Saturday, February 28

questions with no answers

Does she love you?
"If she loves you, if she really loves you, you’ll know it. If you can wake up to her staring at you and it’s not even mildly creepy, if you catch her smelling the shoulder of the hooded sweatshirt you lent her for an autumn walk at the beach, and not for B.O., if she makes you a pancake in the shape of a shark, if she calls you drunkenly at four in the morning “to talk,” if she laughs at your jokes when they’re funny and makes fun of you when they’re not, if she keeps her fridge stocked with Guinness tallboys for when you come over, if she tells you how she wishes she were closer to her sister and that her dad makes her sad: She loves you, of course she loves you."
Does he love you?
"If he has a nickname for you inspired by your gastrointestinal troubles that he never, ever uses in front of anyone else — he loves you."
Pasha Malla (more here and here).

What is love?
"Love isn’t an act, it’s a whole life. It’s staying with her now because she needs you; it’s knowing you and she will still care about each other when sex and daydreams, fights and futures—when all that’s on the shelf and done with. Love—why, I’ll tell you what love is: it’s you at seventy-five and her at seventy-one, each of you listening for the other’s step in the next room, each afraid that a sudden silence, a sudden cry, could mean a lifetime’s talk is over."
Brian Moore, The Luck of Ginger Coffey

Wednesday, February 25

bed scenes

I usually avoid posting videos, but this is really darn creative. Wish I was back in bed.

Tuesday, February 24


Going for the easier items on my list. This is #25. I'm counting this as done even if the plant dies on me.


For the first time in my life, about a month ago, just a day before my birthday, I touched my toes. No, I am not exaggerating, I'm just incredibly inflexible. Or, as I like to tell people, my legs are too long.

But anyway, back to the momentous life-changing event, which happened after 90 minutes of the most mind-blowing yoga (it also reduced my limbs to jelly). Alas, the next day, I was back to feebly grazing my ankles with my fingertips.

The next few weeks, I managed to touch my toes on and off, always after an hour of human-pretzel yoga moves.

Then, last week, a breakthrough. Chilling on my mat while waiting for the others in the class to arrive, I stretched out my overly-long legs and casually leaned over. Well, you can guess the rest of the story and, no no no, it does not end with me emitting out a loud booort.

That's #4 crossed off my list.

sushi roll

lost in a moment from dennis wheatley on Vimeo.

I'm a bit slow on the uptake and only realised what it was all about towards the end of the hypnotic video.

cake porn

Little imperfections -- like randomly sized and placed dots -- make me happy, as well as think that I may be able to achieve that same effect too.

I've always wanted to make a layer cake, but what's the occasion? If I ever do, this is the one. It has sponge cake, vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet and fresh raspberries. And the best part -- aside from being pink -- is that it requires no cooking or baking.

Scroll through all 57 gorgeous photos of baked goods on Country Living, if you are having a bad day. Cake porn rulez!

Footnote: I've decided to replace #20 on the list. So instead of panna cotta, I will make a layer cake.

Wednesday, February 18

dog talk

SHE: so so?
ME: so nothing is going on lah
SHE: aiyah
ME: but my friend who tried to set us up is freaking me out
SHE: how?
ME: she keeps "promoting" him lor. wah lau eh
SHE: mebbe she got good reason leh...
ME: like how ideal he is, how alike we are, etc
SHE: age is the only deterrent to you?
ME: heh i can't really remember how young he looks anymore. it's more like, we haven't made any effort to keep in touch
SHE: CHEH!!!! then its not like you're NOT interested right? if given the chance, it MIGHT be possible?
ME: i dunno! it freaks me out! hahahahahahhaha im in denial
SHE: what freaks you out? the prospect of dating?
ME: actually, yes!
SHE: AIYO!! you been single for far too long liow. SNAP OUTTTA IT!
ME: im too set in my ways liow! im an old maid! hahahahahahaha
SHE: RUBBISH!!!! you're a sentimental fool and i know it won't take much for you to "change" hehe
ME: hahahaha sentimental fool is right. emphasis on the word fool
SHE: why don't you just send him a message? or just poke him? GO LA!
ME: but this is a moot point lah. there is nothing going on!!!
SHE: of COURSE there's nothing going on. cos YOU'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING!!!!
ME: hahahahhahahahhahaa gawd you sound like my mother
SHE: i am a mother. hahahaha!!!!
ME: also, im not sure if i want anything to be going on lah
SHE: cos you don't wanna date?
ME: harlow, when have i ever dated?
SHE: u had bfs before what..
ME: i tink i just fell into relationships. i don't think i've ever actually "dated"
SHE: hmmm... mebbe thats why you should give it a try? cos it's... non-committal?
ME: i tink i'm breaking out in hives at the thought. haahahahhahahahaahahhaha
SHE: AIYO!!!! it's like asking you to get married!
ME: hahahhahahahahahahhaha nola, i tink i just too comfortable, why should i put myself out there for rejection, potentially?
SHE: mmm... now i see where you're coming from. ok, valid point. BUT it could potentially NOT lead to rejection. so quite wasted to pass it up right?
ME: i tink i've had enough of rejection already lor. contrary to popular belief, my heart is not made of elastic one
SHE: ya, i know what u mean. but something potentially good may happen. actually i think best that we wait for HIM to make the first move. mebbe this would suit you better hor? hehe
ME: heheheheh i like the way you use the word "we"
SHE: becos we're in this together girlfwen!
ME: hahahahhaha awwwwww thanks. ok can i just add one thing?
ME: i don't think i'd even be thinking about this guy if not for the fact that he showed me pix of his dogs!!! i'm the shallowest person alive hahahahahahhaa
SHE: AAAWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! i think i like him ALREADAY!!!!
ME: and he has TWO!
ME: both dogs that i would lurve to have! golden retriever and labrador!!!!!
ME: MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA just for the dogs, rite?
ME: literally, i've gone to the dogs

book ends

MY TWIN: why are you and your soul mate incompatible in your reading habits???
ME: she is a book slut! she doesnt read one book at a time! hahahhahahahahahahahahaha
MY TWIN: muahahahahahhahaahahahahahha
ME: i'm a book monogamist!
MY TWIN: muahahaahahahahahhaha you purist!
ME: are you? oh no, you are book slut too!
MY TWIN: nope! you will hate me!
MY TWIN: hahahahhahhahhah yes i am book slut!
ME: hahahahahhahahah we cannot be twins anymore, im sorry hhahahahahahahahahahahahahah
MY TWIN: muaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhha
ME: thats why i take so long to finish reading all my books....i get stuck but i cant abandon it. i have to read it to the bitter end
MY TWIN: you are good! you have strong moral character! hahahahahahhahahahahaha
ME: hmmmm i tink it has spilled over to my real life relationships too!
MY TWIN: hmm!
ME: i have to see things to their bitter end!!!!!!!!!! sudden insight from aimless chatting!
MY TWIN: which is not a bad thing rite! at least you see it to its end! there is closure!
MY TWIN: hhahahahahha aimless chatting is less aimless than you think!
ME: even when i know it is BAD, i have to go on! i dunno how to abandon books/people!

Currently reading: Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity. It has made me laugh out loud on the bus, so it is not a bad book and the end is in sight. Next, I plan to finally start on Anna K.

25 random things

For the sake of potential stalkers (I'm thinking of the lawyer, the mathematician and the economist), here are my 25 random things cutted and pasted and completely unedited from Facebook, so you won't have to waste time trawling my formidable archive of useless ramblings for other freakish similarities to Wallflower.

1. I'm deathly afraid of butterflies and moths. They're evil. (But cockroaches are ok and lizards are downright cute.)

2. When I was about nine, I won a Lego competition. I built a very ordinary house, and defeated the complicated airplane constructed by a young boy. I still have the photo of us posing with our creations. He looked very pissed off in it. I adore Lego and it is my dream to visit Legoland.

3. At its longest, my hair was long enough to reach the middle of my back. But too bad I never got round to taking one of those suggestive "naked" photos with hair draped all over my boobs.

4. My grandma's laundry shop used to be next to the old MPH and now-demolished -- sniff! -- National Library. I used to spend hours at those two places reading for free, going back only for meals. All the salesgirls and librarians knew me.

5. I was bedridden for three months a few years ago. I spent it watching Da Chang Jin (Jewel In The Palace), knitting and writing book reviews.

6. My first dog was called Brownie. He was brown. When the whole family went on holiday, my mom took the chance to give him away. I cried for days.

7. I love all things vanilla. Scraping the black seeds from vanilla pods makes me unreasonably happy.

8. My guilty pleasure is reading trashy romance novels, the racier the better. I get them for $1 each at the Salvation Army.

9. At my poorest, my bank account had only three figures. This was after my year in London. I used to take part in psychology experiments on campus to make a quick quid, I was that poor.

10. To the best of my knowledge, I have only one enemy.

11. I miss the smell of my doggie's paws when I travel. He doesn't miss me at all, I'm pretty sure.

12. My friend and I recently pretended to have a lovers' tiff at the airport check-in counter and requested for separate seats because we are both anti-social creatures when we fly. We don't want to talk, we don't want to be disturbed during the movie, and we both like window seats.

13. On two birthdays, I wished for snow and got it. On another two birthdays, I wished for sand and ended up at Sentosa.

14. I used to lead a double life as a powerful mage cleric by the name of Blush. I still miss those days -- and my One Ring.

15. Two friends and I have a pact to visit a nudist colony together, some day.

16. When I was in kindergarten, our teacher asked the class: "Do you want to be a human being or a sparrow?" I was the only one who wanted to have a bird brain.

17. Accounts of dogs and cats dying make me bawl.

18. During my party days, I have done the following: gotten lost in a gay club, kissed a bartender and sat on the curb outside Zouk with a mattress on my lap and my head on it.

19. I write down almost every single word I will say before I interview anyone. My brain has a tendency to go blank under pressure and I'm supremely horrible at ad libbing.

20. I hope I won't grow up to be my mother. But I think I'm halfway there already.

21. Kismet Kittens is the title of my novel, if I ever get round to writing it. I have no idea what it is about. Tiny cats, maybe?

22. I still find it slightly wondrous when boys talk to me. I think it's a lingering effect of 10 years of single-sex education.

23. Having someone gently dig your ears while you just lie there and close your eyes is the most loving feeling ever. Holding hands while sleeping comes a close second.

24. I deliberately stomp on the toes and jab the ribs of people who try to board the train before allowing others to get off. I also "accidentally" pull the hair of pole leaners. I've yet to figure out a way to passive-aggressively get non-stop yakkers to shut up though.

25. I love making lists.

Sunday, February 15

abc, 123 & brackets

I believe I have found my soul mate.

As I am fond of telling any concerned parties, I'm single not because I'm fussy, but because I have a penchant for unavailable men. I actually have very basic (and easily satisfied) criteria* of:
(a) good English
(b) non-repulsive appearance
(c) sense of humour
(In no order of preference.)

(a) geeky glasses

(b) lanky physique

(c) striped/checked shirts

But in addition to (a), (b) and (c), my newfound soul mate has so much in common with me that it is kind of freaky.

1. We both like Japanese authors, movies, dramas, catalogues, cookbooks and just the general clean aesthetic. Muji forever!
2. We are fans of both Mayday AND Jay Chou, who we agree is a musical genius, despite his recent missteps.
3. We take photos all the time and like those of abandoned/nostalgic objects and buildings especially. We even own the same instant camera, just in different colours.

Other things in common include Gossip Girl, typewriters, pencil sharpening, notebooks, bookshelves, ferris wheels, old-skool playgrounds and Atonement. And we have made up our minds, separately, that we would finally read Anna Karenina this year.

This conversation that I stole from this mystery person's blog about childhood colour pencils was what made me realise we were made for each other:

Me: You didn't use to put them back in their respective slots, right? (Phrased such because I already knew the answer.)
Lawyer: No. Did you?

Me: Yah.

Lawyer: (Stares somewhat with disbelief) Really?

Me: Although sometimes I would let it get messy...

Lawyer: So that you can arrange them back in order?

Me: Yah.

She is perfect, except that (a) she is a cat person, (b) she doesn't know I exist, and (c) she is a she.

[I guess my criteria list just got longer, to include:
(d) must love dogs
(e) be aware of my existence
(f) preferably male]

(I came across Wallflower in the course of my web travels and have been sucked into reading its entire archives. I wonder if she were to read this blog, would she see the similarities?)

Saturday, February 14

love, actually

I was clicking idly on my Bloglines, when I came across a post on Soon Lee with photos that looked strangely familiar.

Someone had taken photos of my semi-successful social experiment and they've been going round the blogosphere. I'm so psyched, now I really must go and make the notices into PDFs so that they can proliferate and take over the world.

Oh, and remember to heed my call to "Kiss someone" this Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13


There are no photos on Unphotographable, which is how I like it. Its author says: "Unphotographable is a catalog of exceptional mistakes. Photos never taken that weren't meant to be forgotten. Opportunities missed. Simple failures. Occasions when I wished I'd taken the picture, or not forgotten the camera, or had been brave enough to click the shutter."

Here's one of my favourites from his site:

"This is a picture I did not take of a gaggle of kids dressed in three-piece suits and spring dresses, coagulating on a sidewalk in front of their church on Easter Sunday, punching each other's shoulders and playing with each other's hair, while one boy, a bit taller than the rest and standing out on the left edge of the group, looked right at me as I approached in my car, driving into my new neighborhood for the first time with a load of boxes, and he flashed me the widest, most welcoming happy-Easter-Sunday smile, right before looking over his shoulder to see where his cohorts were or if any adults were looking, before turning back and gritting his teeth at me and flipping me his extended middle finger."

I wish I could write with such simple, astute observations, instead of in my long-winded meandering manner.

But anyway, in my grandmother-story way, here are my "unphotographables" from Sunday:

This is a picture I did not take of the aftermath of a gal-friend brunch, the black-and-white text-only placemats littered with crumbs, stained by drips from the gooey egg benedict and splattered with the shared green tea tofu dessert; the smeared used utensils pushed right to the too-small table's edge; the leftover flatbread pizza, packed for takeaway and forgotten on the fourth empty chair.

This is a picture I did not take of 500 oily teenagers pushing us irrevocably forward in an indoor flea market with insufficient lighting from the venue's usual purpose as a nightspot, the packed racks of $5 pre-loved, now un-loved clothes a blur going past the corners of my eyes; a hand clutching my arm for dear life as we navigated through the pack, trying to keep our heads up, breathe and make it out alive; one final look back into a heaving sea of heads and arms and legs.

This is a picture I did take of my garden ornaments as the light slowly went out, which does not in any way represent how I spent my Sunday, except that it does capture my extreme shyness in taking out my camera in public places, in the presence of strangers, in the company of friends, even.

Wednesday, February 11

when i say it's funny...

It is, indeed, funny. Trust me, if it didn't reduce me to tears and cause me to bust a gut, would I bother to (a) copy the link, (b) sign in to Blogger, (c) paste it into a new post and (d) write a few succinct words about it?

How To Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? Or Effective Way is the actual title of a book. It is on Amazon and all, so it must be legit.

"Besides shooting out a big blank from your buttock, you can feel as if your root chakra leaked sweet hot mucus," I quote from the author. The reviews from those who have read the book are side-splitting, too.

"Coz if you run your mother break a bottle sicker run day boo," he sings. Camels make guest appearances, too.

Tuesday, February 10

happy birthday to me

The birthday celebrations started at the stroke of midnight.

The blackforest cake was carried out, the seven candles lit, the lights dimmed, the birthday song sung.

I huffed and puffed and blew the candles out and made a symbolic first cut. And the cake was promptly returned to the fridge. The perfunctory cake-cutting ceremony was simply to allow the early birds in my family -- ie. everyone but me -- to have it for breakfast at 7am.

I had half of my share of cake at 10am, to save my stomach for lunch at 11.45am. I have no idea what happened to the other half, it just disappeared.

As the privileged birthday girl, I gave myself the day off and forced M and M -- how confusing, the same initials! -- to partake of steamboat at Shinobi at PSA Building, where we had the best century egg dish in the world (Yes, I'm prone to superlatives). The mentaiko grilled prawns were pretty awesome too. I may have licked the sauce off the leaf that was used to garnish the dish.

We headed home to digest the food and rest for a bit before the next scheduled birthday event -- Sentosa with doggie and Ollie.

It was a wash-out. Five minutes after we arrived, it started to drizzle in earnest (If you look carefully, you will see a woman with umbrella by the water's edge). Not that it really made a difference, doggie was determined not to get wet above his legs and just obstinately stood there in the shallow waters. I could only watch longingly as a tiny terrier paddled away merrily. Ollie, too, was not a fan of the beach, especially the sand.

As we chilled at KM8 with mocktails and chicken wings, I recalled that one of the Ms and I were here four years ago exactly, sans kid and dog, who both did not exist yet at that time.

Rushing home, I cleaned the dog (of sand), cleaned the car (of sand, too) and then cleaned myself (more sand), just in time for dinner at Timbre with M and her friends, which she assured me wasn't a set-up. I gullibly believed her.

But it wasn't that bad. In fact, it wasn't bad at all. The fact that I was oblivious to who she was setting me up with probably played a big part.

I had a little too much Heineken and some strange ducky pizza, spoke to a Chinaman who enunciated his English words better than me, tried to guess the age of a 31-year-old with a 26-year-old face, discovered a chic chick had bought one of my dresses, discussed the impossibility of a platonic "I had a great time last night" text message and met two rabid Mayday fans who were also planning to go to Taipei, one of whom even spontaneously belted out 志明與春嬌.

(Birthday balloon from McDonald's, from a party my sis attended the night before.)

The whole of the next day, Saturday, was spent in anticipation of Girls' Night Out, a rarity since out of the six girls, three were in fact mothers. And five of them were either married, newly married or soon to be married. Which kinda makes Girls' Night Out a logistics nightmare.

(There is actual photo documentation of that night of hard partying, but this is the only photo that will ever see the light of day, because one of the girls is paranoid about unflattering photos of her being splashed all over the national papers should she be tragically killed in a terrorist attack, while another wants to maintain a mysterious image to intimidate her subordinates but they would never take her seriously if photos of our drunken debauchery ever surfaced.)

Since I have a history of amnesia after drinking, here's what little I remember:

No. of people in the car: Seven (five in the back with the time-tested in-out-in-out-in formation, one in the front, and one chauffeur)
No. of pubs crawled to: Four (Overeasy, One On The Bund, Bellini Grande and Zouk, which I last visited when I was in my 20s, I swear)
No. of drinks: Eleven and one-third (Three Sex On The Beach, two Ginger Cosmopolitans, one Bellini, two Apple Shooters, two Cowboy something, one Tequila Shot and one Flaming Lamborghini shared by three birthday gals. This list is courtesy of Foxxxy Mama, because I also lose all ability to count after three drinks)
Best line of the night: "How come this chop cannot?" (Uttered by M, who morphed into an Ah Lian when sloshed, after we were denied entry to Phuture despite having a "chop")
Second-best line of the night: "My ex-boyfriend was a trishaw rider." (True confession by C, not a trashy headline from a female magazine, which I made a mental "note to self" with supreme effort)
No. of smelly farts: Two (both on the dancefloor, probably by the same boy, since they smelled exactly of the same kind of bad)
No. of fart/poop anecdotes exchanged: Countless
Total hours: Seven (from 8.30pm till 3.30am)
No. of hangovers: Two

Hangover-free the next morning -- I never have hangovers. I have also never vomited, even during my party heyday. It is probably the greatest accomplishment of my life -- I was even the earliest one at a birthday brunch with fellow January baby R and the gang at Colbar.

So-so bacon and eggs, not-bad fried beehoon, retro laid-back atmosphere and lots of goss about shotgun weddings, one-sided break-ups and the cover-up of the murder of an azalea plant.

After a much-needed nap, it was off for a field trip with K, her RB and X (by the way, I think it's way cool to have X as an initial) to the last kampung in Singapore, Kampung Buangkok, where I made the deadly mistake of wearing shorts.

But the itchiness of being eaten alive by mozzies did add authenticity to the entire trip down memory lane, even if the entire compound had the feel of a desserted 1970s film set.

In the spirit of nostalgia, I decided to shoot film, a stressful yet liberating experience. Stressful because I had to focus, adjust shutter speed and aperture manually and only 36 shots to do it. Liberating because there was no chimping involved.

Thankfully, my karma levels had miraculously spiked and my photos were not a complete disaster. Well, not all of them anyway. So I'm well pleased.

The evening ended with a prata dinner washed down with Milo Dinosaur, followed by much squealing over Gigi the Guatemalan Giraffe, and one final birthday present of a taxi ride to my doorstep.

I must say, in spite of the self-indulgent birthday weekend festivities during which all work came to a standstill (I piah-ed and met my two deadlines the day before), I'm not really much into celebrating the day I was born. It's celebrating the friendships built up over the (many many, too many) years which makes it meaningful. Mushy but true.

I had a ball. Thank you, for all the cake, presents and love. Okay, you may go and vomit now.