Monday, December 28, 2009

Mel's masak moments


In the kitchen. Who would've thought I'd be spending more time with pots and pans instead of pints and pals these days? There is something therapeutic about being in the kitchen, trying to
get the flavours right, making sure you don't slice your fingers off along with the onions and sweating over a hot stove - literally. And being the not-so-experienced cook, it's a whole new world of trial and error (read: trying not to burn the kitchen down). It's stressful but in a good way, making sure your 'diners' aren't cringing or choking as they take a bite.

I will be the first to admit I am not a natural in the kitchen. My idea of cooking usually revolves around 'just add water' and 'microwave for three minutes'. But with my newfound free time thanks to less office hours, I find myself gravitating to the kitchen (ok, so maybe I've always been gravitating towards the kitchen but not necessarily to cook!). On days like today, when I'm all 'pubbed'-out ('tis the season and all that) and there's no one to hang out with, I just turn to my cookbooks -yes, you read that right- and see what I can whip up. Pasta and chicken have been my best bets to date but not so much on fish and seafood (cleaning and preparing fish ranks high on my 'Eww' Factor, sorry). I'm planning on baking muffins next week and I'm half expecting a disaster but you never know. I'm not going to be the next Martha Stewart but at least my future family will be able to enjoy meals other than spaghetti from a can or instant noodles.

Oh and you know what else is great about cooking? It actually kills your appetite, so here's the lesson: when you feed others, you stop feeding yourself. Genius!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ho ho mojo.

Yes, another 'tis the season post. More like post-tis-the-season-post. As I unwind from days of non-stop Christmas shopping, paper cuts from wrapping gifts and one too many roast chickens (my family doesn't do turkey), I'm taking the time to savour the spirit of the season and reflect on what an improvement this year has been.

Christmas is an interesting time of the year and although I'd be lying if I didn't say I loooove getting presents, Christmas is also a time of thanksgiving, epiphanies and revelations. This year, it has been a pleasant surprise to hear from friends whom I have not been in touch with for ages. On the flip side, I've also come to terms with the fact that I have to let go of certain connections in my life - and it really isn't such a bad thing. I am blessed with the people who ARE in my life and content with the fact that people, friendships and seasons change.

With five days to go to 2010, I look back on the year and see how uplifting 2009 has been. Perhaps it's a good thing my 2008 was so sucky, or else I wouldn't appreciate how good the coming year would be! I still remember the best thing I heard on New Year's day this year: "This year is yours" and I think I made it my mantra. And in many ways, it has been. My boyfriend proposed at the beach, I bit the bullet and quit my 6-year-old job, I have more time to write and am learning how to run a family business. Oh and I'm becoming quite the kitchen queen. Ok, maybe I'm still at princess level but getting there.

The best part is, it just gets better next year. Merry Christmas and may the new year bring you all the good things you deserve.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things that go lump in the night.

I've been trying to drift off for the last hour but all I do is listen to the whirring of the ceiling fan. No, I haven't been watching horror movies that give me sleepless nights. Again.

It's a lump. And God forbid I be dramatic about it but if you knew me better...Here comes the drama.

Everybody's telling me it's nothing. I've even been told it could be a lump of fat, seeing I've put on weight (nice. two blows). Or maybe I should massage it away. And, hey, it's not even that obvious.

I know that there's a 90 percent chance...No no....98 percent chance it really IS nothing. Just an extra mound of flesh inconveniently making its presence known on the lower end of my neck. It doesn't hurt. But I just wish it wasn't there. Can you blame me?

A lump. It's just a lump. I really am getting ahead of myself. I know everyone's trying to pooh-pooh it because maybe, just maybe, if everyone pooh-poohs enough, it won't even exist.

Except it's not growing on THEIR necks.

So yes, I'm going to let myself 'dramatize' this whole lump episode even though it's very likely it'll be gone in a few days. For starters, I'm getting it checked out tomorrow. And then I'm going to get a second opinion - preferably from a doctor who doesn't share my DNA just to be extra sure.

It's a lump. Just a lump. But if it turns out to be a lot more than a just a lump, I'm going to be very, very angry.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Belly laugh.

You know what makes a good day? A heartfelt belly laugh that makes your sides ache and your eyes water. Here are my favourite belly laugh moments this week (bah, it might not make sense to everyone.Then again, humour is subjective no?)

1. Putting absurd lyrics to existing movie themes ie Jurassic Park ("I'm a dinosaur...I'm a dinosaur...") and Indiana Jones ( "Indianaaaa on a horse...Indianaaa, he can even do morse")

2. Will Ferrell's classic lines: "The last time I heard that joke, I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur!" and "San Diego is German for whale's vagina."

3. Conversation overheard at a DVD shop:
Man: Kamu ada wayang Dua Puluh Dua Belas? (literally, Twenty Twelve)
DVD seller: Adaaaaaa!
Man: Clear ka?
DVD seller: Ya ya clear! Baru dari panggung wayang ni (Fresh from the cinema).

Have you had a belly laugh lately?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Mel-isms of Travel

It's so cliched but sometimes you need to get away to discover yourself. Travelling reveals more about yourself than you'd like to know, truth be told. I was in Bangkok recently and although I was with my brother and a colleague, I spent plenty of quality time with myself most of the days. So here's what I've noticed:

1. I always choose the aisle seat in an airplane. I don't care much for legroom seeing my hobbit-like stature doesn't require much, but I am particular about easy access. I hate sheepishly tapping the person beside me - who is already in deep slumber judging by the gurgling sounds he's making - to make way for me to use the lavatory. But I totally don't mind giving way to him if he needs to use the toilet for the 567th time. Translated: I'm a people-pleaser, even at the cost of my convenience. Okay everyone...Can you spell "Doormat?"

2. I check to see if my boarding pass and passport are with me every 5 minutes. I am paranoid. I get sweaty palms just thinking about misplacing them. Translated: Pa-ra-noid.

3. If I'm not sharing a hotel room, I sleep with the TV on. Translated: I may be 30 but I'm still as chicken shit as they come. For the past week I've been falling asleep to the sounds of Oprah and Everybody Loves Raymond. Oh and I check the drawers for a bible, just in case.

4. I like nice, fancy restaurants but I'll order the cheapest thing on the menu. I love my red wine but it doesn't have to be vintage. I heart air-conditioned places because they're comfy but I don't need the best seat in the room. Translated: My tastes aren't cheap but my style is thrifty, haha.

5. I'm perfectly okay spending the afternoon in my hotel room, enjoying a bubble bath while watching in-house movies. Translated: I really should be more adventurous but sometimes 'boring' beats 'adventurous'. Especially when you have a nice hotel room.

6. I love discovering new sights and cultures but I get bummed when I realise he's not there to share it with me. Translated: You can send me on a round trip around the world but where's the fun in it without having someone to share it with? I'm sorry, I don't do solo travelling very well.

7. I study maps, take note of landmarks, learn helpful foreign phrases and carry allergy/food poisoning/migraine pills in my backpack. And two types of mints. Just in case. Translated: I like to overprepare because I hate being underprepared. I don't 'wing it' and I certainly don't hitch hike. Yes, I am as predictable as they come but I'm working on loosening up. Just a little.

and finally

8. I always break into a smile when the plane touches down on homeground. Don't take me wrong, I love travelling but it's a wonderful feeling coming home to something familiar. Translated: Does that make me a bad traveller? No. I just know where I belong.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

In the news.

Sometimes, you only need to flip the local dailies for entertainment.

Today, there was a public opinion piece on whether KK was ready for its very own LRT. It amazes me how optimistic our people are and although there is hope for us yet, I couldn't help but think, "Er, shouldn't they be working on the current transportation system?" Honestly, if buses here ran on schedule, taxis used meters and there were ACTUAL trains running on the tracks, I wouldn't mind using the public transportation at all. And let's face it, KK is a Ten-Minute city. Minus the 'bumper to bumper traffic' (read: a road crawl thanks to one lousy road hog), everything is an average of ten minutes away. Okay, maybe 20 for some. Ten minutes to your nearest grocery store. Ten minutes to your mother in law's. Ten minutes to your favourite pub. Do you really need an LRT to get there and back? Kudos on the flyovers (clap clap) but let's not get ahead of ourselves. So in Fridaycat's opinion: Nay to the LRT. My suggestion is to fix the dodgy roads for starters.

And for the Headline of the Day:

Wider Probe Into Sodomy Case

Someone get this editor a thesaurus.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Groupie.

I never thought I'd be a groupie but here I am. I'll admit I didn't quite grow up listening to Deep Purple or Metallica but over the years, thanks to my very own Mr Musician, I've grown to appreciate some pretty cool rock stuff. And I'm not talking about the geological stuff.

Still, I am a long way from being a rock expert (a rock-et scientist, haha geddit geddit? I couldn't resist). Back to the groupie reference, I am officially a fan of Sabah's very own 4AG, which stands for 'For Aggressive Gentlemen'. They consist of five talented Chinese musicians and, defying stereotypes of all-Chinese bands, play excellent hard rock stuff in all three languages: English. Mandarin and yes, even some Malay numbers. Oh and I suppose I should point out that the hot rhythm guitarist is my fiance. Heh.
At first glance, they look like five guys from your average finance department - yes, I'm pigeon-holing. But I love the surprised reaction from the crowd when they start to get their groove on! Recently, I went to watch them perform at a local gig and one of the numbers they did was Deep Purple's Highway Star. They blew the crowd away!
They've been getting some rave reviews of the last few months and although they are relatively more low profile than other up and coming bands, I'd say 4AG is one to watch. What can I say...I'm a big fan! heh heh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Raves.


I would be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying my newfound 'free time'. As my work hours are determined by yours truly (factors include non-conducive weather and just not feeling like it), I've been spending my time doing things I actually ENJOY - something I might have taken for granted over the last few years. And I've discovered it doesn't always have to involve a bar, heh.


I've been absolutely obsessed with playing...online games. Ok, it's probably a phase but it's amazing how diner dashing or building cities can kill time. I think I finally realized I needed a break when my eyes wouldn’t blink anymore and my right arm had a shooting pain flowing through it. Upon which I finally picked up my neglected books again. I was moved by Dr. Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture and after six million years I’ve finally completed James Patterson’s ‘The Quickie’ - not that it’s bad reading, simply a case of putting it down and never picking it up again. But this time, not only did I pick it up but I could not put it down. I lugged the book with me in the car, in the dim sum restaurant and while waiting for my nails to dry. I love Patterson’s stuff (Kiss The Girls anyone? As always, the movie didn’t do it justice, even with Morgan Freeman in it) and The Quickie will not disappoint. In fact, it got so gripping that I cheated and peeked at the end (hey, if the ending was bad, it wouldn’t be worth the hassle).I also finished a classic by Tehmina Durani, My Feudal Lord – it tells of her life story and struggles as a strong-willed woman married to a conservative Pakistani politician (that also translates to ‘sexist pig’). Intense.


And now on to this:

Coelho of course. If I had a splinter of his writing charm, I’d be blessed beyond belief. I don’t know how he does it but when he writes, you really feel as if he’s talking to you and only you. Intense.


To break the ‘intensity’ of the literary world, I turn to the idiot box. Yep, television at its best. More like…downloaded stuff. I sat through season four of Grey’s Anatomy and lost myself in boxes of Kleenex. I don’t understand why the producers have an undying need to make you sob through each episode. WHAT KIND OF PERVERSION IS THIS??? It’s a hospital, people die everyday, I get it. But first they make you bond with the character and then when you least expect it …BAM!...they die.


God, it’s good TV.


On a less depressing note, I turn to the latest season of The Big Bang Theory (oh praise the great powers for BitTorrent!). I’ve downloaded it in my iPod and my cardio workouts have become so effortless ever since. One episode and whaddaya know, 20 minutes of the stairmaster gone! I’ve been a loyal follower of the show since Dillon introduced it to me in Langkawi earlier this year. They’re on to Season 3 in the US and I’m looking for the boxed set of Season 2 (Christmas gift, hint hint, lalalala). Being the geek I am, yes I already have the boxed set of Season 1. There’s just something hot about 4 nerds and their comic books. Hmm.


Tuesday beckons. Got some contracts to proofread and I'm done for the day. Smell you later.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Overheard.

Two girls, over drinks.

Friend 1: ....And he was there, that asshole who was a complete waste of your time.

Friend 2: Omg.

Friend 1: Yep. And he's gotten so fat and ugly.

Friend 2: *laughs* That's good to hear.

Friend 1: I moved to another table.

Friend 2: Why did you move?

Friend 1: Because I hate his guts.


I smiled. Because that's exactly what friendship should sound like.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Scabs and scars

Forgiving and forgetting is like carpooling - we all know its good for the environment but no one really does it.

I don't claim to be an expert on the area but I've had my share of moments. And I'm really good at the 'one step forward, two steps back' tango - Just when I think it's out of my system, there it is, smack dab in the middle of my system.

It has taken years and one pack of cigarettes too many for me to forgive, let alone forget. I've done it all: journals, ranting even church camps (yes oh yes). I may not have learned to completely let go but I have definitely learned that sometimes all this resentment and bitterness can be all-consuming - mind, body and spirit. And as I enter my tantalising 30s (hey, it beats the 20s any day!), I'm just too excited about the future to give a rat's ass about the past. Why channel your energy on what could have been when you can use it on what's going to be?

So I haven't completely forgiven nor forgotten you. But what matters most is I am wise enough to realise what a complete waste of time and emotional energy grudge-bearing can be. And here's another lightbulb moment to share: Don't burn bridges but you are not obliged to maintain the repair works. You can't lose a friend if he/she was never one worth keeping in the first place.

Just sit back and let that old wound turn into a scar. You'll never even notice it there.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

...And we're back!

My trip to Manila was one great big exhale. Allow me to inhale as I gather my thoughts. Simply put, I had a blast and getting out of the country for a bit was exactly what I needed.

I highly recommend packing your bags for a dose of sanity.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Downsizing but upgrading.

As my good friend Jeri (how are ya sweetie?) wrote me a few days ago, yes I've been quiet and yes you are right to assume things are going good so far. Sometimes, no news is indeed good news.

I've been staying away from the cybersphere for a while, most of the time quite unintentionally actually. These days, I'm not chained to a desk and for the better part of the day, I pretty much do as I please (which consequently means I don't log on as much anymore). I meet clients, have long lunches and write whenever the time is right. It's liberating. But to ensure I maintain some disciplined schedule in my life, I still start my day by 8:00am. Even if that day begins with bringing my cats to the vet.

I've been able to spend some quality time with my family, especially my nieces who are growing up by the nanosecond, and my intimate circle of friends. As I anticipated, ever since I left my so-called high profile job as an editor for a local magazine, my phone has been more silent and my inbox static. And I am not complaining. Because it helps me sort out the real friends from the "Oh hi how you been? I loved your last issue. Wondering if you can help me out..." clan. And these days, I can honestly say I have at last five loyal caller IDs that keep popping up and these are friends who I know would still be there even if my career change involved scraping elephant poo. I heart you.

Which leads me to the fact that I am happily downsizing my life - less parties and less air-kissing - but truly upgrading the quality of my lifestyle. If there's anything I've gained in the last few weeks, I've learned that less is definitely more. And I am blessed that some of my former colleagues have remained true friends and it's refreshing to be on a more laid-back level with them without worrying about office politics.

And it's off to my week-long escape to Manila tomorrow where I will be exercising my other natural-born talent - shopping! Also, I will be introducing my fiance to my mum's family for the first time. Stay tuned for the Manila excursion!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Quick blab.

I heart the Matta Fair because I think I just might be packing my bags for a bit. And this time my wallet won't be bleeding.

And 12 more days before I say Mabuhay! and eat lots and lots of pork.

I have to hit the gym more frequently. Twice a week doesn't cut it.

I have a new kitten. My parents think it's for my niece. *sweaty palms* I really need to get my own place.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not that easy managing lots of 'free time' when you're a Level 90 Procrastinator like me...

...but I LOVE the freedom!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This made me smile today.


This is the 3rd attempt for French 'Spiderman' Alain Robert in climbing the Petronas Twin Towers and he's finally done it! Of course, he got arrested but I couldn't help but do a little victory jig for him. Heh, this really made my day. Read more about it here.


"Voila! I have climbed zee tower and now I am in handcuffs but eet ees okay!"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mel's 2-minute Merdeka Post.

Your childish politicians.

Your questionable policies.

Your colourful people.

Your awesome food.

Your occasional ignorance.

Your breathtaking beaches and sunsets.

Your inability to have clean public toilets.

Your selfishness.

Your giving heart.

Your misplaced pride.

Your humility.

Your harmony.

Your racial bias.

Your over-priced locally-made cars.

Your strange goals and achievements (biggest roti canai? teh tarik in space?)

Your reigning peace.

Your normalcy.

Good and bad, you make up the only home I have. And even though we all have the option of leaving, I'm not going anywhere. If that's not love, Malaysia, I don't know what it is.

Happy Merdeka.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello, New Day!

Yes, I've been quiet.

Because I've been taking the time to absorb this moment. And because, quite frankly, there are no words to describe this feeling. I've been met with various reactions with my decision to leave my job but only one opinion matters most: Mine.

And I am happy. I feel like for the first time since I started working, I'm finally taking control of my life and career. I never imagined that freefalling from my 9 to 5 desk job would feel so good! And as I celebrate the first of (hopefully) many brighter Mondays to come, I received this from Mia - The Eight Irresistable Principles of Fun. I loved it - Hope it inspires you too!

Monday, August 03, 2009

August!

No, I haven't forgotten what a bitch August can be. Let me refresh your memory.

Well, slap my ass and call me a donkey's uncle because I never imagined August and I would finally be on good terms.

This year, I can finally say August brings more yays than nays. After so many years of break-ups, goodbyes, difficult transitions and just plain bad luck, the tides are changing. Instead of flinching as I flipped the calendar on my desk, I felt relieved and blessed. First of all, I'm still enjoying the warm afterglow of getting engaged (yes, you're gonna have to put up with my incessant mushiness for now - what, would you rather I go all "Oh woe is me!" day in day out?). It's digusting how loved up I feel and if I get anymore sentimental, butterflies are gonna come out of my nose. Other than that, I'm finally counting the days to a new chapter in my career.

Oh, did I not mention that I was leaving?

My Company, bless her soul, has been lovely thus far but greener pastures call. Coupled with the long drawn out dilemma of 'Where am I going with this job?' and being passed on for a promotion, I'd say my time here is up. I am grateful for all I have gained but as I touch 30 and enter a new phase in my life, I think a new job is just the icing I need.

I have 19 days to go and its a flurry of emotions. But I think its a good sign that I am happier than I am sad to move on. I won't be sad, but nostalgic most definitely. And August also means I am a month away from my long-awaited holiday to Manila with Haw - I can't wait to introduce him to my family.

So yes, August, thanks for finally cutting me some slack. I know you might have some surprises up your sleeve but it's nothing I can't handle. So we cool, right?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hallo, hallo...?

First of all, I must apologise if you are one of the many people I've been accidentally calling. I tend to forget locking my keypad, which results in me making unintentional phone calls to random people on my phonebook. It's either I'm sitting on my phone or there are tiny toyols diailing my digits in my handbag. (eee creepy).

Anyway, I'm considering getting a new phone - something that either autolocks or is designed in such a way that I can't accidentally call anyone ie. slide or flip. So here are my finalists:

The very snazzy N97:


or the sleek Nokia 6600 (freakin' A, it also comes in pink! This is what I call fate):


Yes, I am a Nokia girl. Don't even bother introducing Sony Ericssons or LGs to me. I cannot be arsed to learn a whole new 'language' when it comes to my lifeline. I am not a super-gadgety person. I think blenders are complicated, enough said. So when it comes to choosing handphones, I have three main concerns:
1. SMS friendly, as in the keypad isn't a bitch to use.
2. External memory - I get nervous when the salesperson says, "Oh but this one no external memory ah...Everything in the phone wan....".
3. Looks good when I wave it around.
Told you I'm simple. Cameras aren't necesarry but it's a cool add-on. Budget-wise, I'm looking for below RM2k. I have to give up my Blackberry in less than a month and I never thought I'd say this but I'm gonna sort of miss it. I've been so dependent with having my e-mails at my fingertips and communicating with people via BB messenger. I might actually keep my Blackberry but will upgrade it to a BB Bold. My brothers have the BB Storm and I have to say...None of us are impressed with how complicated it is. Plus, I've never been fond of touch-screens - All those fingerprints irritate me.
So time to go phone-hunting. No rush though...I'm giving myself till end of September to get one as I'm saving my moolah for my Manila holiday :)
Oh wow I almost forgot I'm going on a holiday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Over the past. In the now.

"Sometimes the things you want are not exactly the things you need and the things you don't want in life is exactly what you need."

A year ago, I posted this on my blog. When I look back to where I was a year ago, I amaze myself. It's been an emotional struggle to say the least. Plenty of drunken nights. Too much crying. An overdose of drama. I was Eeyore personified. Ugh. I hated myself. And I know so many of my friends hated that Mel too.

But here I am, a year later. It hasn't been easy but it's been eye-opening. I've gained weight but I've lost that chip on my shoulder that used to verify my sense of worthlessness everyday. Life isn't perfect right now - It's never going to be, i'm not that jaded, please. But it's better. And I'll take 'better' over 'crap' any day. Plus, where's the fun in having a 'perfect' life? Nothing to struggle or fight for. That's like...Life for Wimps.

So with the grace of God, lots of perserverance and a little help from my family and friends, here I am. When I stoppped 'wanting' things to go a certain way, everything I needed fell in my lap.

Monday, July 27, 2009

If you like it then you better put a ring on it...


...And he did!
This is the best pic of us that I could find from our engagement. My brother gave us matching pendants. I really should get a better camera.

*Mel, focus*

My rock rocks! So yes ladies and gents, another one bites the dust :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

31 Reasons to love you 24/7

31 Reasons.
1. Because he makes me laugh till my sides ache.
2.Because he appreciates the funny voices I make.
3.Because I appreciate the funny voices HE makes.
4.Because of his dogged determination in all he does.
5.Because men with ambition are sexy.
6.Because with him, there's always a way.
7. Because I'm useless with cars, wires and anything that needs fixing.
8. Because I'm willing to 'potong pokok' with him under the pouring rain.
9.Because we both love Will Ferrell.
10.Because he's so damn patient even when he really shouldn't be.
11. Because I can't stay mad at him for long.
12. Because he reminds me to drink more water and eat my vegetables.
13.Because he'll watch Friends reruns with me.
14.Because he understands when I need to be on my own and I understand when he needs to hang with the boys.
15. Because he knows I can be unreasonably jealous.
16. Because even when he's jealous, he's still a gentleman.
17. Because he continues to surprise me.
18. Because he loves my cats.
19. Because my cats love him.
20. Because I feel safe with him.
21. Because he's so good at picking out clothes for me.
22. Because he pushes me to get off my lazy ass and try new things.
23. Because he taught me how to play the drums.
24. Because he knows I hate the cold and will make sure I'm always warm.
25. Because he doesn't believe in RM300 shirts that look RM69.90
26. Because he has no idea how cute he is when his eyes light up when watching Indiana Jones/Back To The Future for the 500th time
27. Because he layans my whims and fancies, even if it involves Roti Kahwin at Damai during peak traffic time.
28. Because I would do exactly the same for him in a heartbeat.
29. Because musicians and artists are sexy!
30. Because he reminds me it's about us and no one else.
31. Because I couldn't ask for more.
Happy birthday, babe.
Love,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weight a minute.

I have been on the hunt for a dress. I'm running out of time and patience. And today, lo and behold, I found THE dress. And I loved every inch of it. Every seam, every stitch, every ruffle. But of course...They didn't have my size. The one I tried was just a wee bit too tight and I don't know about you guys but I like to breathe in my clothes. Oh but how I absolutely LOVE the dress!

At this point, I am just exhausted. I cannot bear the thought of trying on any more dresses. Why is everything else out there made for people half my size? And the dresses that look good on the rack hang lifeless on me. I have the weirdest body: I am top heavy, with slender arms, stumpy legs, a bulging stomach, broad shoulders and a short torso. It is an absolute nightmare to buy dresses for me. The safest bet are babydoll dresses but I'm really tired of the 'Pregnant' look.

So i keep trying dresses although my mind is set on Dream Dress Which Doesn't Come In My Size (for the record, they even checked another store who, of course, didn't have my size neither). Dress after dress. I find another beautiful, long number which covers my stumpy sausage legs BUT thanks to my short torso, it bunches up at the back. I find a gorgeous orange off-shoulder blouse which goes well with an A-line skirt I pick up but once I put it on...I look like a pumpkin standing on a cone. It looked good in my head though.

So four days and three hours later, I am still dress-less. Which leads me to the angry thought: If only I was thinner. I just can't seem to lose those five kilos which would've solved all my dress-shopping woes. Seriously, if I was less fat, I would've found a dress by now! I've always had issues with my body and now it's biting me in the ass as if to say, "Hah, told you to lose weight!"

I didn't get my dress and I'm starting to give up. I might just dig up something safe from my closet. I don't deserve a new dress anyway - I'm so lousy at trying to lose weight. However, in my quest for a dress, I did come across something else. Slimming supplements! A friend told me how it worked for her and I've decided to get a bottle and see how it goes. Spare me the lecture on 'watching my food' and 'exercising' because I've been doing that and it's not working as fast as I'd like it to. So hopefully these supplements will speed things up and I won't dread buying clothes as much anymore!Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

In the now.

I want to count my blessings.

Because it takes devastating news to shake us out of our zombie reverie as we trudge through life. So today, I want to count my blessings and live in the now.

Someone I work with has been diagnosed with leukemia and honestly, I am still in denial. Because I refuse to accept that his life is now on a timer and everyone is just waiting for the buzzer to go off. I walk by his room and imagine that he will be back tomorrow, smiling and telling us it was just the flu.

While everyone sheds tears and comes to grip with his diagnosis, I find myself almost not reacting. Not because I don't care. Not because I am emotionless (boy oh boy, if anything I'm too emo). Because in my own bubble, I believe that if I don't acknowledge the truth, it remains untrue. So I go on with my day, refusing to visit him in the hospital, ignoring talk of "poor him poor him" because I so badly want to believe he is coming back and the doctors made a mistake.

I'm the Queen of wishful thinking.

But as the days pass and the news sinks in a little bit more, it puts everything I do on a daily basis in perspective. You know those scenes in a movie where the camera zooms out on everything around you and zooms in on your face, like a moment of realization? That's how I feel. I watch as my bosses continue yakking about which wine to serve during the next big dinner event. I listen as someone gets worked up about not getting the alignment right on his typed document. And, in comparison with someone doesn't know how many tomorrows are left, it all seems so...trivial. I do understand that life must go on. Bills must be paid, children fed and deadlines met. But why do we put so much blood, sweat and tears on the tiny details in life? Why can't we have the same zest for things that matter?

Because we take those things for granted. Right until someone tells us we don't have much time life.

Don't postpone that trip you've been saving up for because it's just 'too much hassle' to plan right. Don't tell your husband you'll have that long-awaited dinner for two next week because this week you're just too tired. Don't save those RM500 stilletos for a special occassion - tonight might be that special occassion! Don't wait to tell someone their friendship is better than chocolate if you can tell them today. Most of all, don't wait to make yourself happy today - in whatever form it may come.

Today, I want to count my blessings. I'm not going to wait till it's too late.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hey June...

So here's my June in photos.

I went to KL with my colleague Rinto for the Vote for Sipadan campaign early June. It was a tiring five days, considering it was a two-man show (dumb-ass arrangements but hey, we don't call the shots). I love this view of KLCC.

We were at the KLCC Aquaria - we had the best response here. Maybe all the fishies put visitors in the mood...

...it definitely put ME in the mood. The management at Aquaria are EXCELLENT people - kudos to them for being such stellar hosts! They even let us take a free tour of the aquarium after we packed up.

Carol playing with the sharks. So cool. Here she is, hoping she'll leave with ten fingers intact.

Rinto gets so much attention for his dreadlocks (yes they're real - some people even ask if they can touch it. Okaaay). So here's the best impression of Rinto I can muster, heh heh.

We were also at 1 Utama and Sunway Pyramid. It started off as a 2-man show but Carol showed up and saved the weekend. Hooray!

You see how much barang we have to lug everyday? And that's including the laptops, nimloks and giveaway goodies! Can you see the Carl's Junior paper bag peeking out? A lunch for 2 set us back some RM40.00 but it was worth the burger experience! Punya besar.

Thumbs up eventhough there were some people I would've liked to strangle with the laptop cables. But tourism industry players are conditioned to 'smile through everything', no? Mmm ya lah tu.

The highlight of each night was none other than the after-hour drinks. Our hotel was at The Curve Damansara so it was pubs galore. JJ brought us to this Belgian Bierhaus where the foot-long pork sausages are to die for.

Carol and her Hoegaarden. Yum.

I always love meeting up with my chicas, no matter how fleeting. I miss them - but everyone's happy where they are and that's what matters.


Back in KK, I attended the World Environment Day at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Speeches, bird show, clap clap, plant some trees, clap clap, build a compost heap, ooh ahh. The end.


With my colleagues. You need each other to stay entertained during the formalities.

Dragon Boat Race at Likas Bay with Melina. Ya, I'm getting sick of this green t-shirt too.


Orange! Much better. This was on the first day. Yes, it's panas.


Contrary to popular belief, there is more to my life than work. So on days when I want to blow up the office, I turn to H. Who will happily peel pears for me, heh. Last Saturday, he surprised me with a picnic at the beach. He had packed some lovely sandwiches, apple juice and Cheezels. Oh and pears of course.

Sometimes, we need to break out of the routine and just wing it. The picnic was a great way to 'wing it'. We played cards, ate cheesy sandwiches and did Mafia mobster impressions. I tell you, it doesn't take much. It turned out to be quite the eventful day. Stay tuned.

Just thought I'd share a shot of one of my favourite makan spots, the roti kahwin coffee shop in Damai. And they serve delicious teh C ping! The nasi lemak isn't as great as before - dunno why. But whenever I have a case of the munchies, you can find me here.

This doggy was with us during the picnic. He got tired of waiting for 'snacks' and actually fell asleep! Now THAT'S the kind of contentment so rarely enjoyed by humans. Don't forget to stop and roll in the sand once in a while, my friends.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunny.

How I love watching the days go by! As I put my head to my pillow each night, I smile thinking of how tomorrow means I am a step closer to so many things. NEW things. And new places. And new opportunities.

I haven't felt this excited about life for a while now. I still don't know what tomorrow will bring but it feels damn good to know I've moved on from darker places and empty spaces. Over the last six months, I have had to slowly detach myself from people and situations. Change my marching beat, so to speak. And as I turn my attention back to nothing else but ME, everything starts to fall into place again. All I had to do was step away from the circus.

I am so in love. With life. With you. With what can be. I know that tomorrow all this could very well be snatched away from me.

So watch me as I embrace every second of this :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let's go for a drive.

Grumpy. I was annoyed. Immensely.

He looked at me, a sort-of smile - a cross between 'Please don't bite my head off' and 'Hey beautiful'.

I refused to step out of my angry shell. I was (foolishly) adamant on staying angry. And it wasn't even at him.

"Let's go for a drive."

The air-conditioner was too cold. The air freshener too strong. Why is the car so noisy? He injects my grumpy silence with stories of difficult clients and pretty streetlights. He winds down the windows and turns off the air-conditioner. We drive some more and watching the city go by actually makes me a little happier.

But just a little.

He lets me choose which roads to take because he knows I like things to go my way - Yes, I can be a brat like that. And we look at more buildings. He points out the scenery and how pretty it is. We imagine owning our own studio and all the things we could do with it. We talk about his next gig on Sunday. Sunday? Next Sunday, he says. And I mentally take note and see if I can swing by to see him play the guitar. Sometimes I think his band makes too much noise - but he knows I'm proud he's part of it.

And then he squeezes my hand. I squeeze back. We talk some more about cars and the weather (I hope it rains, I tell him). I still want to be angry but I can't quite remember what for.

He asks me, "Which road you want to take?" I point to the left.

I went home. More happy, less angry. Because he just knows me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jump.

I've lived most of my life with the utmost caution. I analyze, scrutinise, worry and wonder before making any decision. Even deciding what to eat for lunch is a life-changing moment for me. I'm the kind of girl who dips her feet into the water but will never jump in because it's safer on dry land.

But as I enter my 30s, I think it's time I start living precariously - yes, I know most people do that in their first part of their 20s but, hey, I'm a late bloomer.

Perhaps not always knowing or being uncertain isn't such a bad thing. Maybe unpredictability is what I need to push me further along in my life. I like safe, yes, but sometimes 'safe' isn't good enough. And maybe it's going to be difficult and maybe this could be the biggest mistake. Then again, this could be the best thing that as happened to me.

I've given it plenty of years and if I don't step out of my comfort zone now, I probably never will. And I keep giving it another year, another month, another week but deep down I know I'm just too chicken shit to do anything about. Everyone's going to have an opinion about whatever decision I make but ultimately I have to do this for no one else but me:


It's time to jump with both feet in.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lazy bones.

I'm so lazy today, it's not funny.
Plus, who starts the week with a management meeting at 8:30am?
And I'm bitter that I haven't had a proper weekend in the last two weeks AND I have to work this weekend. On the upside, I finished two articles today although I think my brain is bleeding internally for that. When you don't want to write...You just DON'T.
But seeing I had better produce something today - it had to be done. Albeit kicking and screaming. Annoying colleagues did not help. There's this guy in my office who keeps saying I have too much make-up on and gives me so much hell if I as much as paint my nails over the weekend. At first, I used to brush him off because I thought he was just teasing. Now, it seems like he's insulting - no, mocking - me underhandedly. What is your freaking problem? Do I mock you on your Proboscis Monkey-like belly that grows by the day? And for the record, I can put on war-paint to work if it pleases me!
Boys are so annoying. Please go away.
And now it's past lunch time and I sincerely cannot be arsed to do any work. I'm so malas. Really. Malas. Today both the spirit and flesh are not willing so rather than producing half-baked work, I'll choose the lesser evil and blog. Let me share photos:


This is my office wall. I keep tidying it up but it's quite futile. It's got press releases, phone
numbers of people I never really call back and to-do lists that keep changing so I don't really know why I have a to-do list to start off with. See that pretty map on right? It's hand-drawn by Haw. I love how it looks like a treasure map. He's so clever. Oh and on the bottom left of my board is the Prayer of St. Michael the Archangel. I turn to him when I need to overcome temptation and in times of sickness. Yeah, the office is evil that way.
It's all about footwear. When I meet clients or
attend meetings, two inch heels do the trick. When
I drive, it's gotta be my Adidas flats so I don't
ruin my heels. But for pure comfort when nobody's looking...It's those furry brown slippers that come to the rescue. Now you know.





My table is messy. I know. But i think 'messy' gives it character, no? After all, what kind of 'creative mind' would I be if everything was organised alphabetically? I got my Fortune Cats waving at me everyday and Strepsils because my throat gets scratchy. The lighter is to light my tea candles and scented oil - because my office is always full of funky smells. And yes, every table needs a novelty Cat Pen.

Yes I am bored. And I'm lazy. One of the worst combinations on a working day. St. Michael, I fervently pray to you to give me the strength to resist the temptation to take a nap at my table right now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It takes all kinds.

I was in KL recently for the Vote Sipadan campaign where I spent three days talking to over 400 people about the same bloody thing till I was frothing.

Basically, it was a two-man show (until Carol showed up to save the day, yay!) throughout the weekend. We started at 1 Utama, followed by Sunway Pyramid and finally KLCC's Aquaria. We set up a booth from 10:00am to 8:00pm and by the final day, I was ready to vomit blood if I had to pass out another flyer smiling ear to ear while hollering "Vote for Sipadan!". All I can say is I have newfound respect for people doing booth duty at any public area because, I tell ya, you meet ALL SORTS of people. I mean, ten hours is more than ample time to encounter various species of humankind, especially in a city like KL.

Let me identify some of them for you:

1. The Ignoramus
This species is usually found residing under a rock and can be identified by their huge eyes and perpetual look of surprise. Their favourite phrase is: "What's this? What for? Hah?" And because they don't know, the come with the attitude of 'Don't care'.

2. The Missing-The-Point-Completely Clan
Even after I've explained to them six billion times the objective of the campaign, they seem to look completely past you and say the most irrelevant things. My favourites include:
a) "You all selling package ah?"
b)"Can win trip ah?"
c) "You selling t-shirt?"

3) The Scaredy-Cats
These people cringe or start to melt when approached with a flyer, as Superman would when offered kryptonite. They can be identified with their increased walking pace when passing the booth or pretending to study the "Don't let Erectile Dysfunction dampen your love life" banner on the wall with such interest when you try to approach them. I approached a middle-aged woman with a flyer and barely got a 'Good morning' out when she put her palm out, turned her head away and said, "I been to Sipadan oredi, dowan, dowan..." and scampered away. This was a unique hybrid of a Scaredy-Cat and Missing-The-Point-Completely.

4) The Whatsthecatcharoonies
On the bright side, this species will actually let you finish explaining, upon which their eyes dart left and right and they tilt their head sideways and say the classic line,"Okaaaay, what's the catch?" Even when I say, "Nothing. We just need your vote." He/she replies,"Okaaaay and then what's gonna happen?" Then I say, "Well, hopefully we get to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature." He/she goes, "Okaaaay but..."

"Nothing happens! We don't charge you. You don't get spam mail. You won't get bad luck for the next seven days. NOTHING. WE JUST WANT YOUR SUPPORT AND THERE IS NO CATCH."

*pause*

"Okaaaay but..."

At this point, I call security.

5) The Gatals
They don't really want to know about the campaign. They don't really care where or what Sipadan is. You could be talking about dishwashing liquid for all they care - they just want to undress you in their head and that polite smile on their face isn't polite at all. I had a middle-aged guy - in the presence of his WIFE and KIDS to top it off - suddenly stroke my beaded bracelet while I was filling in the form for him. He said, "This is pretty...Is it Sabahan made?" As I recoiled in disgust and pulled my hand away, I politely replied, "No" and ignored his attempts at small talk, which included his insistence that I looked like a singer whose name he could not recall. If I had my choice, his vote was one that I'm sure Sipadan could do without...

6) The What Do I Get Willies
I've learned that some people just cannot do things from the goodness of their heart. For them, there better be some back-scratching involved. They just cannot fathom why oh why should they give their support if they're not going to benefit from it directly. Umm, how about national pride? How about not being an ass and just give me a break because I've been sitting in this mall for the last 6 hours and all I need is your bloody vote? Some girl actually said, "Oh I'm not from Sabah..." as she walked away in her overpriced leggings and lalat sunglasses. And all I could think was, "Thank God you're not."

7) The Supportive Sams
I've saved the best for last because for every five idiots you meet, you get 1 Supportive Sam. And this is the person who will sincerely listen to you, not give you a hard time, not ask stupid questions like "Do they throw rave parties on Sipadan?" (Yes, someone asked us this) and at the end of 2 minutes at our booth, cast their vote without fuss. Some of them were scuba divers and needed little persuasion ("Sipadan is beautiful. Definitely gets my vote!") . While others did it simply as a show of support for Malaysian pride.

Anyway, it was quite the experience and I want to take the opportunity to thank all the great people who supported us during the roadshow. Even if you couldn't swing by the booth, thanks for sms-ing me your e-mail addresses which allowed us to cast an online vote on your behalf.

Ah KL. A melting pot of the Weird and the Wonderful.

"So let me do the dishes in the kitchen sink,
put you to bed when you've had too much to drink...
All I wanna do is grow old with you."
-Adam Sandler, I Wanna Grow Old With You. Yep, I've been watching The Wedding Singer again.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Built to last.

Cause this is real
And this is good
Warms the inside just like it should
But most of all...

Most of all, it's built to last.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The F Word

It's been three days and I've stayed away from the F word.

No, not that F word. The other one - yep, Facebook.

I've made a spontaneous decision to give FB a break indefinitely. As wonderful a social tool it may seem, it is my humble opinion that it has turned many a life into a fishbowl experience. Not that I'm Angelina Jolie and everyone wants a piece of my fantastic Brad-full life, but sometimes the constant barrage of where what why when who why on FB can be suffocating.

Don't get me wrong - I am grateful for what FB has done for me, especially in terms of getting me back in touch with many missing links. On the other hand, sometimes
I find myself enslaved by FB. Admit it: how many of us start our day with logging on to the magic of FB?To the point that sometimes I feel guilty should I fail to log in within 24 hours! What if I have an e-mail? What if someone needs to ask me something important? What if I miss out on so and so's latest pix of his/her wedding, birthday party, drunken night out, trip to Batu Caves bla bla bla? What if someone sends me poker chips?


Plus, at the risk of sounding pretentious or minta puji, I currently have 367 friend requests from random people. And I don't know whether to decline or accept their requests as:
a) I have no idea who some of them are but we seem to have plenty of 'common friends'
b) I might have met them before but I can't remember so it would seem thoughtless of me to decline
c) I don't want to appear unfriendly but I REALLY don't know who you are!

And i figured something out. The people who really do need to get in touch with me KNOW how to find me. If i wanted to share something dire with those who matter, I'd also find a way to let them know. Whaddaya know, they have things called handphones, e-mails, even postcards. Or what was that thing we used to do before all this technology....Ohhhh that's right: MEET people.

So i'm just laying low in FB for a while. Besides, I know my coolest friends will find me right here at my blog, no? :-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Whataweek.

It's finally here. The Ka'amatan weekend. I am so happy, I'm doing backflips in my heart right now (because in real life I can't do a backflip. Random info, i know).

Whataweek. From office dilemmas (cancelled, not cancelled, cancelled, NOT cancelled...) to personal affairs. In a nutshell, here's what I gathered:-

1. People will appreciate you, people will take you for granted.

2. Facebook is toxic. I'm taking an indefinitely break from it. We live in a fishbowl society and I'd like to try and stay out of it.

3. There are SO MANY pretentious people in this town. I know people who wouldn't give me the time of the day UNTIL they realise I can do them a favour. I hope you choke on your silver spoon, you self-centered brats.

4. I need to start hitting the gym again. After my futsal session, I realised how out of shape I am.

5. I miss Futsal! After last night's game, I vow to hit the courts more often.

6. Recognise the toxic people in your life and keep them away. They usually come in form of exes.

7. Speaking of which, an ex recently told me to 'Let him go' as he thinks my association with him (ie: we're still friends) is causing the failure of all his potential relationships. Hellooooo...If you can't dance, don't blame the music.

8. Happiness comes in the smallest forms. From watching horror movies all night to playing a repetitive online game.

9. He rubbed my sore feet and painted my toenails. Just because he's sweet like that.

10. I am blessed. I just need to be reminded now and then.

I'm off to watch the Australian Bee Gees show tonight at Magellan - a charity concert in aid of the Palliative Care Association of Sabah. Ok, is it just me or is the whole theme of the night a little...Ironic...considering it's for people under palliative care?

It's called, "Stayin' Alive"

Monday, May 25, 2009

In my heart, I'm packing already.

A wise friend called Bob once told me that one of the best ways to clear the blues is to plan a holiday. Even if it's just 'pretend' planning, heh heh.

Today is one of those days. I would sooner watch paint peel from my ceiling than do work. We call it malas. And yes, I am malas beyond belief. I need a break even if it is imaginary. So, I took Bob's advice and here's what I came up with:

Manila
Yes, I am heading to Manila this year! First of all, I miss my grandma loads, plus I haven't been back for a couple of years now. Won't disclose when exactly I'm going yet for fear of jinxing my planning. This time, I plan to stay for at least a week and besides shopping, eating and drinking my brains out, I would like to see more of Manila. The last time I went, I managed to visit Intramuros and Rizal Park. I'm thinking of doing an overnight trip to the Tagaytay highlands:


It'll be a nice drive, no?

Koh Samui
I've been 'planning' this trip for donkey years and it has yet to materialise. Predictable no? Being the beach bum I am.


But it's within my grasp now. Just a matter of WHEN - yes, after I quit my job. Watch this space.

London
I know it's not a city to shout about and yes, I know I hate the cold. But I do have some people worth visiting there :) Gonna have lots of fish and chips, enjoy a pint or two and speak the Queen's English as I drink tea and eat scones. Or something like that. Oooh and Madame Tussaud's! I'm a geek like that.

Ireland
Heck I'm already going to London, so why not swing by the neighbours? Seriously, I'm in love with the scenery here and there's something about the Irish culture I heart so much. And the sexy accent - yum. My number one place to visit in Ireland? The Cliffs of Moher.


Is that beautiful or is that beautiful? Makes me want to put on a long, flowing dress with flowers in my hair while I guling-guling on the grass.

I could spend months and months in Ireland. Just sitting on a hill, drinking wine, soaking in the scenery, visiting castle after castle and listening to a blue-eyed Catholic Irish boy talk all day (no, i don't care what he's saying as long as he has the accent).


See? I feel much better already. In the meantime, I guess I'll settle for this:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Letter To Melissa

Dear Melissa At 16,

I know life is frustrating and unsure right now but I'm here to tell you....It's gonna be that way for a while! But i'm also here to tell you, it's nothing you cannot handle. Right now, you're worried about school and which path to take from here on. You're worried about which of the girls in school like your or think you're a loser. You hate your Good Girl image but you've never been the rebellious one neither. You want to please so many people and you think the amount of trophies and medals you have are a testament to your accomplishments. Sure, it always feels good to win and be recognised. In fact, you're gonna want that for the rest of your life.

But in time, those 50 girls you know in school amount to nothing because only a handful of them will see you through. I'm here to tell you that you can't be friends with EVERYone and that's ok. You will realise you only need 5 or 6 really good friends in your life - Friends who will tell you your panty lines are showing or hold your hair back as you puke into the toilet bowl after the 5th Flaming Lambo.

And boys. Oh yes, you have no idea what to make of them right now! Boys at 16 are such puzzling creatures. But let me tell you this: They're just as puzzling at 30. You like that boy because he's cute and he's going to do so well in his SPM (yes its ok to be a geek!) and all the other girls are just as crazy about him. But when you reach 30, you'll want that man who can make you laugh, will be there when you need him for the most ridiculous of things and thinks your family is awesome. And it won't hurt if he has ambition too.

There's no such thing as a fairytale, Melissa.No knight is going to come sweeping you off your feet. If anything, they're going to knock you off your feet and plenty of times, you'll have to learn to pick yourself up again. Don't be disheartened - As many idiots there are out there, you will meet plenty of worthy ones too. You'll fall in love and it will be the best feeling in the world. You'll break some hearts and it will be the worst feeling in the world. And then there's that first broken heart and I am here to caution you: It's not going to be pretty. But you have the inner strength of 10,000 men and you just don't know how to summon it yet. Trust me when I say, there is absolutely NOTHING you cannot handle.

Don't lose sight of your ambition. It's not always going to turn out the way it should - You're not going to law school but you will continue your pursuit of writing. That will always be your true love and nothing will stop you. I'll tell you a secret: You're going to be a journalist! And it will humble you beyond words. I know right now you think you know it all and your brilliance is blinding but honey, you know nuts.

Stop judging people. It's become a bad habit especially in your formative years. But so many people in your lives are going to introduce you to a whole new world of messy break-ups, broken marriages, tragedies, hard lives and living with illness - And you will realise things are never what they seem. So stop judging people and perhaps they will stop judging you.

Your college years will be the best years of your life and you will make lasting friendships. Life gets more 'colourful' in your 20s and, ever the optimist, you'll always find a silver lining. But there will be one very dark patch and you won't be taking very good care of yourself. Melissa, the bottle doesn't solve anything. And you will wake up and realise he was not worth the abuse.

You will grow. From strength to strength. People and situations will knock you down when you least expect it but I'm telling you from where I'm standing, there's nothing you cannot overcome. But there is one thing you and I share: We'll always be fools for love. The difference is, at 30, you'll know what you're worth far more than you think at 16 - And that will help you make a more wisened decision when it comes to matters of the heart.

Melissa, you are blessed. Never forget that with the grace of God you will go places and achieve things you never imagined. And don't take the people in your life for granted, especially your family. Even at 30, you'll still be the 'baby' and you gotta work that to your advantage, haha! You'll meet friends who are just GOLDEN and you'll let go of the ones who no longer bring goodness to your life. And that's ok.

You'll turn 30 and be right where I am. And I promise you will look back and be amazed at what you are capable of. I think Melissa at 40 will have an even better story to tell.

love always,
Melissa at 30