Monday, December 29, 2008

Screw you, 2008.

Two days to go.

I've spent most of my so-called Christmas break alternating between two extremes: overdosing on the Christmas merriment that includes non-stop family affairs and parties as well as staying in bed reflecting on the year that was and the year its going to be.

And while almost everyone goes back to work tomorrow, I still have a whole week of absolutely NO WORK to go, nyeh nyeh. And what have I been doing? Cleaning the clutter - both literally and figuratively. I can't believe I still have eye shadow from circa 1998. Chinese New Year cards from two years back and clubbing receipts that tell of nights filled with overpriced beer. It felt so good to throw them all out. And I've made my decision to keep toxic people out of my life. Never mind toxic; even people who irritate me the slightest with their mere existence. I can't do the layan thing anymore. If I don't feel like oohing and aahing at your boring stories, I won't. And best of all - I'm not even going to feel bad about it.

I don't know what 2009 will bring. In fact, I don't even care. All I know is that -blessings aside- 2008 was a shit year. It will remained etched in my memory forever as a shit year. Filled with shitty people, shitty situations and shitty outcomes. But I must take responsibility for my actions and after boo-hooing all year, all I can do is hope I've learned a thing or two (fat chance, knowing me...). I DO intend to take more chances. Step outside my comfort zone and have more 'Oh alright, what the heck' moments. Seize the fcukin day.

And I'm gonna do it with style.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Give me some time to gather my thoughts amidst the frenzy of the Yuletide season. Between shopping, wrapping gifts, organising family reunions and even a futsal game or two in betweeen, I am also pulling myself together. It's a lot of work.

This is either the calm before the storm. Or the calm after the storm. I have yet to decide. The end of the year makes you do crazy things and it's also the time we tend to entertain crazy thoughts. So I am going to sit still.

Very, very still.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Sometimes there is nothing more to be said and done.

And that is the hardest part about moving on.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Four freakin' thirty.

It's 4:30am and I can't sleep. My flu meds don't seem to be doing what they're supposed to do. So here I am, eating a chicken sandwich and logging on to see who else might be online. No such luck.

So what do you blog about at this ungodly hour? Beats me. I'm usually in la-la land dreaming of talking cats at this point. Moments like these remind you that despite being surrounded by people all the time and living in a planet with more than 6 billion inhabitants - We are completely alone. And if you aren't, you will be. No one sticks around forever. Death and circumstance ensure this. You'll be 'friends forever' until someone moves away, gets a new job, finds a husband, starts breeding, changes principles...You get the pic. Your siblings will eventually start their own lives. Your children will grow up and move on. Your spouse will divorce you or, eventually, meet the Maker.

Why do we bother with forming relationships? Because humanity thrives on hope and living the 'meaningful' life. Because we think our short time on this earth should be filled with accomplishments and finding the 'One'. When in truth all that becomes of us is that we return to dust and we become mere memories.

So yes, I believe now we are actually completely alone. It doesn't mean we have to be lonely. Hence, friends, family and lovers. But they all pass. We pass. So don't fret too much about what happens or who comes and goes in our lives - Nothing is forever. It's just a ride and eventually the wheels will stop turning.

I could use some sleep.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's been a long time coming but I'm finally sick. I have been waiting and waiting to get doggone sick and, yep, here I am.

I'm about to get a knockout flu and I can feel my head pounding. My throat feels like someone's been dragging a durian through it and my eyes keep tearing up. I don't know how to explain it but I am glad to be sick. Now I really have a reason to crawl into a hole, pass out and ignore the world.

Because "I'm sick, go away" is more acceptable than "Just leave me alone." No?

I'm gonna go wallow in my fluey disposition now.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

News that screams, "Melissa, get off your lazy ass and write already."

Don't know if you guys read the news recently but a 9-year old boy has just published a book on (I kid you not) "How To Talk To Girls."

Figures: It takes a 9-year-old to tell grown men how to behave around women. Pfft.

Colorado native Alec Greven's book started as a creative writing project which found its way to a school book fair where his 'pamphlet' became a surprise hit (selling at USD5 per copy no less!). Long story short, boy creates hoo-haa, HarperCollins goes "Golly gee whitakers, let's give this boy 46-pages and a hardcover and BAM! he's a full-fledged published writer!"

WTF. His advice includes, stop showing off, go easy on the compliments and be wary of pretty girls. "It is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewellery," says chapter three of his book. He's just described Dennis Rodman but I'll let that slip.

"Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil." - in a few years, he's about to find out just how important lubricant really is.

And he also says, "The best choice for most boys is a regular girl. Remember, some pretty girls are coldhearted when it comes to boys. Don't let them get to you."

Okay, A) What constitutes a regular girl? and B) Some ugly girls are coldhearted too (talk about a bad deal). Good thing he's 9 and whatever comes out of his mouth is still cute.

Still, here's a kid who has spent a measly 9 years on this planet and has probably never heard of Vanilla Ice (that might be a good thing, actually) nor can he imagine a world before handphones and e-mail...But say what you want about him: He's got a damn book under his belt. That's one hell of a feather in his baseball cap.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yes, this is another whiny entry so stop reading if you're looking for something happy.

I apologise.

If you have been reading my blog and I've somehow sucked you into my vortex of Eeyore-ness (read: showered you with my negative vibes), I apologise. I've been reading my entries over the past year and, yes, I know it hasn't been pleasant reading material.

Some entries are self-suffering. Others so full of resentment. A few that are borderline pathetic, if I say so myself. My blog has become my voice - my whiny, oh-woe-is-me voice. And you might be surprised but I hate it. I hate what I've become because I know what I can really be - And it's not THIS.

So please, don't think that I am enjoying myself here with all the drama. An old flame (more like a forgettable spark) loved telling what a drama queen I was. How much I relished - and thrived!- on a roller coaster life. That switching from calm and controlled to emotional and unmanageable (what am I, tangled hair?) kept my days 'colourful'. And that word, oh that one word that just gets to me to this day: VOLATILE. "I dunno why you're so volatile, babe," he'd say. Maybe cuz you call me 'Babe' *slap slap*

Contrary to popular belief, no, I don't enjoy the drama. I want a nice, happy, shiny life just as much as the next delusional person. And I do try. You know that whole saying about life handing you lemons, and then you make lemonade? Screw the lemonade. I'm the kinda person who would bake a fckuing lemon meringue pie given the choice. But this year, I couldn't get past squeezing the lemons because my hands were covered with paper cuts. (Plus, I suck at baking anyway).

So yes, Mel isn't so happy and shiny right now. But on the flip side, seeing everyone words of encouragement on my message board has made me realise what fantastic people still exist out there. People who do give a rat's ass about me. Even when I'm being a rat's ass :)

Don't get me wrong though: I'm not sorry - for I cannot be sorry for being who I am or for how I feel. But I apologise all the same.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Reel World.

I've been on a movie spree. Because I need to escape the reality of my day to day existence. The fact is, I cannot stand going to work everyday. I dread the thought of opening my eyes to see another day, to serve, to fulfill, to care. On the outside, I crack the same jokes, make witty remarks and give as intelligent an answer where required. And I know I'm doing a fantastic job because people have been telling me how 'happy' I look again. It's easier to feign happiness than having to explain to people that the truth is I just want to crawl into a hole.

And it's not because I hate my job. I'm not in love with it neither but let's not get into that. I just feel an intense desire to break from the monotony of it all.


The reality is I have bills to pay. Deadlines to meet. Bosses to answer to.

I digress. As I said, I've been on a movie spree. Alcohol doesn't do it for me anymore and it's tough on the wallet. DVDs on the other hand bring me to another plane of reality. Or fantasy. Depends how you want to look at it. So for at least 2 hours in my day - 120 minutes of my pathetic life - I disconnect myself from everyone, everything. Here's what's been distracting me:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
PS I Love You
Mamma Mia! (I've got it on 'Repeat d isc')
Tropic Thunder
Righteous Kill
Phat Girls
Mission: Impossible III (yes, again. Seriously)

A couple of them are still on my 'To Watch' list. It doesn't matter if it's a sappy drama because it's nice to cry buckets over someone else's tragedy. And it's great to laugh out loud at some ridiculous slapstick moment which only Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. as a black man can pull off. With Quarantine, it's the first time in a LONG time I could feel my heart palpitate and get heady over an adrenaline rush. And yes, how I wish I could break into song like Meryl Streep while reminiscing over a lost love.

I love watching movies. I wish I had more time in a day to do it. I wish I didn't feel sleepy by 9:00pm but I do because -the irony of irony- going through the motions during the day mentally, emotionally and physically drains me and all I want to do when my car pulls up the driveway is collapse on my bed.

And I want to get something off my chest: It irritates the shit out of me that when someone asks me, "What's wrong? Wanna talk about it?" and then I proceed to do so, that someone pooh-pooh's my problems and says, "That's such a small thing compared to what I've been through!" Enter pile of bullshit followed by, "Life gets better. You just need a man and some babies and you'll be fine."

*finger gesture*

Rant over. And so I'll keep watching movies. Because happy endings are so elusive in the real world. Plus, it's cheaper than shoe-shopping, safer than pill-popping and healthier than bar-hopping, no?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Abba bug.

I've been listening to Abba over the weekend and I'm going to watch Mamma Mia! again. I've never been a huge Abba fan but something just clicked and I can't get the tunes out of my head! My favourite has to be 'Winner Takes It All'. Maybe because the lyrics have a personal meaning for me. A fantastic song all the same.

I don't wanna talk
About the things weve gone through
Though its hurting me
Now its history

Ive played all my cards
And thats what youve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
Thats her destiny

I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence

Building me a home
Thinking Id be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules

The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear

The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
Its simple and its plain
Why should I complain.

But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?

Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low

The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all

I dont wanna talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
Youve come to shake my hand

I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence
But you see

The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all......

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Move over, Manolo.

I cannot tell you how many high heel horror stories I've heard (and experienced). So imagine how my world spun when I found this in my e-mail:

Snazzy? Not only but they are in fact rubber-soled, anti-slip and flatteringly flexible. Scandinavian company, SWIMS, invented these feet orgasms known as City Slipper heels for the practical yet stylish woman. SWIMS is actually known for making galoshes - yep big rubber boots to play in the rain with - but lo and behold, someone with exquisite taste and understands the heely dilemma came up with the City Slipper (chances are it was a woman, no?).

And on top of being super comfy, super safe and oh so pretty, the rubber soles features road maps of Paris, New York and Tokyo! Now you can be three inches taller in fabulous shoes AND find your way in some of the most fabulous cities in the world. Pure genius.

I'm a size five. Christmas is around the corner.You know what to do.

Friday, November 14, 2008

From Yo and Jer

What you should do:
1) Take a recent picture of yourself or take a picture of yourself right now.
2) Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
3) Post that picture with NO editing.

4) Post these instructions with your picture.

There you have it. No photoshop. No fixing my hair. No touching up my make-up. Me in all my glory, basking in the shittiness of my life right now. Oh joy.

I won't tag anyone. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I was thisclose to seeing a male friend in a dress.

fridaycat13: can u be my maid of honour if i ever kahwin?

basket case: if you can get me a fitting dress hahahahha

fridaycat13: DEAL!

fridaycat13: wait, i cut and paste this first so i have evidence.

basket case: but make sure it's silver blue and everyone has to wear the same color hahaha

fridaycat13: oh don't u worry about that my friend

fridaycat13: for you, anything.

fridaycat13: JEREMY IN A DRESS. whatever colour u want pun buli

basket case: hahahahahaha...and the offer is only until december next year (1 year validity period) hahahahaha

fridaycat13: WHAT????

basket case: still have time to go around and be desperate hahahahaha

fridaycat13: I hate you.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Life on hold.

My life has been on hold. Somewhere along the lines, someone pressed the pause button. I keep waiting for some epiphany, some mind-blowing lightbulb moment where I can go, THIS is what my life is supposed to be about. And now, after almost 30 years of existence, I realise what I've been putting my life on hold for.

I am that little girl - the one who loved the story of the knight in shining armour and revelled in the stories of happy ever after. I would pretend to put a towel on my head and put on my mum's high heels, imagining how wonderful it would be to be that princess bride. And I loved playing house. I always knew in my heart I would have it all - that breathtaking romance, the fantasy wedding, the happy ever after of me and my hero riding off into the sunset.

I am still that girl. Still wanting that passionate fairy tale of a life. Still believing that he's out there. But in my quest for that, I have paid a price by putting my life on hold. For me, emotional investments are by far the most rewarding. I have always prioritised relationships. Because I am one of those who believes if I have my love-life in order, everything else falls into place. And it has been true. I cannot complain about my career for sure - in that department I have been blessed. But even my career has suffered thanks to my relentless search for 'true love' or whatever you call it these days.

THIS is my epiphany. I am tired of this quest. Of putting my life on hold for 'him'. Time and time again, it has proved futile and while he goes on with his life, I have just wasted another precious portion of possibilities. I am an intelligent, talented and highly capable individual - only held back by my desire to find that 'someone', to have a family and settle into the domesticity of life. What a shame. I have given up opportunities to work abroad and keep putting off the dream of travelling and pursuing my studies. I wasted three years of my mid-twenties with a man who promised a future with me and after picking out potential schools for our unborn children and going on the hunt for possible homes, one day he wakes up and tells me, "I don't see a future with you." And then I embark on another relationship with a man who goes off to pursue HIS studies and adds another year to work on HIS career away from home. "It's just two years," he tells me. While I dutifully nod and wait for him to come back, like a soldier's wife baking pies in some 1950s kitchen, waiting for her beloved to stroll back home.

So yes it's just two years. But it's two years of MY life. It's not about someone being 'worth the wait'. It's about how my life cannot be based on 'waiting'. Five years of my life - in relationships that require me to wait. Five years? I could have finished my Masters degree, worked in a broadcasting company as I've always dreamed, taken up that job in Switzerland (yes I turned it down because I couldn't bear the idea of being away from 'him') and spent summers in Ireland.

But here I am. Bitter and waiting in KK. Still writing for a magazine, griping about my pay, grumbling about the typical Malaysian government-service mentality and worst of all, watching other people live their lives the way they want to - while my life is on hold.

My life is on hold. And I'm expected to keep it on hold because as I turn 30, supposedly it's time to think of 'settling down' with the right man. I don't need the right man. I need to 'unpause' my life and do the things I've always wanted to do. I will not live for the 'Hims' in my life anymore.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Stephanie Klein made me cry.

Because she says things I already know but need to hear. Because her timing is flawless. Because her words are the kindest cruellest things that hit home - hard. Because she is a complete stranger yet the only person who seems to understand what you're going through right now. Because she is the kind of writer I aspire to be. But most of all, because she is ultimately right:

Just because one person doesn't think you're right for them doesn't mean you need to change. It doesn't mean you're broken or damaged. It doesn't mean you aren't good enough or that you're some failure. It's ONE PERSON. I know you thought he was "the person." But he's not. He's a person. And so are you... your own person. You need to take care of her now. No one died and made him God. Your desperate, "I'll change all those things you wanted me to" attempts need to stop. You want to change something, then change your perspective. Figure out what led you here, and learn from it. Yes, you have shit to work on. We all have things to work on, and with the next person there will still be things to work on, sometimes the same things, sometimes all new anxieties or issues bubble to the top. It's never going to be perfect, but it's not supposed to leave you feeling like shit more than you're feeling like "the shit."
From 'Advice is What You Want When You Already Know The Answer', by Stephanie Klein, October 27, 2008.

Read the rest of this entry here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The best worst news.

S: I got a job! I got THE job!

Me: What job?

S: The job! The one in Mabul!

Me: *pause* That's great! I'm really happy for you.

S: I can't believe it! I'm so overwhelmed....

Me: When do you leave?

S: Saturday.

Me: This Saturday?

S: Yep.

Me: You're leaving this Saturday?

S: Yes, I'll be there for a few months.

Me: Wow. This saturday huh?

S: Isn't it great?

Me: It is. I really am happy for you.

And I am. I am so happy for my best friend. I know she's wanted this job so bad and when I see the people I love deliriously happy, it makes me happy. I don't tell her this often enough but I never would have gotten through the year without her. She knows all my deepest darkest secrets. She knows what makes me laugh. And she's there when I need to cry - even for the dumbest reasons. She'll drive with me to McDonald's at 3:00am because I feel like having fries. She doesn't tire of my incessant ramblings about the same old things. And most of all, she lets me be who I am and reminds me that it's ok to mess up once in a while.

I am happy for you. Truly. But I hate you for being so wonderful that now it breaks my selfish heart that you're leaving. I know you'll be back but I'm so scared you won't. I don't have anyone like you in my life right now and I feel like i'm losing a limb. Things are so scary right now...I dunno if I'll pull through without you.

But believe me when I say I am happy for you. Truly. Because best friends love each other like that. Jaga kau if you don't come back.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kurang ajar.

There is no reason to snap, yell, shout or scream at someone unless:
a) they are standing some 30 feet away from you
b) something is on fire
c) they are in imminent danger
d) it's a shouting contest
e) they are hearing-impaired (but even then, why would scream at a deaf person? Duh)

It's not nice. It's just not nice. I have an issue with a person (or two) who cannot seem to talk to me nicely. I keep telling myself maybe he/she just talks like that. With one of the persons (I'll call him Jack) I realise he memang is 'kurang ajar' (translation: rude. Mother never taught him manners) to everyone. He answers the phone with, "Mmm yes? What? ha?" Anything with more than one syllable is a huge effort for him. And although I keep telling myself that Jack is like that with everyone, it still doesn't make it alright. Especially when you are polite in the first place, right?

And then there's this other guy...I'll call him Ass (er...short for Assando, yeah he's Italian). Now, HE doesn't fail to sting me with his rudeness and callousness. And whenever I try to point it out to him by saying, "Hey dude, relax, no need to get so angry", he responds by getting angrier and saying, "I'm having a bad day!" or "I'm not feeling well!" or my favourite, "It's because of the way YOU are...You make me say things like this!"

Wow. Classy.

You know people who are always frowning when you talk to them? Like everything you say is SO ridiculous and you're wasting their precious time? And when you decide NOT to say anything for fear of annoying your friend (I use the term loosely) further, he gets all pissy and says, "Why? Why you so quiet now? Upset lah? Angry lah? Aiyaaaa see la you! So difficult!" I cannot win with this Ass. But what really really gets my goat is that he can be so bloody rude to me and in two seconds, call his other friends and sound like the coolest, happiest guy ever. And then he hangs up his phone, frowns at me, shakes his head and rants about how he's so angry about everything. Which of course translates to, "I'm about to be rude to you the whole day and i have a valid reason so you should be understanding if you're my friend."

Why do I bother? Because I have this eternal fixation to mend 'broken' people like him - because I always believe there's good even in the worst people. To pick his pieces apart like a watch and see what makes him and maybe, just maybe, if i can loosen a few screws here and there or fathom why the cogs move in such a way...I might be able to make sense of it all and realise he really is rude for a damn good reason.

But deep down, I know there never IS a good reason to be rude. My mother taught me better than that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

This is what keeps me going.

And this is what October brings...

A Christmas in the Jungle photoshoot. Jeez louise, what a nightmare to lug that tree into the hutan (heh poor Al). I handled the box while Jeremy carried a 'plastic bag' as we walked from the parking lot, across the beach and into the jungle under the blazing 10:00am sun.

Can you see us in the blue ball?

And then I saw a chicken at the Nature Reserve in Rasa Ria.

We attended Astrid's not-so-surprise birthday party. Heh heh. I sayang my cousins very much.

And then on the 22nd was Brian a.k.a Bumboy's 29th birthday. That's a LOT of candles. (ya ya ya i know I'm older than him). We were supposed to have the 'surprise' at a kedai kopi Chuan Hin near Hilltop but as I turned into the junction, about to park my car, I received a mayday sms from Chombe, "CHANGE VENUE! PIZZA HUT DAMAI!" Good thing I love these people or else. Also, I wish to stress the fact that cake and mushroom soup do NOT go together.

My brothers and I went paintballing. And i have the bruises to prove it.

Team Skyline! My cousin Bob, niece Francine, me and my brother Ted. Someone said "Smile!" when we took this photo. And i think we actually did. Bodo.

I often wake up to Blanket meowing outside my window, upon which I groggily let him in as he quickly finds a warm spot in my bed to plonk himself upon. And then he gives me*this* look as if I'm the one intruding HIS space. Geez.

Seeing that I'm not going to get out of MY bed to make 'room' for him, he jumps off, 'merajuk'-ing.

Malaysian celebs, Hans Isaac, Harith Iskandar and Douglas Lim were in town. We organised a press conference for them and took them out for dinner at Salut Seafood Restaurant. Here's a shot of me and Chris charming Hans with our natural good looks and finesse. And this is Hans totally digging us.
Two hours later, we find other means of entertainment. Ah yes, I can imagine what Hans was thinking: "Sabahan chicks are SO hot."

We hit a club and a pub and by 1:00am, I think all that seafood, interviews and travelling finally got to the guys. That's Hans in the middle and Douglas on the right. Spot the Sabahan who still appears sober after three bottles of JD. ( i know, this isn't the most flattering shot of them. Sorry boys, air brushing doesn't happen in the real world).

Thursday, October 16, 2008


It has become such a rare occassion in the past year that I can actually say: I feel good today.

Maybe it's all the sweating I've been doing - futsal, a bit of netball (yes, don't ask) and squash. Maybe it's my super crazy schedule that involves dinner functions, interviews, photo shoots and meetings on top of my daily office work that's keeping me so busy that I don't have time to pull an Eeyore moment anymore.
Maybe it's hanging out with people who make me laugh.
Maybe it's because I talk to God more.
Maybe it's because I've cut down boozing and realise that being sober isn't such a bad thing, heh heh.

Whatever it is, today I feel good. And these days are so rare and in between that I wish I could capture the moment in a jar. Today, I feel like I can make it on my own and put my emotional crutches aside.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow is another story. But let's enjoy today, shall we?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I know you're sick of me going 'One step at a time' by now, heh heh. But I'm back to being busy - which definitely beats sitting in front of the computer, blogging about how depressed I am. I'll be back as soon as the dust settles. Which might be half past never. Thanks for dropping by. Stay tuned.

"We only got four seconds to save the world."
-Madonna and J.T on my speakers.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One step at a time.

You know that Jordin Sparks song? It's been playing in my head. Not that it's gonna make the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or anything, but some songs just pierce your head now and then and stay there until it decides to exit.

But also because it should be my mantra to get me through the days. Things are rough. But rough, I have to tell myself, is a phase. And phases pass. Like any uphill climb, it's gonna get ugly and some days, you just tumble down 10 ten steps. But with persistence, dogged determination and strength, I can get there. Oh and a little help from my friends don't hurt neither.

I feel the need to do something drastic. Get a tattoo. Chop my hair off. Take up lessons in something I wouldn't normally do. Something most of you probably don't know is that I love playing the drums. I'm not good or anything, but when Haw was around (or whenever he comes back for a holiday), I get free 'lessons'. There is something so therapeutic about banging on them drums. And even more fun when Haw straps on his guitar and we jam. I feel like I'm in a band, haha! He's been meaning to pass the drums to me but I just don't see how I'm gonna sneak the set in without my parents noticing. Heh.

Something's gotta change. I'll get there.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mel's month in photos

And so I've let August and September pass by. It's been a rough ride but here are my pleasure points along the way:

The Press Awards! Once a year, I love getting together with my ex-colleagues aka the journos of Sabah. Crazy monkeys but I wouldn't want them any other way.

Yolanda, me, Julia and a lot of wine. Ah bliss.

In case you don't know it yet, this is my after-work sanctuary where I enjoy a glass of red wine or the occassional cranberry vodka (or two. or three).

Weekend getaways with my girlfriends always promise the best moments. We laugh till we cry. And then we eat like there's no tomorrow and laugh some more. I don't know what I'd do without them.

We spent Yolanda's birthday at Langkah Syabas. This is Selina and Yolanda still in a celebratory mood at noon the next day. Either that or they're just delirious from lack of sleep.

I attended Jeri's wedding - one of the best ones I've been to in a long time! And the cupcakes were heaven. I'm so glad there was no wedding fruitcake, ugh. I miss spending time with Wil, Adrian and the boys. So I'm glad Wil and I are starting to have lunch together more often these days.

My dad's birthday means two things: Loud family reunions and lots of GRRREAT food. I heart mi familia very much. And I heart my dad's cooking even more. Heh heh.

I went on a secret holiday! Yep, I managed to take some days off, packed my bags and went to an undisclosed location. This is me being covert, heh. And don't bother asking me - I'm not gonna tell you where I went. I just really needed to get away from the hullabaloo of KK and its drama.

Jeri the effortlessly-beautiful bride! I'm glad chance brought us together to become friends because you are truly one of my favourite people in the world. You are my living hope that there's some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.

I just had to put a shot of Toscani's Alio Olio seafood pasta. Punyalah sedap. Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese, a dash of tabasco and you're good to go. I love that it's light yet filling. Great. Now I'm hungry.

My drinking comrades. Boob juggling, hair twirling, beer guzzling - Our moments are priceless, I tell you.

Real friends cheer you up at the risk of looking like....this.

My chicas have my back. And I wish Pu and Carol would get butts back here more often. But I'm grateful for the brief moments we spend together. Terima kasih for putting up with my
ramblings and I know I can be stubborn sometimes, but I hope you guys keep pushing till I get it through my thick skull. I need you like that.

October has landed. Here's to three more months to what I hope will be a less fortunate and more forgiving year.

"I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
Still mad as hell
And I don't have time to go round and round and round."
-Dixie Chicks, Not Ready To Make Nice. Singing my tune.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Off days.

I feel alright on most days. My crying bouts have reduced to 3 times a week. I don't need so much alcohol to feel 'better' anymore. I can get by most days without thinking about depressing things. I haven't had a sleeping pill in almost 3 weeks. I'm getting there.

Instead, I play more squash to release my agression. I go to church after work as often as possible to quiet my thoughts. I spend time with selected friends who I know will make me laugh. I make plans everyday to ensure I'm not sitting in my room alone, choosing the best hymns for my funeral (haha).

But I will have off days. And I know these 'days' the moment I wake up. It just hits me like a sledgehammer and from that second, I just start to slide downhill. And no squash session, church visit or round of beers is gonna pick me up.

Sunday I had an off day. I hate it when that happens. And although I know talking about it will help, I couldn't pick up the phone to call my usual confidantes because I think they deserve a break as well. So I had a good sob-fest, washed my face, went to a party and enjoyed my beer. Small efforts can be huge triumphs on days like these.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My bed of roses.

A couple of weeks ago, you sent flowers to my office. My favourite, pink roses! And more than a dozen of them. Any woman claiming she doesn't like receiving flowers is like a dog saying he doesn't like his tummy being rubbed. So yes, it certainly pasted a smile on my face for the rest of the day. And what timing. I was having a rough, rough week and the flowers was the pick-up I needed.

Thank you for reminding me life is indeed great and I just need to stop and smell the roses sometimes. You didn't sign your name and I still have no idea who you are. I want you to know your thoughtfulness and effort did not go unappreciated. For the first time in a LONG time, I felt truly beautiful and worthy of someone's attention. You're an angel. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On a roll.

Contrary to popular belief, 'free time' is not good for the mind, body and soul. For me, it leads to excessive consumption of alcohol, too much nicotine and, worse, over-analysing. So, I've turned to my first love: Books.

I'm currently reading five books at once - so no room for monotony and boredom here. Apart from talking things out to death with my chicas and breaking down at the most inappropriate moments (Yesterday, I couldn't untangle my phone cable and in my frustration, I started to cry. Yes, in the office. Can someone give me a hormone transplant please?), I've discovered that reading can be just as therapeutic. Note: It depends WHAT you read of course. Romance novels and stories of animals dying are not recommended.

So here's what's been taking up my time:

1. John Irving's Until I Find You - I have been reading this FOREVER and have yet to finish it. Not because it's not a good book, it's just that I keep picking up other stuff to read when I'm on the go because this book is a bit....fat to carry around. Heavy bah. Irving is one of my super duper favourite writers and his best novel in my opinion is The World According to Garp (read, read!). Anyway, this book i'm reading now revolves around an actor named Jack Burns, the bastard son of Alice a tattoo artist. Basically, he spends most of his life in search of his father - a mysterious character who is nothing but a concept to him for now. I dunno what happens yet but stay tuned!

2. Thick Face, Black Heart by Chin-Ning Chu - I've read this book again and again and now I'm adding another 'again' to that list. The book promises to teach you how to:
- fight back when you have been wronged
- Find your inner warrior and conqier your path
- Claim your natural right to dazzling wealth (wow...DAZZLING some more)
- Unchain your primitive killer instinct for a life-affirming cause
- Apply deception without sin to win the deal you want
- Dare to succeed by cultivating the courage to fail
- Transform your negative qualities to your advantage

Muahaha...With this book I will conquer the universe! Ok seriously, I love this book. Don't worry, it sounds more preachy than it really is. What I like most is how practical and applicable the advice is in everyday life. And it's so inspiring that it makes me wanna go out and buy a sword! I AM A WARRIOR!

3. Mars and Venus Starting Over: A Practical Guide For Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce or Loss of a Loved One by John Gray PhD: Yes, this book has 'Boo hoo' written all over it. But right now, it helps. I can't help but wonder, can you imagine being married to John Gray? This guy seems to have all the answers about men AND women, it would be impossible to argue with him.

Wife: Honey, you didn't take out the trash like I asked you to!
John Gray: I know this makes you feel like I don't care or love you. But actually I am just operating differently as a man, as a resident of Mars. What may seem like an important act of responsibility to you, actually holds little significance in terms of how much I love you. It's just that I may express it in a different way...
Wife: *rolls eyes* Here we go again.

4. He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tucillo - What do you mean you haven't read this???? Any living, breathing, heterosexual woman MUST read this book at least once in her life. Greg and Liz wrote and were consultants for Sex and The City - need I say more? There are so many: OMG why didn't I think of that? moments in this book. One of my favourite lines in the book is: You already have one asshole. You don't need another one in your life. Poignant and straight to the point. Fantastic read.

5. It's Called a Break-up Because It's Broken by (you guessed it) Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt - Greg teams up with his wife to remind you what a SUPERFOX you really are! This book became my bible during the demise of a 3-year relationship with you-know-who. Greg and Amiira stress that you are lucky to be rid of him if:
1) He cheated on you
2) He belittled you
3. He frequently blew you off
4) He owned a Kenny G CD
5) He had a girlfriend
6) He had a boyfriend

haha. How can you not love this book? Sometimes, you gotta learn to laugh at the tragedies in life in order to live again.

Read anything good lately?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Point form.

It's Monday morning and I need to jumpstart my brain. Full paragraphs seem like a lot of work so I'm gonna go point form in hope that I'll eventually be able to join coherent sentences by the end of the day:

1. My weekend was good. Saturday evening I had to play emcee to a cultural show at Le Meridien but all was good because it was followed by cranberry vodkas at the Waterfront with Yo.

2. Spent Sunday with the girls and Julian, a college friend from KL who was in town to work (who later discovered KK did not just entail Kolombong - his 'station' during his work trip to Sabah). Haha. In the evening, I traipsed 1 Borneo with Sel and managed to walk away from Charles & Keith before any real damage to my wallet was done. I did buy clothes from Nichii though. Ah well.

3. I need to change my USD currency ASAP. The US economy is going to the dogs and I'll be damned if my US dollars devalue before I can spend it deservingly!

4. Time to pack up and re-organise as I transfer to my 'new' job next week.

5. I'm not sleeping well. Again. This morning I woke up at exactly 4:18am. This has to stop.

6. I forgot to remove my church candles from the car and parked it under the sun. You do the math. Does anyone know how to remove the waxy residue from my dashboard?

7. I learned that when you have a problem, there are some friends who will hear you out time and time again and some friends have their limits. And that's okay. You just have to differentiate the two.

8. My eyes are so heavy right now, it's not funny.

9. And to you: I know it hurts right now and everyday is a challenge, but believe me when I say the pain will stop eventually and he will be just a distant memory. Your favourite mistake :)

10. Prayer is the only thing keeping me going these days. I am grateful for my faith: Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (if only it was that easy, but trust me Lord, I'm trying).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thick Face, Black Heart

"The grass bends easily in the wind. The great oak stands unmoved. A strong wind can uproot the oak, but no wind, however strong, can uproot the grass that bends flat before it."
-Chin-Ning Chu, Thick Face, Black Heart (so yes, be like the lalang)

I'm re-reading this again because I think I need to. If you haven't, I suggest you do.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's love got to do with it?

My last few weeks have been profound, punctuated by eye-opening events and cruel yet kind slaps in the face. (God certainly has the strangest ways to communicate with me, I'll tell you that).

Hence today, I want to talk about that dirty four letter word: Love. Ah yes, all that world-spinning, earth-tumbling, heart-warming mumbo jumbo. It's nice kan? And me of all people, I LOVE love. I love being in love. I love being loved. The whole Love Parade - that's me in the front.

But 29 years on, I'm whistling a different tune. Sure I still smile at the thought of love and all it's glory. But over the past few months and after several events within the past two weeks, I've decided: It's not meant for me.

I have not turned my back on love - I fully believe in how great it is. Yet, my bitter pill to swallow is the fact that I am not meant for this thing called 'love'. Or romance. Or whatever colour you want to paint it. It's a pity because I've noticed I'm pretty damn good at it. I've knitted scarves, sent flowers, whispered sweet nothings and thrown surprise birthday parties just to see him smile - All in the name of love. Oh yes, I've been there. And, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I am very good at it.

But just because you can sketch a darn good portrait doesn't mean you should be an artist, right?

And that, my friends, is my deal with this whole 'love' thing. Yes, I want it. Yes, I'm good at it. Maybe I even deserve it. But I've decided that I'm not going to get it. And I'm not going to pursue it. I am resigned to the fact that I will not have that great love story to tell and nobody is going 'sweep me off my feet'.

As much as love can build and lift you up, it can also destroy and break you when taken away. I may be a romantic but I refuse to be foolhardy any longer about love. I am not taking that risk. So let's be practical about 'love'. For those 'in love', don't give your all - save a piece of yourself for your own sanity in case your picture perfect world comes tumbling down.

And yes, I plan to get married and have a family. But I will not marry for love. It's because I want to have a family. And I will marry a friend, who understands me and will give me the space I need. I will be a dutiful wife. I will do all the right things a wife and mother is expected to. I will love my husband as a wife is expected to. We'll grow old together and people will say what a wonderful marriage we had. And of course we did - Smart people marry their best friends, not their best lovers. (So yes, I'm sorting out a practical list of who would make a good candidate - I think i found him and I'll need to make an arrangement to see if he's agreeable).

But I will not let myself be 'in love' ever again.

Friday, September 12, 2008


What's a good way to start your Friday morning? Do mindless questionnaires!

1. The person who tag/pass you is?
Merry Jerry

2. Your relationship with her/him is?
Fellow gidiot.

3. Your five impression of her/him?
Smart-ass giant. But for a change, someone I don't have to explain my sarcastic remark to over and over cuz he gets it (ok sometimes la, haha)

4. The most memorable thing she/he had done for you?
Tell me I'm better off without 'certain people in my life' (granted it was a drunken moment but it's nice when friends care)

5. The most memorable thing she/he had said to you?
Refer to above. (see, I can be nice)

6. If she/he becomes your lover you will...?
Need to get a much a bigger bed. Giant.

7. If she/he becomes your lover, thing she/he has to improve on will be?
Learn to appreciate blonde moments, hahaha!

8. If she/he becomes your enemy, you will...?
er, not really like him anymore?

9. If she/he becomes your enemy, the reason will be?
He ate my cat.

10. The most desired thing you want to do for her/him now is?
Beat him at squash.

11. Your overall impression of her/him is?
"Wow, what a tall gidiot!" hahah ok ok besides that, a fun guy, up for pretty much anything and an entertaining conversationalist. He may be a gidiot (takes one to know one ah...) but he's the smartest gidiot I know :D

12. How you think people around you will feel about you?
WILL feel or presently feels about you? Teruk juga ni soalan...gramatically confusing. I dunno la, I think some people can't stand me and some people are okay with me. You can't win 'em all. Their loss, haha!

13. The characters you love of yourself are?
(The characteristics you love about yourself are... ->Sorry ah, just being anal about the sentence structures). Ok let's see. I try to be as diplomatic as possible about everything even people are real a-holes to me. And i like that I'm left-handed - so what if I tulis terbalik.

14. On the contrary, the characteristics you hate about yourself are?
Soft-hearted, hard-headed, indecisive, not jantan enough (i need to learn to be more insensitive and have a 'whatever' attitude).

15. The most ideal person you want to be is?
Melissa Leong but taller. Haha.

16.For people that care and like you, say something to them :
HAPPY HOURS AT THE LOFT! and thanks for being my rakan-rakan seperjuangan. You are all so lawa mau mati.

17. Pass this quiz to 10 persons that you wished to know how they feel about you.
(ok i assume they don't have to have blogs...)
-> They are :
1) Sel
2) Carol
3) Puei
4) Yolanda (yes again, but u don't have to do because you're special like that)
5) Jerry (ya la, hantam saja la...I don't know that many people ok)
6) Lester
7) Johnny Depp
8) Haw
9) Mia
10) Shan

18. Who is no.6 having relationship with?
That i know of? Macam teda.

19. Is no.9 a male or female?

20. If number 7. and 10 are together, will it be a good thing?
Bloody hell, punya sia jeles if they got together!!!!

21. What is no.2 studying about?

22. When was the last time you had a chat with no.3?

23. What kind of music band does no. 8 like?
Rock! Foo Fighters and Nirvana are his favourites. Nyeh nyeh I so pandai...

24. Does no.1 have any siblings?
Yep, dua abang, satu kakak.

25. Will you woo no.3?
Nah. She's married.

26. How about number 7?
WOULD I EVER!!! (hey i din plan to put Johnny as number 7 ah...random, random)

27. Is no. 4 single?
Dunno la if she's still with Hugh Jackman.

28. What is the surname of no.5?
Kabinchong. (how can you forget a surname like that?)

29. What's the hobby of no.10?
Fine wine and good company :) did i get this right?

30. Do no.5 and 9 get along well?
Mia and Jerry? Belum jumpa lagi but I think buli lah tu.

31. Where is no.2 studying at?
Insitute of Crotchology, Kuala Lumpur.

32. Talk something casually about no.1?
She is my Papat in crime.

33. Have you tried developing feelings for no.6?
Er, ok, been there done that, haha! We dated for 3 years, enough said.

34. Where does no.9 live at?
In England. Ya ya pi jauh jauh lagi...

35. What colour does no.4 like?
Wow good question. Ala Yo, putus hubungan la if I dunno the answer kan...Ok ok, i guess ah. Blue?

36. Are no.5 and 1 best friends?
They both like puppies - how's that?

37. is no.7 the sexiest person in the world?
OMG ... punya lah ngam.

38. What is no.6 doing now?
It's 9:25 am. Probably baru sampai office or stuck in a jam (tulah, kerja di KL lagi). Or having cha sau for breakfast.

Hahahaha funny juga oh...Bah, tag yourselves. I look forward to reading the answers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It's so easy for us to lose sight of the good when you are constantly focused on the bad. In perspective, 2008 has proved to be one of the most challenging years of my life (and it's still September. Bring it on, October-November-December!).
So today, I am going to count my blessings.

1. I have my health
Okay so I'm not an Olympian and my idea of exercise is moving from the couch to the fridge. But I am healthy and normal (don't start...). My limbs are fully functional and I am not in agonising pain. Every breath I take is a pure miracle. Be grateful.

2. I have the best family in the world.

My darling niece Leilana and her Oggie.

My annoying brother Johann (who I really love to bits anyway, dammit) and beautiful Lola who spoils her grandchildren rotten!
We're far from perfect. But my parents have shown us more than 40 years of what a good marriage is. My siblings and I have been through thick and thin together; we've seen the best and worse of each other. But family means never giving up on each other and I know even when the world turns against me, I have them right by my side. And over the years I've realised how fiercely protective they are of me - which is both a good and bad thing, mind you. I guess it comes with being the youngest. The eldest, Ted, has been my source of sage-like wisdom and drugs (I knew medical school would benefit us in the end). My sis, Carmen - or Wen as we call her - I feel is the strongest of us all, because of all the adversity she has gone through and I can always count on her when I need an emotional outlet or to drink myself blind (she has quite the bar at home. Bless her!). Johann has been the typical pain in the neck brother whose life mission seems to be, "How can I irritate her today?". Yes, even though he's 34 and I'm 29, we still play "The last one to touch Dad while he's fixing the car is a monkey's butt." I dunno why I layan but I just cannot resist his stupid dares. That aside, I go to him when I need to be slapped silly with sense. He's cruel in the kindest way.
Papa and Mama Leong, heh heh.
And my nieces. Ah, my nieces! My most precious darlings - Bubbly Danielle, Crazy Francine and Precocious Leilana. So sayang them. And eventhough Danielle and Francine are growing up WAY too fast, they'll always be my little girls. (And no, girls, I dunno who's cooler, Blink 182 or Good Charlotte).

3. I have the best chicas in the world.

Bad haircuts. Huge plastic-rimmed glasses. Embarassing moments around the cutest guys. Buying overpriced panties. Having one more drink, just ONE more. Giving into butter demands at 2 a.m after a drunken night out ("Mel, it's 2am, i don't think the hotel can send butter up at this hour....Ok ok I go look for butter.Stop crying."). Mothers In Law whom we will protect you from - Stand back EVIL WITCH! Sending ice cream to your office just because you're having a bad day. Reminding me that I can do so much better than that asshole of a man. We are all so lawa mau mati. Karaoke sessions that we do not speak of. Crotch sizes (Carol, that will forever be etched in my memory). Telling the same jokes and still finding it funny when no one else gets us (they are bodo, not us).

And for just making me feel fabulous on any given day. I heart you girls so very much, even when our nenens become senget and we need bifocals.

4. I have had some awesome experiences.
With the owners of Bukit Naga Amanpuri, Kuala Penyu.
In my brief existence, I've managed to meet wonderful people, seen amazing places and enjoyed mind-blowing moments. How can I not be thankful for those?

L-R: Japan 2005 for the Mt. Fuji Mountain Race, Fishing at Mengalum, Gomantong Caves,
Mel does Macau!, Meeting Ian Wright - my hero, Doing the Death March in Telupid, Marvelling Mabul, so pretty.

5. I've loved and lost and loved...

They were/are great friends, that's what matters. And one point, the love of my life. Romance can be fleeting but I can look back now and see how everyone comes into your life for a reason. The lessons you learn are invaluable. And instead of looking at the tears shed, I'd rather remember the laughter shared. It took a lot of time for me to be where I am in this department and trust me, I'm still learning and making my share of mistakes along the way. But I don't think I'll ever give up on love. Schmuck. And proud of it.
I could go on and on. My blessings are bountiful. And I praise the Lord each day. All we can do is surrender our life in His hands and trust that He has his reasons for everything we go through. Today, I count my blessings.