Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today

What can I say? I speak with my eyes. My heart remembers every single thing that has happened to me. To my family.

Another month or so, and we shall bid farewell to 2009, which has, in every way, been a year filled with sadness, unhappiness, tragedy and adversities, for me.

Today:
  • It is 92 days since my Daddy passed away.
  • It is 62 days since our beloved pet and family member, Roxy passed away
  • I can finally look at pictures of my Daddy without crying, and remember him with much love, fondness and a pang of intense sadness.
  • I have begun my journey in the quest for better health. Today is the day I begin to fulfill my promise to my Daddy.
  • I found my way back to my love, and fell in love with him all over again.
  • I realize that I am a great mother. 
  • I have almost-perfect skin: radiant, glowing, dewy and lovely.
  • I ate the healthiest meals I had ever had in a year.
Today, I am living again. Cherishing the sweetest and poignant memories of  my father who has left his earthly, borrowed home. Believing in my own abilities. Loving myself. Moving on.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My favourite vampire

I know- it isn't healthy for a married, 30-something with a 3-year old toddler to be fawning over a young man as fervently as I am... but seriously... damn! Robert Pattinson still rocks and my heart goes pitter-patter everytime I see a picture of him- he is just so compelling and human! And boyishly awkward in that insanely, ridiculously photogenic, handsome way of his. It drives the endorphins to my brain, and I literally feel like swooning. Check out these pictures of him from his latest interview with GQ (read interview here). Tell me I'm not right in the head for swooning over him?









*Pictures of Robert Pattinson taken from GQ.com. No copyright infringement is intended.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I love you

You're mine. I love you. I love you. I love you.

I can't even begin to describe how you've made me feel so complete, as a person, as a woman.

I love you. You came from within me and I shall protect you from life's hideousness and pain, just as I had protected you when you were within me.

Vintage

It's funny. We're living in a technologically-advanced era. Almost everything is computerised. We communicate by email, faxes, phone, etc. Our cameras and gadgets are sophisticated. People get smarter and smarter by the day. We face new inventions that change our lives each second. Deep down, though, although I appreciate how modern our lives have become, a little part of me craves for the old school, the vintage, the bygone years.

I get excited when I see an old turn-table at a flea market. When was the last time I'd played records on one of those? Probably when I was a kid about 9 years old, when my Dad still kept his old turn table and evergreen records. How about a gramophone? You can practically stick your head into one of those, they're so huge. And dial phones? The old types where there is a small, bell-shaped receiver. How about a heavy old iron, where you need to put in hot coals in order to smooth out your clothes? And my favourite- old black-and-white box televisions! I love how things were so simple then. One knob does it all. It's amazing.

I took a walk down memory lane a few months ago when I was at my Dad's. He was doing some spring cleaning- moving his study room from upstairs to down on account of his age, he gets tired walking up the stairs all the time to use the computer and Internet. A few months were spent picking out new bookshelves and cabinets, and new comfy chairs. The nightmare, however, was transporting his books and files etc downstairs- there must've been at least, at least, 5000 or so. A huge portion of those were mine, though- and Dad wanted me to pick out what I wanted to keep, and he would discard the rest or give them away.

A bookworm. That's what I'd always been. My husband thought I was a geek when he met me, on account of my love for reading and poetry. He almost fainted when he saw my book collection. When we got married later, we used to squabble everytime I went to a book sale, because I'd end up getting at least a 100 books or so, with no proper place to store them all. It didn't help that I finished reading those 100 books within a month or two, I was voracious for them.

Anyway, I was at Dad's and almost fainted when I saw the mountain of books in his new study, all yet to be shelved away. I foraged through some plastic bags and found cards and drawings I had done for him since I went to kindergarten, I kid you not. My brother was home for the weekend, incidentally, and we had a good laugh over our badly drawn stick figures and childish quotes. My primary school text books had already been thrown away, I told Dad I didn't want to keep them. But I insisted on keeping the English, Geography, History and general knowledge books and textbooks from secondary school, and my college notes from A-Levels, study cards on Wordsworth's poetry and Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey (English Lit) and my legal notes from university. I even have a whole hard-cover book from the 1960s entitled "How to make soap".

But the coolest discovery of all- has to be these....

A 6-book limited edition hardcover pictorial on World War II, which is probably worth heaps now
 
Dad's pile of books from the 1960s

Women's Weekly- December 9, 1970!

Yoga- through the ages, popular even in the 60s and 70s

An old telephone directory from January 1956. Back then, it was still called the Federation of Malaya

Dad's sprawly cursive handwriting in one of his old high school exercise books!

An entry in the exercise book - the date was 10/3/1960! Dad's handwriting remains unchanged till this very day

Dad's old exercise book from when he was in Form 5!

Isn't this all super cool? I know, though, that storing these old books are going to be quite a chore, seeing as the 'library' in my house isn't even completed, or rather- that I had not, in the years since we'd moved in, taken any effort to clear and keep decent.

Our past is so important, to help us understand ourselves in the present. I can't wait to show my daughter all these when she is a little bigger. She will see then, how life carries on, and how a little piece of each of us makes a difference in one another.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Twelve umbrellas

It rained cats and dogs a few days ago, an immensely crazed kind of rain, bordering on a frenzied storm. I had just reached home, and I remember scrambling and looking around frantically in my car for an umbrella to use. Unlike most of the houses in my neighbourhood, my home was not fitted with an automatic gate, so I was relegated to getting out of the car every time I arrived home, to unlock the gates, open them and then drive my car into the driveway. Tedious, for sure, but I’d be damned if I had to spend 5000 dollars on an automatic gate in today’s economic downturn.

So there I was, sitting in my car, limbs askew as I stretched over the passenger’s seat of the car, trying to pry with my fingers, for an umbrella I was certain I had seen lying on the floor somewhere. Nothing. I clambered out of my seat, into the backseat (I drive a MPV) and there, in all finery and glory, in the boot space, were, not one, but seven umbrellas, of different colours and sizes. Well, well! Seven umbrellas in a car. I was, frankly, astounded, that I had amassed such a collection, and upon inspecting each of them, I realized that none of them really belonged to me! I selected one, laughing to myself and made use of it.

Later, when I was ensconced in the warm comfort of my living room with soft music playing in the background whilst the rain beat down on the window panes, I laughed again when I thought of the seven umbrellas in my car. On a sudden whim, I leapt out of my seat and searched around the house to see if I had more umbrellas lying around….. and true enough, I found another five more lying under the staircase, only one of which belonged to me. I began to wonder whom I had pilfered, or accidentally taken these umbrellas from. Because, in all fairness, I am not a thief!- but I am also not ashamed to admit that when I borrow umbrellas from someone or other, I almost always never return them. And why is that? 1) Because I am an irresponsible, flaky person who forgets things; 2) the owner of the umbrellas never asked me for them; and 3) it’s only an umbrella, for God’s sakes!

However, seeing as I’ve amassed an impressive collection of umbrellas which do not belong to me, I will begin to make the effort to reunite these lost umbrellas “which are not mine” with their rightful owners. Daunting task, to be sure, but at least I am moral enough to attempt that feat!- which is more than I can say for some dishonourable umbrella thieves! This brings to mind Roald Dahl’s short story titled “The Umbrella Man”, about an umbrella thief, a seemingly-fine gentleman who went around stealing fine quality umbrellas, and on rainy days, selling them for a pound (using the excuse that he required the money for taxi fare, in exchange for the umbrella) to an unsuspecting victim. I enjoyed this story tremendously- and although it is just that, a story, it could very well possibly happen in real life. 

Statistics reveal shocking revelations on the number of umbrellas lost and found (or perhaps, even stolen) in public places. As of April 2009, the Johnson County Community College campus police revealed that there were 9,368 black umbrellas in their lost and found inventory. An article written by one Yukio Obata pointed out that statistics gathered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police in 2006 showed that about 650,000 items and over 78 million dollars are reported lost, and more than 2.3 million objects and over 26 million dollars are found. Of these, only 0.3% of lost umbrellas are returned. But these statistics may very well be unique to Japan alone. In America and Toronto, approximately 25,200 and 5,600 umbrellas are lost each year on their respective transit systems. The Londonist, in 2004, reported survey results released by Halifax General Insurance, indicating that in just one year, approximately 7,026 umbrellas were handed in to the Transport for London Lost Property Office.

An umbrella is, frankly, an inexpensive and almost-disposable object, which explains why, when lost, a person almost never reports it missing, and is more inclined to buy a new one (which costs less than 10 dollars) at any convenience store, or perhaps “take” or “borrow” another person’s umbrella (as I have discovered I am wont to doing!). Although we should all be thrifty and careful with our personal items, many of us and the consumer society in general, treat our umbrellas with less respect than a clump of clay. This frightening aspect of consumer society is one which we must take great pains to improve, and to nurture a sense of responsibility when it comes to personal items and belongings, no matter how inexpensive the items!

A person would raise a hue-and-cry if he lost, for example, his super-fine, ultra expensive Vertu mobile phone on the subway, and not only report it to the lost property section of the subway, but also, he will probably lodge a police report and hunt the phone down until the end of his days! And if he fails to recover it, he will cry in despair, wilt like a flower in a microwave oven, and berate the person who had found, and didn’t return his phone. He may even be so desperate as to call his phone, or leave text messages, pleading for the person who found the phone, to please return it and he will be more than happy to fork out a substantial reward for it. Somehow, I don’t think the same kind of tenacity will be extended to a lost umbrella.

So where do all these lost umbrellas go to? Frankly, I don’t know- but I’ll be more than glad to enlighten you when I do find out! Maybe they’re just thrown away in a landfill, after several years. Or maybe Mary Poppins comes in the night and takes them all away- she could, after all, do with the variety! Or maybe they all mysteriously disappear to umbrella heaven, where umbrellas of every sort and fancy will unite and shout in glee to be with each other! Or sometimes….. they end up in my house. Who really knows?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad-ass tapping

I've been taking some tap dancing classes for a month now. And contrary to popular belief, the Riverdance show is NOT a tap dancing show: instead, my instructor was careful to point out to me that Riverdance was an Irish jig, and was not tap dancing per se, although there were tap dancing techniques and moves incorporated into the dance routine, for sure. I was a little disappointed at first, because damn!- those Riverdancers are bad-ass! It is quite likely I may never ever be able to dance like them, but given enough practice and lessons, I was hoping to at least be able to carry out a simple dance routine.

Having said that, and having had a month of rhythm tap dancing, I am really enjoying the classes and the learning experience. Also contrary to popular belief- tap dancing can get quite strenuous when you do the same structured exercise routines over and over again. I couldn't believe it when I realised I was sweating buckets in the class. At least it's a workout! 

I finally bought my tap shoes last week- I'm stingy, so I opted to buy ready-made ones (instead of going to a shoemaker who will measure your feet out and custom-make a pair for you: these can cost almost RM400) and managed to find a very reasonably-priced pair (under RM150) from a dancewear shop which supplies ballet leotards, skirts, shoes (including tap shoes), etc to the school where by daughter takes her ballet classes. They were a perfect fit at first, a cute-sy pair of black Mary Janes.  I tried practising some moves at home, but my flooring was ill-suited for tap dancing (slippery and shiny) so I almost fell down a few times. 

I had the opportunity to try them out for the first time last night at tap class- and they felt strange at first- but really made a difference when you're practising and doing routines. I'm really excited! I wish I had more than 1 tap class a week- I could do it every night!

Anyway, here is a video I found on Youtube, which I really liked, for some reason- seems to be a video of a practice session. The rhythm tap moves are sleek and well-planned and really very cool. Nothing super fancy, just cool and understated. I like.....

What I wanted to be when I was a little girl



This was for the Nike ad campaign in Russia, fall of 2007, featuring
Maria Vinogradova and Anastsiya Soboleva- who are both Russian dancers. Awesome.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Cool Mom

I made a new friend in my beading class.

The other day, she told me, "You're a cool mama, aren't you?"

I flushed with apparent pleasure. "Sure am, babe," I answered her coolly, with a laugh.

"I thought most women would become, like, aunties, after they have children. But you're really very cool. You don't seem like a Mom," she enthused. "You're cool! I never would've guessed!"

She had no idea how she was inflating my ego. It was threatening to burst out from the back of my eyes.

"Definitely, babe. I'm a cool mama. Thank you." 

And I'd like to think that someday, my little girl will think I'm a cool mama too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Tarot card are you?

This was on EC's blog today- so I thought: What the heck, I have nothing better to do anyway...

You are The Empress
Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.
The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.
The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.
What Tarot Card are You?

Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Karate Chopped Chuck Norris Sliding Down A Hill Because I'm Sexy And I Do What I Want

I got tagged by SL for this- and found it too funny for words....So here it is!

What you’re supposed to do:  Type out the sentence you end up with in the TITLE of your blog post and tag your friends.

1. Pick the month you were born:

  • January———-I kicked
  • February———I loved
  • March————I karate chopped
  • April—————I licked
  • May—————I jumped on
  • June—————I smelled
  • July—————-I did the Macarena With
  • August————I had lunch with
  • September——I danced with
  • October———-I sang to
  • November——-I yelled at
  • December——-I ran over

2. Pick the day (number) you were born on:

  • 1———-a birdbath
  • 2———-a monster
  • 3———-a phone
  • 4———-a fork
  • 5———-a snowman
  • 6———-a gangster
  • 7———-my mobile phone
  • 8———-my dog
  • 9———-my best friends’ boyfriend
  • 10———-my neighbour
  • 11———-my science teacher
  • 12———-a banana
  • 13———-a fireman
  • 14———-a stuffed animal
  • 15———-a goat
  • 16———-a pickle
  • 17———-your mom
  • 18———-a spoon
  • 19——— - a smurf
  • 20———-a baseball bat
  • 21———-a ninja
  • 22———-Chuck Norris
  • 23———-a noodle
  • 24———-a squirrel
  • 25———-a football player
  • 26———-my sister
  • 27———-my brother
  • 28———-an iPod
  • 29———-a surfer
  • 30———-a homeless guy
  • 31———-a llama

3. What is the last number of the year you were born:

  • 1————- In my car
  • 2 ————- On your car
  • 3 —————- In a hole
  • 4 —————- Under your bed
  • 5 —————- Riding a Motorcycle
  • 6 ————- sliding down a hill
  • 7 ————- in an elevator
  • 8————— at the dinner table
  • 9 ———— In line at the bank
  • 0 ———— in your bathroom

4. Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:

  • White————-because I’m cool like that
  • Black————-because that’s how I roll.
  • Pink—————-because I’m NOT crazy.
  • Red—————-because the voices told me to.
  • Blue—————-because I’m sexy and I do what I want
  • Green————-because I think I need some serious help.
  • Purple————-because I’m AWESOME!
  • Gray—————because Big Bird said to and he’s my leader.
  • Yellow————because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
  • Orange————because my family thinks I’m stupid anyway.
  • Brown————-because I can.
  • Other—————because I’m a Ninja!
  • None—————because I can’t control myself!

This is what I got:

I karate chopped Chuck Norris sliding down a hill because I'm sexy and I do what I want.

And I tag:

  1. The Big Blue Nut
  2. Fat Boy Bakes
  3. Lady Nina
  4. Shue in New York
  5. The Tawny Owl
  6. Merv
  7. The Skimpy Skank
  8. Booker
  9. Jacqueline
  10. Joy

If you want to try it, too, here are the rules:

  • Place the award logo on your blog.
  • Nominate 10 other blogs which show “Attitude and/or Gratitude”.
  • Link to the nominees on your blog post.
  • Comment on their blog that you have nominated them.
  • Share the love and link to the person who nominated you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Thousand Beautiful Things (A Meme)

I decided to do this iTunes Meme I saw on Merv's blog. Why?
1) I just feel like it, dammit
2) I'm curious to see how dumb my answers sound

Anyway, here goes:-

THE RULES
1. Put your MP3 player, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc on shuffle mode.
2. To answer each question below, press the 'next' button to get your answer.
3. You MUST write that song name down no matter how silly it sounds
4. Tag at least 10 friends
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing
6. Have fun! (Is this even a rule??!!!!)

THE MEME
1. If someone says "Are you okay?", you say...
Everything I'm Not- The Veronicas

2. How would you describe yourself?
Sinful Samba- David Hirschfelder & The Bogo Pogo Orchestra 

3. What do you like in a girl/guy?
Who We Are- Lifehouse

4. How do you feel today?
The Last Man In My Life- Sarah Brightman

5. What is your life's purpose?
Ooh La- The Kooks

6. What's your motto?
Schon Rosmarin- Fritz Kreisler

7. What do your friends think of you?
Flat on The Floor- Nickelback

8. What do your parents think of you?
Shimmering Haze- The Soho Collection: Yoga & Meditation

9. What do you think about very often?
Pocket Full of Sunshine- Natasha Bedingfield

10. What is 2+2?
Aquarell- Secret Garden

11. What do you think of your best friend?
World Crashes Down- Enrique Iglesias

12. What is your life story?
Lounge- St. Germain

13. What do you want to be when you grow up?
In a Little While- U2

14. What do you think when you see the person you like?
The Flower Duet- Charlotte Church

15. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Gypsy- Suzanne Vega

16. What will they play at your funeral?
Goodnight & Go- Imogen Heap

17. What is your hobby/interest?
Shine on You Crazy Diamond- Pink Floyd

18. What is your biggest fear?
Silent Night- Dave Koz & Friends

19. What is your biggest secret?
Sorry or Please- Kings of Convenience

20. What do you think of your friends?
Stolen- Dashboard Confessional

21. What will you post this as?
A Thousand Beautiful Things- Annie Lennox

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged! Then tag me and let me know your results!

Now I'm going to read all my answers and see how stupid they sound- half of them don't make any sense!

La di da

My friend, EC told me today that I am really bad at maintaining my blog. "Why don't you ever update it?" he asked me. D-uh: it's because I only update my other blog, the one that at least generates some form of income for me. And my life isn't all that exciting, so I want to blog about exciting stuff. But even if I don't, sometimes when I feel like it, I blog about whatever comes to my mind...

Oh- hunger alert.... I practically starved myself yesterday- again (for the millionth time), I am on a diet. I always say, "This time it's for real!" Yeah. The "this time is for real" usually lasts 2 weeks before I run out of steam or willpower and then give in to a large serving of spaghetti aglio olio: I am so weak in the knees for pasta, I LOVE pasta....!!!!!

Anyway, so I'm on a diet again- my BFF looks hot as hell these days (not that she didn't before- she always was hot- but she looks even hotter now!) because she's been going to the gym regularly, and is on her way to owning a pre-pregnancy Britney Spears body. As her BFF, I am obliged to attempt to look as good as her- may take a while, though when one looks a little like Randy Jackson pre-gastric bypass surgery. Since I have no money to invest in a personal trainer, or gastric bypass surgery, or Marie France Bodyline, I have to lose weight the old-fashioned way. 

I hate exercise- it is the bane of my existence. Anyway, I've been too lazy to work out in the gym, so I've signed up for a tap dance class with my husband. The first class is tonight. I hope I won't fall flat on my face. I hope the dance studio doesn't have mirrors plastered all over- I HATE to look at myself attempting to dance, or doing that sorry thing I call a dance and other people call spasms.

Anyway, I'll attempt to make more serious efforts in trying to keep this blog alive. Sigh. Maybe I should post an entry about every single thing that comes into my head.....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

That bittersweet pang...

The kind you feel in your heart.

My little girl is eating pizza out of the box. She is sick with the flu, her nose runny, her cheeks flushed. She coughs a little.

But she loves pizza.

Sitting there at the coffee table in front of the TV, in her frilly pink dress and red sweater, using her small hands to pick at the slice of chicken pepperoni extra cheese.

My heart skips another beat. Another pang.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where I'd like to be- right now...

A random thought

I was happy to see you tonight. Mum told me you were back in town for the night- and I rushed to finish some things in the office, to brave the traffic jams. You were home. At last.

My heart warmed when I saw you. We don't talk much about us, you and I- but we find common ground in many things. We laughed a lot tonight- I told you how much I wanted a pair of Jimmy Choos. 

You were always a pest as a child. I hated how you would bully me and get away with things, just because you were the baby of the household. You were also impossibly cute as a toddler, with a huge gap between your teeth and cheeks like apples.

I guess I don't care now.

It's been quiet since you moved away.

In case I didn't say it: I guess I love you, baby brother. You're 31 years old, but you'll always be my little baby brother. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It was like this...

I was sitting at a Starbucks cafe that day, having a mango passion frappucino after a long meeting with a client nearby: it was a hot evening, and I remember struggling to try to stay cool and sweat-free in my blazer. Truth be told, I'd rip that damned blazer off in an instant if I were home- but I was in public, I hated the idea of my fat, slumpy arms being exposed. So I suffered and perspired in silence, sipping my frappucino so quickly that it went straight to my head and I had momentary brain-freeze while my teeth yelped out in pain from the cold, ice-blended drink. 

I sighed in contentment as the mist fan swirled a cool breeze in my direction, and while I fanned myself with my hands, my index finger caught the tail end of my dangly earring. The earring promptly fell out, and the tiny beads dangling at the base of the earring frame broke, and I cursed to myself, thinking, I could probably make better-quality jewelry myself!

And then it hit me how ingenious I was. And why the hell not? I was a quick learner, I loved jewelry and had always wanted to learn how to make my own (so that I didn't have to spend money buying them anymore)... and just like that, I knew this was something I wanted to do- for myself. 

And so- Whim & Fancy was born, although, then, the name hadn't yet hit me. Simply because I had no idea things would come to this- a business of sorts. Little old me, a boring old solicitor, taking up a new hobby, something as exciting as making beaded jewelry! But that's it for you- what started out as a hobby and a determination to do something new for myself, has since become a full-blown love affair with beading and handmade jewelry- from the nights poring over YouTube and free DIY tutorials on the internet... to actually selling my handmade items now to people (gosh!) who actually think they're pretty!

It is amazing how a split-second decision changes your life.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Year, New Shites

We've entered the second month of the new year... Traditionally, I make New Year's Resolutions every year, but this year, I decided not to. Because 1) I rarely keep to my resolutions; and 2) I think I'm old enough to start doing things that need to be done without having to make any resolutions... 

Without having to reveal completely my intentions, goals and aspirations for the year, these are the things so far that I will be doing for 2009- they were not originally part of my resolutions: but I've found a compelling desire to try something new this year, to provoke the senses and challenge my abilities. I'm sure these will be challenging enough.

1) Sign up for a beading class: This, I've done. My beading course runs this weekend for two consecutive days of 4 1/2 hours for each session. In fact, I've started beading some simple jewellery (mostly ear-rings) on my own, using online tutorials or how-tos as a reference and guide. I have been doing pretty well- and I'm beginning to get somewhat addicted to this new hobby. I've purchased quite a fair bit of material, the important ones being the tools, of course. Beads and gemstones are expensive, and so are good quality findings (ear wires, headpins, eyepins, etc). I thought that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right- so I invested some money in very good quality materials- not the stainless steel metal stuff you usually find in costume jewellery, and which can irritate skin: I invested in quality genuine sterling silver materials (imported from the US), Swarovski crystals, Czech seed and glass beads, Tibetan sterling beads, semi-precious gemstones, etc. At the same time, I also bought some slightly cheaper materials, to bring down the cost of items.

I really don't have any idea what I'm going to do with all the jewellery I've made. I may wear some of them myself- but mostly, I think of all the beautiful things and gifts I could make for my girlfriends, and I know they'd appreciate this a lot more, being handmade and all... Maybe, if I find enough courage and a general body of people who are interested, I may even sell them. We'll see. I'm just enjoying this for the time being.

2) Sign up for a professional slimming course: Done. This was at the behest of my father, who was tired of watching me go through my fad diets and numerous attempts to lose my post-pregnancy weight. It has been 3 years since I had my daughter, and I'm still struggling with the excess weight. I've done pretty well so far, I began the week before Chinese New Year and have dropped 2.5 kgs, without any exercise or excessive dieting. I'm trying to make a valiant effort to consume more liquids (water), and to make healthier choices in food. I've cut down on my intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, excessive fat and oil, from my meals, and I feel the difference.

Of course, because I eat less, I invariably get hunger pangs and some dizzy spells, so I replenish my body with a lot of fluids (water or fresh fruit juices), and allow myself to eat some fruit. Once a day, though, I allow myself to eat what I want in moderation (carbohydrates, that is), and maybe indulge in some baked potato, or even french fries, or half a bowl of rice or noodles.

3) Make more serious attempts to write and get published: I'd always wanted to be a writer. I've written lots- short stories, poetry, a few stupid novels. I never feel like I'm good enough. This year, though, I decided to make a positive change and take some pro-active steps to do what I'd been afraid of for almost my entire life. I will attempt to get published- at least within the next 1-2 years. And the first step towards this goal: I will be signing up for a creative writing course with the Writers Bureau of the United Kingdom. I had a heart-to-heart talk with my father, and with his concurrence, I felt that this would prepare me for the potential obstacles a writer would face in the literary world. More to come on this...

4) Plan a girls' outing: Ever since I had got married, and then, had my daughter, my time with my girlfriends, and particularly, my BFF, has been limited. There was always the need to plan events around my daughter, the need to make sure I wouldn't be missed, that I could get some kind of help from either my husband or parents to watch her while I was away. This year, with daughter hitting the 4-year old mark in October, meant that I would be slightly more liberated to spend time with my girlfriends. A preliminary idea was to attend the Rainforest World Musical Festival in Sarawak in July together. Just a plan, but hopefully, one that will lead to fruition.

5) Strive for partnership in the firm: Enough said. All that comes to mind is, be a great leader, be organized, command respect and friendship. To stay focused on the goal and to remain confident at all times.

6) Do something completely outrageous (for myself): I'm still thinking of this...

So what happens now? These all seem like resolutions- but without according to them the dignity of the word "resolution", I am more completely at ease and don't feel like I'd be a failure if I never achieved these goals or aspirations. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

About the most idiotic thing I'd ever done

I deleted my own blog. Without thinking twice before I hit the “Enter” key. In my head, I only saw that I was deleting “From Flabulous to Fabulous”- a newborn blog I had started a few weeks ago, and then decided today that it was too tiring to go on chronicling. So I logged on to Blogger- and mind you, I have 3 separate blogs under this system.

In what I can only describe a moment or fit of insanity (or clouded judgment), I thought I had clicked “Delete this blog” in reference to “From Flabulous to Fabulous”. The sad truth was that I was deleting “The Rantings of the Ravenous Loving Retail Therapy”, a blog I had kept from 2006 and which was being updated on a regular basis- a familiar friend I sought comfort in. I took pains with “Rantings”, I customized music for it, I applied a beautiful new layout. In short, “Rantings” was the most regular blog I had kept, besides this one.

I realized the error after I got re-directed to the Dashboard, and saw “Flabulous” still there. Then it dawned on me- that I had killed my baby inadvertently. I’m heart-broken. I think of all the hard work I had put into “Rantings”. I know that I will NEVER be able to recover what is lost. Because of my careless stupidity, I had let go of a ‘friend’ who had been there for me- to vent, to write, to sing and dance and be happy or stupid or melancholic. 

I feel like crying now…

The Career Woman

Since I gave up being a rockstar, and made the transition to career woman (or so I’d like to think), I drifted from one firm to another. In the first 4 years of legal practice, I flitted between 3 firms: the first was where I did my pupillage (a 9-month-long practical of sorts, which would’ve driven me crazy had it not been for the fact that I met my  two BFFs there: J and C). They made things fun and bearable, and although I was not finally retained there (let’s say that my then-boss and I had some ‘issues’ and didn’t see eye-to-eye…), J and C are still the best friends I’ve known and we’re constantly in contact, seeing each other through trials and tribulations, heart-breaks, joy & happiness, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. These, I know, are the friends I will have for life.

Then I moved on to another big firm, where I spent 3 miserable years battling errant defaulters and the court system. I enjoyed the first year and a half, and then the nights at work got later and later, until one day, I decided I had had enough, and moved on to a lecturing position in a college. I lasted 6 months there, tendering my resignation after only 3 months for want of challenge- sure, I liked the laid-back lifestyle, I enjoyed nurturing younger minds and preparing them for the outside world, but I felt like I was made for more at that age, I was still young. It was back to legal practice after that, a horrid year at a firm where the partners were so tight-fisted and inconsiderate that they asked me if I was going to keep my baby when I announced my pregnancy, made me visit construction sites every weekend (with no extra pay nor extra leave days) until I was 8 months pregnant and rang me on my mobile while I was in labour because they needed to check something ‘urgent’ with me. For all my hard work and suffering, I was given a 300-dollar increment for the coming year and 2 months’ bonus. It was peanuts. I was fuming mad.

Then came Work Paradise. A friend passed on the word that so-and-so were hiring, and whether I was interested. This firm prided itself on hand-picking its lawyers by word of mouth or recommendation only. It was also a very young firm, only a year old. As destiny would have it, they wanted me, and I wanted them. It was the perfect partnership, and I began to see a glimmer of hope in my career at last. Six months down the road at Work Paradise, I knew, for sure, that this was where my career would end, where I would retire. It was everything I had been searching for, and not just the work: it was the people and the way of life. For the very first time in my career, I was very happy. I worked late nights, weekends, throwing myself into the firm because I simply believed in everything it stood for. Some days were good, some were bad, but I took it all in as part and parcel of the job… and saw myself as one of the pioneers of partners who would serve the firm and bring it to good stead for the next 20 years.

Last year, though, I hit a snag that threatened to tear away my sense of security and belonging with the firm. As head of department, I am accountable for all acts, omissions, default or neglect of the people in my department- strange but true. I am not a partner, neither do I earn the salary of a partner- but I am skilled at what I do, so they made me head, gave me responsibilties, pushing me towards the sense of belonging and one-ness with the firm. I thought that I had shown calibre, strength, solid work ethics and excellent performance. But I had not counted on the failings of the people in my department, the lack of support, that then threatened my position, reduced me to tears, resulted in a poor year-end appraisal. The bottomline was: I had lost the partnership they had planned for me come 5 January 2009. 

I could’ve been a partner. Now. My parents would be terribly proud of me. I would’ve been honoured to have been made so. But it slipped from my fingers, being held off and deferred uncertainly. My bonus and increment for the year was also deferred until several key performance indicators were met (billing and collection, and my resolution of the file that erupted into an explosion, career-killing, for damned sure…) Until such time, though, the status quo would be maintained.

Today, I am just doing the best that I can, running my department, making sure things go smoothly as they ever can. A little part of me is numbed inside, I have lost my confidence- but I know that I need to find that quickly, and get back into business. At least I still have my job.

The Career Woman

Since I gave up being a rockstar, and made the transition to career woman (or so I’d like to think), I drifted from one firm to another. In the first 4 years of legal practice, I flitted between 3 firms: the first was where I did my pupillage (a 9-month-long practical of sorts, which would’ve driven me crazy had it not been for the fact that I met my  two BFFs there: J and C). They made things fun and bearable, and although I was not finally retained there (let’s say that my then-boss and I had some ‘issues’ and didn’t see eye-to-eye…), J and C are still the best friends I’ve known and we’re constantly in contact, seeing each other through trials and tribulations, heart-breaks, joy & happiness, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. These, I know, are the friends I will have for life.

Then I moved on to another big firm, where I spent 3 miserable years battling errant defaulters and the court system. I enjoyed the first year and a half, and then the nights at work got later and later, until one day, I decided I had had enough, and moved on to a lecturing position in a college. I lasted 6 months there, tendering my resignation after only 3 months for want of challenge- sure, I liked the laid-back lifestyle, I enjoyed nurturing younger minds and preparing them for the outside world, but I felt like I was made for more at that age, I was still young. It was back to legal practice after that, a horrid year at a firm where the partners were so tight-fisted and inconsiderate that they asked me if I was going to keep my baby when I announced my pregnancy, made me visit construction sites every weekend (with no extra pay nor extra leave days) until I was 8 months pregnant and rang me on my mobile while I was in labour because they needed to check something ‘urgent’ with me. For all my hard work and suffering, I was given a 300-dollar increment for the coming year and 2 months’ bonus. It was peanuts. I was fuming mad.

Then came Work Paradise. A friend passed on the word that so-and-so were hiring, and whether I was interested. This firm prided itself on hand-picking its lawyers by word of mouth or recommendation only. It was also a very young firm, only a year old. As destiny would have it, they wanted me, and I wanted them. It was the perfect partnership, and I began to see a glimmer of hope in my career at last. Six months down the road at Work Paradise, I knew, for sure, that this was where my career would end, where I would retire. It was everything I had been searching for, and not just the work: it was the people and the way of life. For the very first time in my career, I was very happy. I worked late nights, weekends, throwing myself into the firm because I simply believed in everything it stood for. Some days were good, some were bad, but I took it all in as part and parcel of the job… and saw myself as one of the pioneers of partners who would serve the firm and bring it to good stead for the next 20 years.

Last year, though, I hit a snag that threatened to tear away my sense of security and belonging with the firm. As head of department, I am accountable for all acts, omissions, default or neglect of the people in my department- strange but true. I am not a partner, neither do I earn the salary of a partner- but I am skilled at what I do, so they made me head, gave me responsibilties, pushing me towards the sense of belonging and one-ness with the firm. I thought that I had shown calibre, strength, solid work ethics and excellent performance. But I had not counted on the failings of the people in my department, the lack of support, that then threatened my position, reduced me to tears, resulted in a poor year-end appraisal. The bottomline was: I had lost the partnership they had planned for me come 5 January 2009. 

I could’ve been a partner. Now. My parents would be terribly proud of me. I would’ve been honoured to have been made so. But it slipped from my fingers, being held off and deferred uncertainly. My bonus and increment for the year was also deferred until several key performance indicators were met (billing and collection, and my resolution of the file that erupted into an explosion, career-killing, for damned sure…) Until such time, though, the status quo would be maintained.

Today, I am just doing the best that I can, running my department, making sure things go smoothly as they ever can. A little part of me is numbed inside, I have lost my confidence- but I know that I need to find that quickly, and get back into business. At least I still have my job.

M-O-S-H

MOSH (as defined by the FreeDictionary by Farlex)

v. moshed, mosh.ing, mosh.es
v.intr. To knock against others intentionally while dancing at a rock concert; slam-dance
v.tr To knock against (someone) intentionally while dancing at a rock concert.

I think this is a pretty apt description of my personality as a whole- rocking, slightly demented, but at the same time, I’d like to think I’m pretty grounded now that I’m Mosh Mummy. I used to be a little-famous rock star (right, that’s the word I like to use: rock star- when in actual fact, I was more of a folksy-alternative-rock chick) in my city about 10 years ago. Ah, to be young and spirited, free from the shackles of the cruel world. Living with my parents, studying for my Bachelors degree in law, I led a fabulous life of semi-luxury. The rock chick. In my heydays, my guitar and piano were the loves of my life, music was the inspiration that drove my soul to furiously writing lyrics and penning notes feverishly in the middle of the night, trying out different riffs and chords, blending soft and hard until the music soothed my ears. Even when the discovery of boys was inevitable, I stuck true to my music: notwithstanding the starry-eyed romances, holding hands, penning love-sick poetry into my diary. My songs took a new turn, angst-ridden, emotively love-struck. I drew squiggly hearts with my boyfriend’s and my name entwined therein on music paper.

But I rocked on, playing in dingy little pubs, singing songs like “The Roof” by the Bloodhound Gang, screaming, “Burn, motherfucker, burn” as I whizzled chords on my friend’s borrowed electric guitar. I cut an album with my close friend, a folksy-alternative debut that won a number of accolades including Best English Album in my home’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards. It was a big deal. Girlfriend and I won the award also for Best New English Artiste. It looked like my life-long dream of becoming a musician was coming to fruition. A psychedellic music video, haunting and melodic, followed: we were living the dream, made up to the nines, dressed in white shift dresses, plunged into cold lakes with fish nipping at our bare skin, diving into a human-sized aquarium and a bathtub filled with flowers and orange slices. The song was, I have to say, a very cool one, our first single penned by yours truly, my proudest achievement to date. Then came the nationwide tour, performing live concerts, doing little gigs and shows, the most amazing time of my life.

After almost 2 years of rockstar-dom, it came to an end. The pact I had made with my father- that I would take time off from the books to pursue my musical destiny, on the condition that I would commence working after I had passed the Bar exams: that time had come. With great dejection, the band broke up, I cried for several nights, but consoled myself with the fact that I could still continue to write my music. After all, one’s true passion cannot be denied.

I still love my music, although it has been 10 years on, and the last time I wrote a song was 4 years ago. My taste in music is somewhat different now, although the musical artistes who had influenced my direction are still very important to me these days: I am still seriously, seriously serious about Tori Amos and her wonderful strange music that, till today, I cannot get out of my head. Now, with a 3-year old daughter, the iPod plays songs from the Barbie movies, M2M, some Bananarama. Yes, cringe: that happened to me, too although I’m somewhat numbed these days. When I am alone, though, I crank the volume up and start singing in the car, like the rock star I had hoped to be. My current musical poison: Liz Phair and the good ol’ 90s, the rock chick I completely idolized when I first heard her music. Go, Liz!

I found it compelling to begin this blog, although I already have 2 semi-active ones running. Blogs are such public things, aren’t they?- and too many people already knew about my other blogs. I wanted, and I still want this to be just mine. Where I can rant and rave about any damn thing without thinking about repercussions and who may be reading. I told a close friend: I’m starting a ’secret’ blog. It’s going to be a bitch blog. And he says, what’s so secret about it now that you’ve told me? True… I’d only let in a few of my friends on this. But I changed my mind- since I accidentally deleted one of my other favourite, active blogs... boo hoo... I have to get past that...

I am extraordinary if you ever get to know me…!”

I am, I truly am. Do you believe me? It doesn’t matter anyway. This is my blog, and I get to be as whiney and bitchy and insolent as I want to be. It’s the new year, 2009, and I’m not looking forward to this, save for a few milestone events (my daughter attending nursery for the very first time today) that I will recount as we go along.

It’s going to be a fucked-up year, I can already feel it… I only pray that I have the strength to deal with the obstacles life has thrown at me. I thank God that I have my sanity, although that is now hanging on a thread with the nasty things happening in my life. But that’s another story.

Today, I’m just Mosh Mummy, and I’d like to say, hello, here I come.