.
Tell me again why I bothered taking my annual leave?
That aside...There have been good bits to my so-called time off.
1. I did my hair! Got some choppy layers, got my hair coloured with funky highlights.
2. Went shopping. Again. Bought two tops, Christmas pressies, more toiletries. Stay tuned.
3. Brought my parents out for seafood - i love butter prawns!
4. My siblings and I presented my dad and mum their early Xmas present: A spanking new Honda CRV! We tied the car with a huge red ribbon and I drove up the house honking the horn. I'll never forget the look on my dad's face. CRV: Expensive. Look on dad's face: Priceless.
5. Had dinner at my sister's place - mainly to babysit my 3-year old niece, Leilana, while her parents and sisters are out saving a whale in one of the nearby islands (I know how unbelievable that sounds but I kid you not). I played 'indoor soccer' with Leilana and after one minute, could not keep up with her energy level. This means two things: 1) I am aging. 2) I am so out of shape.
The weekend beckons. I haven't chatted with Haw for a couple of days now (the longest record so far!) because he's been busy with his semester end project. I have a party to plan for small group of friends. Also on my schedule is that long-awaited trip to the spa, more Christmas shopping and the arrival of my cousin Patrick from Manila. More stories on the adventures of the Fridaycat-kind...
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I should be on leave tomorrow. But no. They need me to do some stuff. So i'm coming back in. This is what happens when they realise you're not really going anywhere while you're on leave so, hey, why don't you come into work?
Selfish bastards. I could almost see them jumping for joy when they found out my visa was rejected and I was stuck in KK. My boss actually asked, "So you're still taking your leave?"
Dumbass. Hell yeah i am.
I am so angry. My whole holiday plan was ruined...Couldn't they cut me some slack and leave me alone? Oh and to top it off...I found out that the Board of Directors is not happy with the monthly publication. Stale. Boring. Bad photos.
I don't need this right now. Truly.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Because come sunrise, I'm going to eventually open my eyes and stare at the winter coat hanging in my closet. And my neatly folded sweaters serve to silently mock my plans of having a white Christmas. My stupid purple suitcase sits in the corner.
I've been trying so hard all day to keep a smile on my face, telling everyone, "Ah it's ok. So my plans didn't work out this time. It's cool." The fact of the matter is, it's not cool. I'm disappointed as hell. I wanted to go on a holiday. I wanted to get on that damn plane, fly 16 hours, be jet-lagged and fall asleep in his arms. I wanted to wake up on Christmas morning and see the snow fall outside my window.
Instead I'm going to spend the next few weeks wishing I was anywhere but here.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Last weekend, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to experience what was considered the toughest route of the infamous Sandakan Death March, namely Taviu Hill in Telupid. I was very familiar with the story of the Sandakan Death March, having organised/attended countless events & memorials in honour of the POWs who died, but to fully appreciate and understand the suffering they went through, I decided to actually retrace the route of the unfortunate soldiers.
Our journey took us from KK to Ranau, where our first stop was the Kundasang War Memorial. We were shown a 15-minute video on the Sandakan Death March, followed by a quick tour of the memorial.
Outside the Memorial, with a fantastic backdrop of the mountain.
Our journey continued to Telupid, where we would make several stops to visit the various POW routes. We finally reached this one:
We stood on the bridge. Sprawling valleys and hills, dense foliage. Simply amazing. Until we found out that this was going to be our exact hiking location. Yikes.
So we checked into our resthouse, had a good night's rest and the next morning, were rearing to go. "Please please please let a bus come along..."
The first hour and a 10 minutes was a relatively easy walk through a plantation. It was a little muddy but nothing we couldn't handle.
"See? Piece of cake. la la la..."
The next bit proved to be a bit more tricky. We had to hike some hour and a half along a river. More like IN the river, which was pretty much a rocky stream and didn't go too deep. It was nice and shady and I was often tempted to just dunk my whole body in the river. According to our guide Tham Yau Kong (www.thamyaukong.com) , many POWs died in this area. A chilling thought but surprisingly it was very calm and peaceful
This is me happy to see the other walkers resting at a pit stop. Yay, i can sit down for a while!Climbing over fallen trees, balancing on slippery rocks and ducking through branches slowed us down a lot.
I am a jungle trekker, hear me roar! Flanked by Walter (left) who was my walking buddy from beginning to end. So nice of him to wait for me, heh heh. The other Mel (right) who was waaaaay in front. Hmph, kawan konon.
The last bit is up up up...All the way up Taviu Hill. I could see why this was the toughest bit. Slippery slopes, narrow paths and leeches made in a complete nightmare. Imagine the POWs who had to go through this without food,water and shoes. I was exhausted beyond belief but everytime i wanted to give up,I thought of the men who died right here and how they struggled with each step. It kept me going. Tham explained that this hill was where the Japanese would shoot the weak and ailing soldiers and just roll their bodies down the hill.
Smiling through the sore muscles and leech-free! (ok sort of. One of the buggers still managed to crawl into my shoe). Five and a half hours later, I complete the Death March route. That's Rinto. Saja wanna be in the photo.
Group photo outside Sabah Tea Garden. Everyone is extremely tired at this point. But everyone left not regretting a single drop of blood, sweat or tear shed throughout the experience. At the risk of sounding cliched...It was a life-changing experience.
I still hate leeches though.
Check out http://www.sandakan-deathmarch.com/ga01.php for more comments on the Sandakan Death March experience.
Monday, December 04, 2006
I dunno how much longer I can do this. The chances get bleaker and bleaker and I'm starting to give in to the fact I won't be spending Christmas and the New Year with my other half who is on the other side of the world.
I am upset. Plain and simple. But like a captain of a sinking ship, instead of going "Oh woe is me!" and going down with my vessel without a fight, least I can do is look for a rescue boat or a life vest right? So it's time for Plan B. I'm not even gonna imagine how much money I'm gonna spend on Plan B but hey, i've come this far and we'll see what happens.
You know what is most tiring in this whole ordeal? The yo-yo emotions. One moment everything seems to go as planned and five hours later, you get the rug pulled from under your feet. And then tomorrow, you get another phone call to tell you,"Wait, I think we might have this sorted out..." And the day after, "Looks like the embassy still needs more documents..."
So what's a girl to do? Do I forget about my whole trip? I have three weeks of annual leave approved but since I'm not going anywhere, should I just come back to the office?
This Friday, I should be on a plane on the way to spend a white Christmas with my Cubby. Instead, I will most likely wake up and make my way to the office.
I try to listen to everyone's advise on 'looking on the bright side...' or 'He'll be back soon' etc. But I don't think anyone really understands that no matter how much positive thinking I try to incorporate into my life right now, it doesn't take away the dissapointment and frustration I feel.Can you really expect me to throw my hands in the air and say, "Aww shucks, that's just too bad. But on the bright side, the sun is still shining." Bollocks. And you know it.
"If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad.
If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?"
-Sheryl Crow crowing on my mp3 player.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1. Jackie Chan was a stuntman on Enter The Dragon and Fists of Fury
2. Bruce Lee studied all forms of fighting, from American boxing to Thai kickboxing. His main concept was 'fluidity' and after blending classical techniques and street-fighting, Lee came up with Jeet Kun Do.
3. He's not pure Chinese. His maternal grandfather was German.
4. He is the 4th of 7 children.
5. His nickname in the family was Mo Si Tung, which means 'Never sit still'
6. He died of an apparent cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) on July 20, 1973 at the age of 33. At his funeral, he was dressed in the same outfit he wore for 'Enter The Dragon'.
7. 'Enter The Dragon' was premiered a month after his death and became a world-wide success.
8. Before his death, he was filming some scenes 'Game of Death' but funding for 'Enter the Dragon' came in and he decided to put 'Game of Death' on hold first to film the bigger motion picture. Hence, he only managed to appear in 20 minutes of the 100-minute 'Game of Death' and two Bruce Lee lookalikes were used to appear in the remaining 80 minutes. Needless to say, the movie was not as successful as the others.
Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water." - Bruce Lee (1940-1973)
I snagged a Bruce Lee of my own:
More like 'Berus Lim'. Please don't go beating up people, k baby?
I'm waiting. Story of my life. Waiting waiting waiting. Professional waiter. It's frustrating that even when you think you're taking control of your life and trying to change things, something will come along and get in the way. Rejected visiting visa applications. Full flights. Not enough money. Bla bla bla. And I had it all planned so well.
People tell me not to give up, but there's just so much rejection a girl can take. I WANT to keep going, keep planning, keep holding on for some miracle. But the more i build myself up, the harder I'll come crashing down - trust me, i'm talking from experience.
All I can do now is wait. Wait for news about applying for my visa again. Wait before I can book a flight to KL. Wait for the travel agency to see if I can fly my Cubby home. Wait before I can plan an alternative holiday. Wait for this whole bloody year to pass before I can be with Haw again. Wait wait wait wait.
And i feel bad because he feels bad because he thinks he's making me feel bad with all the waiting and the planning. Ala, kesian my baby. You just focus on being a world-famous animator so you can work with Pixar and Disney and we can get out of this hellhole and fly my girlfriends to the South of France where we'll lounge on our luxury yacht, drink champagne and laugh about the small people stuck in Malaysia.
I feel better already.
I'm thinking of going to Bali for a short break, if nothing goes as planned. Any other holiday ideas? Australia is another one - back to Melbourne perhaps? At least I don't need a stupid visa to visit their country. Darn Canadians.
Monday, November 27, 2006
In a nutshell:
1. I received bad news about my Canadian visa. And i have one last chance...
2. I should have spent Saturday night curled up with my cat
3. I had a fantastic time singing karaoke with Mia, Sel and Rol. ("You are GOLD! always believe in your soulllll....."
4. I have the best girlfriends ever.
My sister said I look a million miles away. That's fair considering I feel a million miles away. It's just that I can't get away from here fast enough. Everything is on auto-pilot mode and my first thought each morning is, "One day closer..." It helps me get through the day. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Soon isn't getting here soon enough.
I don't tell my chicas often enough, but every little sms, IM, random phonecall and corny joke you tell makes each day bearable. Most of all I love how you girls listen to the same old gripes everytime we gather around. I've had so many friends drift in and out of my life over the years but my girlfriends have remained a constant comfort in my life.
In other aspects of my so-called life:
I'm attending the Don Giovanni opera tomorrow night. Yay, i get to dress up!
I have six puppies! Sorry, all booked already. So cute. Puppies and kittens make any shit day better.
Going to KL for a quick trip sometime this week or Monday, latest. Long story.
Song that plays in my head like a broken record:
" You are GOLD! Always believe in your soul. You're indestructible..."
-Gold, Spandau Ballet. So 80's, so ridiculous to sing to in karaoke but so addictive!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Thanks for opening my eyes, boys. I've deluded myself so long by putting my faith in the wrong people. I refuse to feel second best. I refuse to feel the shame of rejection over and over again. And to put things in perspective, I have no one to blame but myself for empowering the wrong people to affect how I feel.
Today is the day - News that will make or break my December plans will be revealed. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
"Shaken or stirred, sir?"
"Do I look like I give a damn?"
The name is Bond. James Bond. Last night, I went to watch my first ever James Bond movie - i kid you not. Cathay Cineplex gave me two free tickets for their private screening and I figured it was better than spending Monday night watching Astro again.
J (our new graphic designer, in place of Haw) and I decided the best way to enjoy the movie was to have no expectations. As much as I wasn't a fan of the show, I also opened myself to the possibility that it might be half decent.
Plus, I was really curious to see how the much-talked about Daniel Craig would fare in this movie. He may not be much to look at but this scene convinced me otherwise:Judging from the gasps from the other ladies in the cinema, I can see my sentiment was shared.
Anyway, in true Bond-movie style, the movie begins with a film noir element, lots of shadows, suspicious man walking in the dead of the night etc. What I did enjoy was the opening credits. The animation was fascinating. And so it began. My little 2 hour rendezvous with 007 (yes, it's a pretty long movie so I suggest getting very comfortable seats).
Enter quintessential bad guy, played by Mads Mikkelsen.
Just how villain-like can he get. Let's see: Sleek side-parted hair? Check. Steely evil gaze? Check. Almost handsome but in a creepy way? Check. Scar on right eye probably with a really good story behind it? Check. Foreign accent? Check. And, for added pizzazz, he cries tears of blood. Apparently, it's some medical condition due to his injured eye (hence the scar). But it definitely adds to his bad guy factor, i tell you that. One of my favourite character is the no-nonsense, quick-witted M, played by none other than Dame Judi Dench:
"Pull that stunt again and I'll replace you with Pierce Brosnan"
And the Bond girls? I wasn't impressed with Chick Number One (i can't even remember her name) and her only memorable scene was bouncing on a horse along the beach. Which made many male viewers very happy for 30 seconds I would think. However, I was rather fond of Vesper Lynd (played by the very English rose-like Eva Green). Fuyoh, cantik oh. Although Vesper isn't going to make the top ten baby names this century, I think the name definitely beats other Bond Girls before:
1.Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards) : After a bedroom scene, Bond turns to her and says, "I thought Christmas only comes once a year." Please. Shoot me now.
2. Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress): Self explanatory.
3. Thumper (Trina Parks): The first ever black Bond Girl. And they named her Thumper.
The ideal Bond sandwich: Eva Green on the left. Girl on horse, on the right.
This Bond film was definitely less gadgety than the others. The cars were still really cool (the Aston Martin Bond won in a game of poker was my favourite) and, for someone who isn't into action movies, the action scenes were pretty gripping. Some people lament that this James Bond is too talky-talky and feely-feely. Granted, he may not be super-jantan like Sean Connery or Mr. Rico Suave like Pierce Brosnan, but what he lacked in those areas, he made up for in acting skills. I think he played a believable secret agent for a change and wasn't afraid to mess up his pretty face. He was definitely more unrefined than previous Bonds, but it was exactly that brute-like aura that made him more enjoyable to watch. However, do watch out for cheesy lines that will make you roll your eyes so far back you can see your brain:
Vesper: Even if you were left with a smile and a small finger, you are more of a man than anyone else I know.
Bond: That's because you know what I can do with my little finger.
Bond: (tasting a drink) I think I shall call this a Vesper.
Vesper: Is it because of the bitter aftertaste?
Bond: No. It's because once you taste it, you wouldn't drink anything else.
And you wonder why I've never bothered to watch a single Bond film before this.
Also noteworthy are the poker game scenes. All that tension and bluffing and million dollar chips on the table. Very cool. Oh, and don't miss the torture scene in the end where Bond gets his balls whipped (literally). An ideal punishment for so many men in the world, sigh.
I may not be the best person in the world to comment on a Bond movie but on a personal note, I didn't think the movie was all that bad. That said, I wouldn't watch it twice. And for a first time Bond experience, I assume it could've been worse. Many people ask why I've never sat down and watched an entire Bond movie (i've sat through bits and pieces and had no patience to finish one). It's just all a bit too...Jantan for me. Masculine. All those hi-tech gadgets make 007 damn lazy if you ask me. And it irritates the hell out of me everytime he beds a Bond girl, them swooning at his feet, unable to 'resist' his manly charm. Please. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Michelle Yeoh is the only Bond girl who did not succumb to his bedding ways (Malaysia memang boleh bah...).
Verdict: Big yay for Daniel Craig, for shutting up the critics and making Bond more believable. A big boo for still making Bond girls ornamental.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I'm sleepy. I haven't been sleeping well. My skin is breaking out so bad that I almost didn't want to come to work today. I have a pimple so huge that you might even mistake it as a second nose. My neck aches from my long road trip to Kota Marudu yesterday in a very uncomfortable van. I got home and wanted to nap but I couldn't. It was a quiet evening so I decided to visit Haw's parents. Probably the highlight of my weekend was going to his house, seeing his parents, both of whom remind me so much of him - and it makes me miss him a bit less. Just a bit.
I felt a slight pang when i realised my handphone has been oh so quiet. I hardly get smses or calls from my so-called friends anymore (read previous post). I figured that's probably because I'm not exactly a bundle of joy to be with anymore. You know, I knew that when i broke up with 'him', the whole dynamics of the group would be affected. After all, they were 'his' friends to start off with. How naive of me to wonder where their loyalties lie. Ah, what rose-coloured glasses i wear at times...
Anyway, when I got back from Haw's place, I did more work and later that night, had my usual online date with the Cubby. I got tired early so had to cut it short and hit the sack. I woke up at exactly 4:18am - i checked my handphone - and couldn't get back to sleep.
It's gonna be a long day, I can feel it already.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Three years ago, I met a bunch of guys. Nice guys. Different personalities but essentially the same. They had grown up together, ran in pretty much the same circles and –as disturbing as this might sound- even swapped girlfriends in high school. It was a ‘brotherly’ thing to do, it seemed. Right. Anyway, these guys became my friends. And I admit they were a pretty fun bunch to be with. Always good for a laugh, did the whole ‘shoulder to cry on’ thing…Usual Hallmark moments. And slowly, they started to get into relationships. One after another. John would hook up and few months later, Jack would introduce his girlfriend, Jim would follow suit. You get the pic. Soon, we were one big happy family. Everyone started talking about having steady careers, stable relationships and how their ‘chick searching days’ were supposedly over. And then John dumped his girlfriend. And then so did Jack a couple of months later and even Jim started to have relationship problems. These guys literally went through EVERYthing together.
Today, these guys are all on the single market again. Which means they’re out on the prowl for fresh meat, bored with their whiny exes and figuring out who still has his mojo goin’ on. I’ve been out with them on several occasions and listened to their talks of how great it was to be single again. My oh my, how they celebrated. Together, of course. Saturday nights were reserved for Shenanigan’s (KK's meat market, haha), their usual hunting ground. They’d come in, all smiles, flashing bottles and nudging each other as each skirt passes by. Eyes glued to the entrance as each piece of ‘meat’ (as one of them tells me without batting an eyelid) comes through. Too short. Too tall. Boobs to small. Too Chinese (coming from a bunch of Chinese guys, this has got to be the most amusing kind of racism around). And the best part is, after all that criticism, the night progresses into hitting on any female with a pulse. “I just need to get laid. It doesn’t matter at this point. It doesn’t mean anything anyway,” one of them told me.
Now, being my friends, I figured boys will be boys. But as time passed by and word got around (KK can be too small), I began to see their predatory game in a different light. They became the kind of men that you stayed away from in clubs and pubs. The ones who leered and rubbed up against you on the dance floor. The ones they themselves used to protect us from. The irony of it all. One day, one of them told me that women were just pieces of meat to him at this point. He had gotten out of a relationship and was anything but ready to get into a new one. “I don’t need a female companion in that sense. It’s just too much for me. I just need to have sex but once emotions get in the away, I’m gonna dump her,” he said.
Mother Teresa once said that if you judge people, you don’t have time to love them. But I’ll bet that even Mother Teresa, bless her soul, would agree that this friend of mine needed to be bitch-slapped. As non-judgmental as I wanted to be, something just wasn’t right with his statement. I knew exactly what it was. His utter disrespect for women. Yes, I’ll agree he’ll probably find a slut to suit his needs but I hate to imagine how many more hearts he’s gonna trample on the way to his bedroom.
But I'm in a dilemma. These are my friends and in some perverse way I miss them. Still, I cannot spend any more Saturday nights watching them on the prowl and Sunday mornings listening to them brag about who has the highest score. What happened to the guys who went clubbing for the simple idea of having a few drinks and a good laugh? Or the ones who enjoyed a good movie or a weekend road trip? I miss the friends whom I could talk to and share stories with. Can you still like your friends but lose respect for them? When I hear or see how they treat women,I can't help but feel perhaps they view me with the same lack of respect - simply because I am a woman. And it seems to me, a female bonk is far more important to them right now than a female friend.
I hope it's a phase. Until then, thank God for girlfriends.
Friday, November 17, 2006
1. NAME ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT ?
- one on my right leg. When I was five I fell of my bike and landed on a broken Coke bottle.
2.WHERE ARE YOU?
- My favourite domain – Office!
3. WHAT DOES YOUR MOBILE PHONE LOOK LIKE?
- chipped. Silver. I hate it.
4. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
- anything goes. On my player now, Aerosmith
5. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT DESKTOP PICTURE?
- My cat, Moo Moo sleeping on my couch.
6. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW?
- To be with Haw.
7. WHAT DO YOU MISS?
8. WHAT TIME WERE YOU BORN?
- bout 9pm
10. WHAT ENDED YOUR LAST RELATIONSHIP?
- Him declaring three times “I don’t love you anymore.” Yes, I can be THAT dense.
11. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK?
12. YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD
- Dad’s cooking. Salmon sashimi. Pasta. My sister’s Chicken Lihing soup.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PERFUME?
- One of my earlier perfumes, Burberry’s. The scent always brings me back to the good times in college.
14. WHAT KIND OF HAIR/EYE COLOR DO YOU LIKE ON THE OPPOSITE SEX?
- Doesn’t matter.
15. DO YOU LIKE PAINKILLERS?
- when in pain, yes.
16. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS?
- Energy drinks. I don’t do coffee.
17. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?
- cheese! LOTS of it I actually like pineapple too.
18. IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW WHAT WOULD IT BE?
- Salmon sushi/sashimi
19. WHO IS THE LAST PERSON YOU MADE MAD?
- Good question. Probably…My mum?
20. DO YOU SPEAK ANOTHER LANGUAGE?
21. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT SOMEONE EVER GAVE YOU?
22. DO U LIKE SOMEONE?
- I like Haw. Very much. I like Johnny Depp too. And David Duchovny. But i like Haw the most.
23. FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND?
- Made in China. What do you mean that’s not a real brand?
24. WHAT'S YOUR DREAM CAR?
- Mercedes convertible. Can’t remember the model for the life of me but it looks damn sexy.
25. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MARRIAGE?
- Sacred but these days, most people have no respect or appreciation for commitment.
26. WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING?
- I did. And I have no regrets.
27. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU?
- Scale the mountains of Samunahara, battle the fire-breathing dragons of Ooga Booga and pluck the Golden Feather of the Kawanipuyana Bird. Or just tell the person.
28. SAY A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED :
29. BLONDES OR BRUNETTES?
- Brunettes. But I like golden retrievers.
30. WHO IS THE ONE PERSON YOU CALL OFTEN?
- These days? My sister.
33. WHAT ANNOYS YOU?
- Being told how to do my job by people who have no clue. Idiot drivers. Bad breath. Waiting. I could go on and on, people…
34. YOUR WEAKNESSES?
- Haw. Kittens & puppies. And Benito’s chocolate cupcake.
35. WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU RECEIVED?
- a photo collage.
36. EVER DONE A PRANK CALL?
39. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU FILLED THIS OUT?
- cutting and pasting it from Mia’s blog.
40. IF YOU COULD GET PLASTIC SURGERY WHAT COULD IT BE?
- My nose.
42. WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ABOUT MOST?
- My nose. Haha. Ok seriously…hmm…I look nice in pink?
43. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES BECAME ILLEGAL?
- Deal with a lot of grumpy people.
44. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?
- Haw (Do you see a pattern here?)
45. HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT?
- Three! Ideally, a boy and a set of twins. Oh yes, I have it alllll planned out.
46. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
-Melissa Gilbert, the actress from Little House on the Prairie back in the 70s.
47. DO YOU WISH ON STARS?
- I wish on whatever I can these days.
48. WHICH FINGER[S] IS YOUR FAVORITE?
- I don’t practice fingerism. I love my fingers, each and everyone, equally!
49. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?
- Last night.
50. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
51. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAL?
- Depends la. I try to avoid rice cuz it makes me sleepy. Operative word here being ‘TRY’.
52. ANY BAD HABITS?
- scrunching up my nose and mouth for no reason. It’s really ugly. My mum hates it.
53. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF?
- I can’t recall, honest. Esp. in the age of MP3s.
54. YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOURSELF?
55. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL?
- Of course. Who hasn’t?
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Our main purpose of the trip was to attend Remembrance Day on Nov 12. The ceremony is held at the Labuan War Memorial where British, Australian, Sikh, Malay and local servicemen who served and died in the Second World War in North Borneo are laid to rest. It's a beautiful memorial and the service was very poignant. They had three prayer services going on at once at different parts of the memorial - Hindu, Muslim and Christian - followed by a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute.
Apart from the service, we took the opportunity to spend the weekend visiting places of interest. Let's see...There was Surrender Point, where the Japanese basically said, "We give up, you win. Make love, not war. Arigato gozaimas. Let's have sushi." In a nutshell, this is where it all ended.
Pic of Mel and a huge rock (whaddaya mean which one's the huge rock?) It says, 'Peace is the best'. Hear hear. (actually chocolate cupcakes at Benito's are the best too....) We went to Kuraman Island . Slightly bumpy ride, but half an hour of sore butts and salty hair later, we got there. And it was very purdy. (I dunno why the sky is orange and the tree trunk looks grey...I think i got overzealous with Photoshop on this one)
Believe it or not, I did not bring any swimming/island gear for this trip - long story why. Anyway, once I got to Labuan I couldn't find a half-decent swimsuit on sale(it was between an overpriced two piece at Parkson or a Made in China wetsuit thingy that promised to ride up my ass every three minutes). So i settled for a bright pink touristy sun hat - thanks to the coaxing of my friends. I'm such a schmuck, I know. Striking, no?
Mushi mushi! The best Jap-tourist look i could muster. Almost there...
Back on land! Salty, sticky and really need to get the sand out of my pants.
We also visited the Labuan Bird Park. Ka-kaw, ka-kaw! Saw some really exotic birdies...
And an unidentified creature or two...
On our way out, look what i found! Really...I just could not resist.
And there you have it. The Adventures of Mel and Beer Island. I'm definitely gonna head back there for a weekend of swimming in Chivas and singing more Spice Girls numbers. Anyone game?
Thursday, November 09, 2006
One day, when I'm far, far away from this wretched place, I will be able to sit back and appreciate my hometown better.
One day, I will understand why patience is a virtue and all this waiting will be worthwhile.
One day, I won't have to say "I can't wait to leave this place" because I would have left already.
One day, I'm going to pack my bags, have my friends throw me a great farewell party and never look back.
One day, I'll have better things to look forward to.
One day, I won't feel guilty for spending RM20 on lunch.
One day, we'll finally be together and no one can take that away.
If only one day would come already.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
But i'm here now. Busy busy busy with 2 deadlines looming on top of everything else. But never too busy for....
ROCK CLIMBING! Saturday was spent hanging onto 20 feet (ya 20 only, didn't have time to do the 50 foot one) cliffs. This is me, gearing up. Me and 9 other death-defying colleagues (who also had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning) went rock climbing at Kg. Kironggu, Inanam. Some of us actually thought it would be one of those indoor-carpeted-air-conditioned rock climbing things. Sorry, wimps need not apply.
We're talking about REAL rocks. The ones where they don't put nice little thingies to grip onto. Safety is, of course, always paramount. This is me getting injured already....
...And this is BEFORE the climb. We had to take a short hike to the climbing area and I actually cut myself. Nice. Nothing major but I just wanted to add a dramatic element to my injury, hence the pic. Our instructor, Basil, gave a demonstration on how 'easy' it was. We were momentarily inspired and everyone figured, "Looks simple enough...". So, monkey see, monkey do.
I was the second batch to go (we climbed two by two) and I thought I'd take the shorter climb (the other one is 50 feet).
"Er, really Basil, do we have to do this?Can't i just imagine how high up it is from down here?"
Anyway, it may have been shorter but everyone later agreed it was tougher. So much for finding the easy way out...
Ok so far so good. Height: 2 feet off the ground. Heart rate: Normal.
Mind you I HATE heights. But here's the amazing thing. Once you're actually up there, clambering and trying to find something to hold on to, the last thing you think about is how far off the ground you are. All you want to do is go up...
OkI had more photos but again, blogger failed me. Anyway, long story short, my first attempt was not successful and I insisted on going the second time. I refused to be the only one who didn't make it to the top! So, push comes to shove, and with the help of my friends cheering me on, I keep climbing. I slip three times, slam against the rock once and I actually gave up again. But my colleagues, bless their souls, screamed at me that I had two more steps to go before I reached the top and it was such a bloody waste of energy to get that far and quit. I grit my teeth and could almost hear 'Eye of the Tiger' play in the background as I forced my jelly-legs to keep pushing my wilted body up. "One more step...one morrrrre...." I mumbled to myself. And finally... A LEDGE!!!! Everyone cheered and I collapsed against the rock in relief. And then I made the mistake of looking down.
Scaling back down is much more fun. Basically, you sit back in your harness, spread your legs, keep 'em straight and 'walk' down. I think the biggest misconception about rock climbing is that you need to be physically tough. I am anything but that, mind you. The bigger challenge was telling myself that I could do it and find my way up without any help. Consider it a form of mental yoga. It takes a lot more brainwork than you think. And you'd be amazed at how stretchy your body can get when it needs to. Hmm.
Catch January's issue of the Sabah magazine for more details!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I go through my mornings like a zombie, staring at my computer screen, willing myself to write. To work. I take orders with a nod, a grunt and non-committal 'Ok'.
My in-tray is piling up and I watch the mountain of 'Urgent documents' grow before me. I mark my calendar with 'important' events when the only thing I find important right now is figuring which DVD to watch tonight and what time my Cubby will be online.
"Make this write-up interesting," the powers-that-be tell me. I hold my sigh and dutifully regurgitate previous ideas, changing a word or two here and there. The morons. They never even notice it.
Deadlines. I hate them. My life has become a circus of deadlines. Of deliveries. Of another page marked 'DONE' only to have another deadline shoved to my face.
If I have to write about another 'quaint district' or 'unique cultural experience', I'm gonna strangle myself with the damn telephone cord - which doesn't seem to stop ringing with demand after demand.
And don't even get me started with lunch time. One hour of my life where I have to decide what kind of carbohydrates to stick down my throat so that I can gain another five kilos to my already expanding frame. And to have people tell me, "You look fine...Just lose a few more kilos." Up yours.
Five pm rolls around and I run, nay, fly down the five flights of stairs, punch out my card like some factory worker and battle the scores of idiot drivers in KK just to get home. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I've lost the fire. The passion. Whatever you call it. I can't find the drive in this job anymore. I need to write from my heart. From my gut. Not from the recycle bin in the crevices of my withered brain.
Tell me there's more to life than this.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Do you regret anything in your life? Regret having done something? Or worse, having NOT done something? My sister told me when she passes on, she would want "No Regrets" engraved on her tombstone. But how many of us can honestly say they've lived a life without regrets.
Ok, I know what you're gonna throw at me now -Everything happens for a reason. Perhaps. The glass-is-half-empty side of me thinks people say that just to make the shitty bits in their life bearable. "I lost my job...But everything happens for a reason. I got shot in the head...But everything happens for a reason."
Cynicism aside, maybe things do happen for a reason but seriously, would you go as far as saying you have no regrets? Ask the guy who drove drunk and killed a pedestrian. Ask the size 4 woman who bought a size 2 dress in puke green just because the salesgirl said it looked 'beautiful' on her (AND it's not refundable). Ask someone who spent money to watch 'The Cave'.
My point is, as much as I'd love to proclaim I have no regrets, I wouldn't dare to be so self-righteous. Granted, I do believe some mistakes made turned out to be lessons well learned. I appreciate the lessons but I regret the foolish decisions that brought me there. Cases in point:
Case of the Football Jock in College
It was so cliched: Head of the football team, super-jock who hung out at the gym, had the best one-liners, the guys thought he was so cool and the girls swooned at his swagger. I never imagined in a million years I would fall for him. But fall for him I did. And i became the envy of so many girls, my ego was blown 3 million times it's usual size. Long story short: I was interesting for two weeks and he moved of faster than you could say, "Foul!". He didn't even have the balls to tell me it was over. I remember the pitiful looks that followed me as well as the gleeful smirks of the other girls knowing he was on the market again. He dropped me hard and fast. My consolation was that I never really loved him. But it was huge blow to my pride.
'Everything happens for a reason' moment: He pulled the same stunt with the girl he dated after me...and after that...and after that. And soon everyone saw him for who he was. I felt like karma had come full circle. I can't imagine if I had stayed on in that so-called relationship.
Case of The Ex That Wasted Three Years of My Life
Everyone has a take on this. How it was good that it was ONLY three years. How I was lucky we didn't end up married. How it makes me appreciate the person I'm with even more. But people, it doesn't take away the fact that he WASTED THREE YEARS OF MY LIFE. It may not seem much to some people but everytime I think of what i could have done in those three years, it pisses me off. And all that emotional investment only to have it flushed down the drain. Grr. After we broke up, I tried so hard to be 'adult' about it. As much as I wanted to pour paint on his car or blow up his house, I kept smiling, laughing at his jokes and being the best 'friend' I could be. A year on, I got really upset with myself because I realised one thing: I was STILL catering to what HE wanted. He looked me in the eye (not once, but three times) to tell me, "I don't love you anymore. I have no more feelings for you" followed by, "But I don't want you to hate me and I still want to be friends."
Okaaaay. And so Mel does what she does best when it comes to him. Grit my teeth, pretend it doesn't kill me inside everytime I see him. And it's not because I was still madly in love with him, mind you. Put it this way:Your pet dog, whom you've given a home for years and seemed harmless, goes rabid on you one day. He bites you, not once, but three times. You have no choice but to give him away. Inside his cage, he looks so harmless and like that dog you've always loved, but seriously...Would you put your hand in and pet him again?
I didn't need a reminder of being rejected. I didn't need a 'friend' who had downgraded me from someone special to 'just one of the guys'. I didn't need to keep that painful part of my life.
'Everything happens for a reason' moment: It led me to the person I should have been with a long time ago. Hence, it pisses me off that my ex wasted those years with me when I could have been with the right person all along.
Do I have regrets in my life? Hell yeah.
But more importantly, I haven't been this happy for a long time.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Not that I'm complaining. Contrary to popular belief, the long weekend can be a bitch. For me, I still automatically wake up by 7am -Curse of the Body Clock- and the rest of the day has me wandering the house waiting for bedtime. There's only so many times i can hit the mall/watch a movie/yam cha with friends. And they all mean $$$. At the risk of sounding like a scrooge, money is of the essence right now. Gotta be smart with those pennies if I want to have nice, hot meals during my trip this Christmas (patience, my friends, all will be revealed in good time, complete with details!). Anyway, long weekends equate moments rolling in bed for an extra hour, catching up on dust-collecting DVDs, reading old issues of Cosmopolitan and falling in love with my cats all over again. Sounds peachy keen but try doing that five freakin' days in a row.
Which leads to yours truly turning back to work. I'm hitting the office to get stuff done - might as well get a head start so I don't suffer a meltdown as deadlines approach. Plus, I've always liked it when the office is empty, save for the security guard who makes sure the office isn't TOO quiet.
I had an excellent Friday night. We celebrated Edwina's birthday at AG's place. It started off relatively sane until the bottles of Chivas, Absolut and red wine came out. Actually, it was still ok until someone had the bright idea of playing drinking games. Long story short, there was a lot of giggling, rolling on the floor and me hitting my head on the X-Box control pad while i was rolling on the floor laughing. It was a good night :)
I'd love to stay and blog but i have an important chat to attend to *big smile* Stay tuned...
"Cuz whatever I do...It's just got to be you.
My life has just begun. I finally found someone."
-Bryan Adams & Barbra Streisand, Finally Found Someone. On my player right now.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Anyway, seeing that my magazine is now in the good hands of the printers (finally!) I managed to have a 'slower' lunch and not spend it in the office for a change. I went to CentrePoint, with no intention of shopping mind you, and found this:
Now i've been looking for a pair of decent pants for the longest time as I am getting sick of denim jeans - my staple pants du jour. And in light of my trip this Christmas (ONE month people, one whole month *gloat gloat*), I need a warm pair cuz where I'll be there will snow *gloat gloat some more* Anyway, gloating aside, do you know how impossible it is to find a good pair of corduroys in KK? I had almost given up and was about to resort to wearing two pairs of jeans at the same time to avoid freezing when...voila! This baby appeared before me. Not only are they corduroys and the LAST pair in my size, I actually look like I have a butt in these! Oh and check this out:
Really cute pink flowery details!
Which can be worn when I'm feeling girly and removed when I'm not.
One more tiny detail: It was 20 percent off. Me so happy. It's a bit warm to wear on a regular sunny day here but I will do it justice during my trip. That said, I also bought my winter coat last week during my outing with Mia (which is always an adventure by itself, heh heh). Good thing I had her too. I was smitten with a baby blue number which would set me back around RM100plus (still a damn good deal for winter clothing in Malaysia) but Mia, bless her practical senses and 'tsk tsk' looks, told me that the brown pair I had tried on earlier was just as good and costs only RM70 (freakin' cheap la, i know). "But Miaaaaaaaa....." i tried to reason but no amount of whining could deny her good senses. Alright, so it's brown, practical and has pockets that'll keep me warm. The blue one was more fitting and had a nice little fur trim around the hood but...ok ok ok I guess the whole point is to keep warm in sub-zero weather. Sheesh. But since i had a bit more to spend...I bought a beanie! I wanted pink but i figured it looked too much like a marshmellow so opted for practical navy blue. AND it has the letter 'H' on it, in diamentes! So pretty. Will post pics soon!
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my angry red nails:
They look so striking against the keyboard, heh. But if you look closely, you can see the red paint on my forefinger nail slightly chipped. My dad cooked sweet and sour crabs last night and I just could not resist. Nothing a paint of coat can't fix.
Plus the crabs were damn good.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
THE SUN IS BACK!
Yes peeps, after weeks of gloom and doom, I woke up yesterday and was ecstatic to see the sun again. Even my cats were sunbathing and no amount of Friskies could lure them from the warmth of the sun. And i don't blame them. Give me summer days over winter nights anyday. I deal with the heat much better than the cold, thankyouverymuch.
Nayways (heh heh), it's a Saturday afternoon and I have decided to spent the last four hours in the office. No one's around but me and my mp3s. And my work of course. For those not in the know, I have been swamped with work. Apart from the magazine, I've taken on a few other assignments. The workload is ridiculous - as are the overlapping deadlines - but it's all about the $$$. I'm planning a lovely little trip this Christmas and speaking of which, I've been given the green light for my ONE MONTH leave! Are you turning green with envy yet? You should. Soooo in light of this...I gotta work my butt off to clear whatever's been chucked on my desk so that during my one month away, I shall only worry about staying warm. Because, yes, it will be bloody cold where I'll be. Stay tuned!
I found photos! This is Happy doing what makes him happy:
And a night out before my cubby left for Canada. I love this shot. Totally captures the essence of me and my partner in crime.
This is at Turtle Island. Yes, i know i look creepy and no, i'm not about to eat the baby turtle.
At the recent Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon. That's me in blue with the Buff Skyrunner people from Spain (they organise mountain running competitions etc). L-R: Ester, Jordi, me and the very cute Albert. heh heh.
Ok peeps, that's it fer now. I have to grab some form of lunch and need to grab a bday gift for my bro, Johann. What do 32 year old brothers like anyway? Besides torturing their little sisters. Ciao.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
"Hey can you call back in about ten minutes? I'm almost home."
*ten minutes later*
"Hi, back already?"
"Yep, just stepped in."
"...But i can't talk long. Expecting another call and there are some people visiting."
"It's ok. Well...talk to you later then. Bye."
So I console myself with some retail therapy. I've been meaning to get a webcam and a headset, so we can see and hear each other online (i heart technology). One trip to the mall later, I'm all fuzzy again and not too bothered about this morning's brush off. He'll be so surprised and pleased i have a webcam! But the four-hour power cut at home might pose a challenge for me to go online. Patience, my dear, patience...
Cue power. Cue me doing happy dance. Cue me logging on and empowering myself with a webcam. I got everything set up and speed dialled his number. "Go online! I got a webcam!"
"Oh, i don't think i can go online. We've got guests."
"Sorry. But maybe for a short while..."
"No, no it's ok then. Don't bother."
"But i want to."
"Just go online for half an hour and i'll try to log on."
*unconvinced* "You know what? It's ok...It's getting late here anyway."
Long story short, I stay online for a bit (schmuck) and ta-da, the Great Houdini appears after all. "So how are you?" and the chat begins. Four lines later...
Me:Hello? you still there?
Me: are we lagging?
Me: you busy?
Me: you there?
Me: wow i love chatting to myself
*tick tick tick*
Him: Hey sorry, they called me outside to view some photos...
Me: You know what, you sound busy.
Him: I'm sorry. (etc etc etc)
Me: You better go then.
Him: Yeah ok. Good night, sleep well.
Him: *something something...dunno, because i logged off.*
Yes ladies and gentlemen, it was a Jack Johnson day all over again. Sitting, waiting, wishing. I'm going to bed and hope my webcam explodes into a million pieces in the morning.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
1. I haven't fallen off the planet.
2. I'm feeling restless, job-wise
3. The weather in KK varies from wet to wetter
4. I'm sleepy
5. I'm going to watch Ghost Game tonight. Yes, it's a cheesy Asian horror flick.
May Wednesday treat you well.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
not gonna get upset.
*letting the moment pass*
Anyway, my weekend was relatively better than last week's. I spent Saturday with another Melissa (Cham) and it was a nice girly day, with our two hour lunch and traipsing the mall with no purpose. Ah bliss. Saturday night I headed to Shenanigan's with my friends. Same old routine: loud music, two bottles of Chivas, spinning room and plenty of dancing. Some drama rama with a couple of the boys which involved upset girlfriends and cutting words. Yours truly was too busy getting her groove on to be bothered, heh heh. Not that I don't care about my friends and their soap opera lives but sometimes, a good night out should be a good night out. Plain and simple and selfish.
I got home at 2:30am and instead of sleeping, I logged on and found a Cubby in Canada to chat with. Till 4:30am. Happy me. Sunday was alright. Lunch with Wilson and friends at a Japanese restaurant, watched them play basketball in the evening and was off to visit Cubby's family. He's got such a lovely family and they always make me feel at ease. And visiting them made me miss him a teensy less. Happy me all over again.
This weekend, I'm off to the annual Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon. Better than another weekend of moping around the house feeling blue, eh?
a) blogger failed me
b) blogger failed me yet again
c) blogger is a big, fat b****
d) all of the above.
Anyway, a quickie on my recent trip to the Turtle Islands Park in Sandakan. A must-visit for anyone, especially if you're already in this part of the world. I'd write a whole entry on my trip but I just complete an article on the same topic last week...Yawn. The lazy man's shortcut? Pick up October's issue of 'Sabah Malaysian Borneo'. Alternatively, visit the website at www.sabahtourism.com sometime next month and look for it (shameless advertising, i know). Photos below!
Selingan beach. Very pretty but not much to see when snorkelling. But check out the mushroom cloud!
My humble abode for the weekend. Bathroom is dorm-style. Bedrooms are basic. I'm here for the turtles anyway...
The moment we've all been waiting for! Time check: 9:27pm. 82 eggs. Bravo mama turtle! No flashlights allowed and no standing in front of the turtle. The rangers have a no nonsense attitude when it comes to fumbling and stubborn tourists. Which I personally think is great.
The hatchery. So many baby turtles, so little time! At night, there were some rats gnawing away at an escaped hatchling...Traumatising stuff to watch but that's nature's way.
Isn't she a beauty? There are dozens of turtles around the beach in the morning but you have to an early bird to catch a glimpse of them heading back to sea. This one was kinda stuck among the rocks but she pulled through ok.
And finally, the Flying Eagle/Jet Li Wannabe of Selingan Island. Hai-ya!