Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I have a bone to pick.

Today, we received the directive that those celebrating Ka'amatan -the Harvest Festival- (basically those of Kadazandusun descent) could leave after a half day of work. My boss made a big show of announcing, "This applies to the PURE Kadazandusun only. Sino-Kadazans and others should stay on." Now, I couldn't quite tell if she was joking because she had this retarded half-smile on her face. Of course, everyone looked at me because, hello, I was one of those 'half-breeds' she was referring to.

And I immediately felt annoyed.

I told her, in front of the whole office, that I was just as much Kadazandusun despite my Chinese surname. And it didn't help that my colleagues were teasing how I didn't even speak the language. Fine. So i don't speak the language. Before I continue, perhaps I should explain my dad is 75 percent Kadazandusun and our Chinese surname is part of our Chinese heritage passed on from generation to generation which we are also fiercely proud of. In Sabah, you get plenty of mixed blood - inter-racial marriage is common-place here.

Anyway, so there I was, being told in my face that I shouldn't claim to be Kadazandusun as I had a Chinese surname after all. Now, here's what REALLY ticks me off: Every Chinese New Year, my family practices the whole ang-pow-family-reunion-dinner thing as well. And even WITH my Chinese surname, I don't quite qualify to leave the office early on CNY eve like my other 'pure' Chinese colleagues. Why? Because people claim I'm not pure Chinese because I have Kadazandusun blood.

Can you see what I'm getting at?

It's like a Catch-22. I'm not Kadazandusun enough to celebrate the Harvest Festival, yet I'm also not Chinese enough to celebrate the Chinese New Year. So where does that leave a rojak like me? I think it's really unfair to bounce me around just because I cannot be pigeon-holed into one race. Maybe it hasn't occurred to them that it might actually be possible to belong to more than one ethnic group. Wowee what a brand new concept!

If anything, I feel priviledged having grown up in a home of mixed cultures and traditions. But there are frustrations. Whenever I hang out with Kadazandusun friends, I feel left out because I can't get their lingo and I'm considered the 'mixed Chinese' girl. But with Chinese friends, I'm the Kadazan girl with the Chinese surname but "pity she dunno how to speak Chinese, hor?" For the icing on the cake, my mum is Filipino and yes, whenever I go back to visit my cousins in the Philippines, I'm the cousin who can't speak Tagalog and is "half-Malaysian".

That's why I cherish my true-blue friends who treat Mel as the Mel who loves cats, pasta and can't stop buying shoes. Long live the rojak.

Kotobian do tadau tagazo Ka'amatan to all. May your harvest be bountiful all year round!

p.s: Fridaycat is off to the islands of Mabul, Mataking and Sipadan till the weekend (yes, for 'work') so pardon the silence. Be right back!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Behind the blog.

Do you define your blog or does your blog define you? Like many people I know, I'm a self-confessed blog hopper. I like reading random thoughts on random topics, even if I don't agree on some of the viewpoints given. The voyeurism of peeking into people's daily lives, their innermost thoughts, their hopes, dreams, tragedies and triumphs.

Or so perhaps they'd like us to think.

I've been wondering lately, how many bloggers are really what they seem, via their web logs? Since I started my blog, I've actually made 'blog friends' - literally people I've met via blogging activity. And many of them have turned out to be interesting people. It's amazing the things you discover about people via their blogs. I haven't personally met most of my blog-friends but if they are anything like their blogs, I'm sure we'd get along fine.

On the other side of the coin, I personally know people FIRST and then visit their blogs. And sometimes, THAT'S interesting too. Because you discover that sometimes - and this is gonna sound mean - the blogs have more personality than the owner. I know bloggers who have fascinating blogs, a laugh-a-minute website that keeps you coming back for more and has you going, "Oh wow, wait till I meet this person!" But if you really know the person, they can be the complete opposite of their blogs. Vice versa of course: One amazing person but a completely mundane blog.

But I digress. Back to the question: Who defines who? Do we really make entries to pour our innermost thoughts? As an outlet for our emotions and a journal of our existence? Or do we write to entertain readers, to impress fellow bloggers with our wit or make people believe we lead far more fascinating lives than we really do? Maybe I'm a hypocrite, seeing I have a blog and here I am questioning 'to blog or not to blog'. Humans by nature, are after all, narcissists. We love ourselves. We may not necessarily write about our personal selves but things that surround us. Still, in the bigger picture, it's still all about what's around ME. Me me me me. And hell, I don't think there's anything wrong about that. As much as we are narcissists, we're also voyeurs. Why else would you be blog hopping? heh heh.

Not trying to touch any raw nerves nor am i doing the whole pot calling kettle black drama. Just an interesting thought that's been on my mind. Do blogs reveal who we are or are blogs nifty devices to hide behind?

I'll let you sit on that.

Friday, May 25, 2007


You know your day is whacked when:

1. You drive to the office halfway only to realise you still have your handbrake up.

2. You make a cup of milo, walk back to your desk and realise you didn't put any water in it.

3. You deliver some documents to the third floor when you were supposed to pass it to someone on the second floor (and you were already on the second floor to begin with)

4. You try to photocopy your documents on the printer (which doesn't do copying work, mind you)

5. You see an incoming e-mail and you pick up the phone.

Thank God it's lunch time. Let's hope I don't walk into a hardware shop and order a burger and fries.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not ready.

I couldn't do it. I was on the verge of taking a bold step to move to KL but I retracted my application last night. I even got the phone interview in the bag and if that went well, I was to fly to KL in the next couple of weeks for the real thing.

But I couldn't do it. There were many reasons why. My friends were telling me I would be crazy to give this opportunity up. Maybe they're right. The money is good and it might just catapult my career into something bigger. Imagine the big city life! The parties! Meeting up with old college friends.
If this was so great, how come I didn't - couldn't - feel the excitement? Where was the anticipation? The stars in my eyes and all that jazz? Nada. My gut was telling me this wasn't right. No matter how I tried, I couldn't grasp the notion of moving to KL now and being happy with the decision.
Eventually, I do plan to leave KK for a bit, just to ensure my career doesn't get stuck in a rut. And other reasons which will be revealed at a later time. But right now, it's a matter of the right place, wrong time.
I'm not ready to leave home.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mel's new hair.

So, whatcha think? I wasn't ready to go short, so I got myself a side-swept fringe...

I asked my cats for their opinion. Happy was too busy to comment:

And Blanket didn't seem to care much. All I got was: Which pretty much translated to: "I'm trying to nap. Go away."

But this Fridaycat is happy. Meow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday pick-me-up: Shopping.

I told you guys about my shoe addiction. And from the looks of it, it ain't going away anytime soon. Look what I picked up today:

Hey, I don't have shoes in blue (green?) ok. And they were 20 percent off! Just when I thought it was safe to keep walking around Centrepoint, I walked into Speedy and saw this:

My ALL-TIME favourite movie. A true fan cannot resist a 2-Disc Rockin' Edition. I've seen this movie 23 times to date and I have yet to get tired of it. John Travolta in tight leather pants and Olivia Newton-John struttin' her stuff (at the end anyway, after she threw away her whole Sandra-Dee persona). When I was younger, I could sing every song from the movie. My memory fails me these daysn hence the DVD. Time to reignite my obsession with this 70s classic, set in the 50s. The music, the moves, the Pink Ladies, the T-Birds...I love 'em all. It's so over the top, it's fantastic! If I had to name my favourite part...It would probably be the big finale at the funfair. And the dance off where Olivia and John get groovy - Classic! I would SO love to catch Grease the Musical, live on stage. Maybe on Broadway or something. I missed them when they were in KL couple of years back.

Ok I'm itching to watch my new DVD so adios peeps.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cubby imortalised!

Look what my Haw drew!

Me so likey. Thanks sweetie. I'm not done showing off: Visit his blog here to see his other works.

Thank you.

Nothing like a birthday to realise people still care. I am so touched that so many people took the time to wish me - Especially friends who I thought dropped off the planet. From Beijing to KL, each sms, e-mail and phonecall made me smile. Thanks you guys.

My birthday was a simple affair and this year, it co-incided with Mother's Day. Double the celebration! We had a high-tea at Hyatt (the food ain't great, just to keep you guys posted) and the rest of the day was 'quality time' with the family. Which I always enjoy. And I think it meant more to my mum than any super-expensive gift.

Speaking of gifts...
Nice eh? Compliments of my brother. And yes, it's PINK. It came with a free leather case in -you guessed it- pink. This baby is the Sony Cybershot DSC T20/P, 8.1 megapix, 2.5" LCD screen, 3X optical zoom with face detection and double anti-blur solution.

And did i mention it comes in pink? heh heh.
From this day henceforth, the bloggeth haveth more pictureth! Hooray!

Monday, May 14, 2007


Another year gone.

Older. Hopefully wiser. But definitely happier.

Parties with balloons, Barbie-shaped birthday cakes and lots of pressies have been replaced with a quiet night out, sipping wine and being with people who matter.

This year, instead of going, "I wish I had/could/did...", I counted my blessings. And I have so many.

There's a complete myth about getting older. It's not about the wrinkles, the extra weight we pile on over the years, the pressure to settle down with 2.5 kids or making more money. It's about finally feeling comfortable in your own skin.

I'm older. And i'm lovin' it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Kapalai so fly!

Ok, this post is a wee bit delayed (Don't even get me started on my China trip, I know I still have 2 more cities to go...). But in April, I was off to the Regatta Lepa in Semporna but the REAL highlight for yours truly would be the little detour we made to Kapalai, just 40 minutes from Semporna by speedboat.
The Melissas suffering the effects of Lifejacketitis. Patient will often display signs of awkward hand movements and strange facial spasms.

I love islands. But if you've been following my blog, you know that already. Again, I tried to tan but the most I got was a sunburn on my chest (my chest, not my you-know-whats. Please ah). However, the unique thing about this island is that it's not exactly an island. Kapalai is a 'floating' resort, where everything is built on stilts in the middle of the ocean. Cool eh?

The water is so clear. They've got starfish everywhere and while I was relaxing on the balcony of my water bungalow (ehem, yes I like to tambirang) I even saw turtles! My roomate Melissa and I weren't sure at first.

Me: What's that?
Other Mel: I dunno, it keeps bobbing up and down.
Me: Eeeee maybe it's like a sea monster...
Other Mel: I think its someone swimming
Me: Ha? So many bobbing up and down? And so far out into the sea?
Other Mel: Maybe its a diver.
Me: I still think it's a sea monster.

Long story short, it was a bunch of turtles. So exciting, I tell you. No matter how many times I come face to face with sea turtles, I always get super-excited.

I went snorkelling in the evening and was so exhausted from swimming against the current that I had no energy to join my friends kayaking the next morning:

See? Told you the water's clear.
So i decided to do what I do best:

And then look who I found!

Milo is the resident superstar of Kapalai and he's been around since my trip back in 2004. Packed a few pounds though (The dog. Ok, and me.)

Me and my colleagues. Another successful island trip, hooray! Personally, I prefer islands actually BEING islands, with the soft sand beneath my feet and all that. But the beauty of Kapalai is that you don't get sand in your shorts, bed and other nether-regions.

Lai lai, come to Kapalai!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My name is Melissa. I am a shoe-aholic.

The symptoms never change: My heart starts to palpitate. Cold sweat blankets my palms. The lights get brighter and brighter. I get giddy from the colours. The smell of leather permeates the air. I am excited and anxious all at the same time. A wave of excited nausea rises and falls. The urge is tremendous and if I don't get my fix, it feels like certain death.

Yes, I am shoe shopping.

As of late, my shoe addiction is getting worse. I need a new pair every other week. It could be a pair of sandals or a sparkling pair of gold heels that I'll probably wear once. I can still practice self-restrain in a bookstore or look away during a sale at Levi's but shoes....Oh the horror! I'm like a moth drawn to a flame. Burned by the evil of two-inch heels I never really need but oh-so-painfully want. My brother says it's the Filipino in me: A simple case of Imelda Marcos-itis.

Here's my latest pair, barely three hours old. Everything's so pretty in pink, sigh. I tried on FOUR pairs and with the last remaining bits of willpower, I managed to tell the sales assistant, "It's ok...I'll....just....take...one...pair" *choke*

Just few of my ever-growing collection. The white Charles & Keith wedges make me at least four inches tall but the blisters are hell to pay...

A woman can never have enough shoes. And woe to the man who dares question this.