Tuesday, December 14, 2004

U2. A spiritual experience.

That's the only way I know how to describe what their music is.
It's a religious experience without being religion-specific.

I've been a fan of U2 ever since their album Unforgettable Fire in 1984.
I own every one of their albums. Their masterpieces like Rattle & Hum, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, All That You Can't Leave Behind.....and even their lukewarm ones like Pop and Zooropa.
Their music touches you in every way music SHOULD.
I can't even name one favourite song.

I am so in awe with anything and everything about U2.
I don't mean "in awe" in the groupie sense of the word. I am a shameless groupie-whore when it comes to Duran Duran.
U2 appeals to me on a higher level.
As a human being with a social conscience.
The pursuit of justice and truth.
Read Bono's speech at the University of Pennsylvania when they awarded him with a Doctor of Laws here.

"U2 is about the impossible."
Bono is MORE than just a musician, artist and activist. I'm convinced that he's a living breathing saint. He uses his celebrity to make a difference in the world. His work with DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa), AIDS awareness, Unicef and Amnesty International speaks for itself. Time magazine featured him on their cover: "Can Bono Save The World?"
A fuckwit like Mick Jagger is given knighthood and not Bono.
But I argue that Bono is beyond that. Knighthood seems paltry in the light of this man's standing in the world.


Sunday night: had dinner with husband's fellow wanker banker (myspeak for investment banker) buddy, an old friend of my husband's whom I have grown to know well. We both enrolled in the same MBA program.
Occasion: Introducing us to his new fiancee. In a whirlwind courtship, he fell in love and proposed to her.
Venue: Rockpool
Attire: Veronika Maine and Witchery

A few things I noted:
  1. She TOLD him what to eat and what not to eat. *She's a controlling bitch.*
  2. She pinched his cheeks and baby-talked him. *Surpress the urge to vomit*
  3. She TOLD him she wanted no less than a 1 carat rock and wouldn't stop flashing it around once she got it. *Gold digger*

If you ask my opinion, she looks like a frigid piece of fluff who'd be rubbish in bed.

Who does she think she looks like? Audrey Hepburn, by the looks of it.

What does she really look like? You know those girls who are obsessed with showing their cheekbones and their best angles? Whose every action is designed to impress the present company?

I'm not the best judge of character, but I can spot a man who will cheat on a woman mile away. In one year. Tops. I have already made bets with hubby.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Amanda de Cadenet

This is the post I am submitting to a very cool shagfest bloggathon.
I had originally planned to write about a little something from my own experiences.
The truth is, I started typing and I was surprised at what emerged when I read it. I did what I did driven by a very pure hatred. Don't get me wrong: I'm not being prudish. What I read was not your usual sensual delight with a bit of rough thrown in.
It was a bit of a revelation for me. I wasn't even prepared to write about it, much less publish it on my blog. It really blew me away and I am sort of dealing with it.

BUT on a lighter note, I want to write about a woman who casts a bit of a spell on men. A woman whom I would swap lives with in a split second.

John Taylor, the bass player in Duran Duran was the object of my obsession up to when I was 15. I had posters of him all over my bedroom and had extremely dirty dreams about him.

I was pretty much devastated after he started dating someone just a few years older than me. Someone who was the same age as the millions of screaming girls who adored him. A few years later, she got pregnant at 18 and he married her the following year. The woman who shattered my teenage dreams: Amanda de Cadenet.

"HOW could he? Why her? Whyyyyyyy?" I whined.
"Oh my GOD, get a life!!!!" said my so called Durannie-partner-in-crime.
Bah. Some friend.

So, who was this woman, anyway?

I had a friend, "L" whose parents sent her to Benenden College, the same posh London school that Amanda de Cadenet (who also had rich parents) attended. I phoned "L" up when I was back in KL for 3 weeks for my winter break and she was back in town for the summer holidays to get the goss. From what I could tell, Amanda de Cadenet sounded just like us. Sneaking out of boarding school after curfew to go clubbing. She dated Nathan Moore, the lead singer from Brother Beyond when she was just 14.

She was also one of the hosts for BBC's youth music program "The Word".

OK. I eventually got over it all. Time heals all.
I forgot about all that until last year, when Duran Duran made their comeback and I went to their gigs. I started to read whatever I could get my hands on to catch up on the news.
Yes. I know. That's pretty lame.
I found an Amanda de Cadenet fan website and it inspired me to write this.

Amanda became an actress, she roles in a few moderately successful films. One of those films, Four Rooms remains my favourite to this day.

She was in the news again when she supposedly had an affair with Courtney Love. This was a short time after her husband, the legendary Kurt Cobain of Nirvana shot himself.
I don't know if there was any truth to the rumour or not, but wow. I can see why another woman would find Courtney Love attractive. She appeals to the grrrrl power in all of us- that's incredibly empowering.

Then, as all rock stars do, Amanda de Cadenet and John Taylor announced their separation.
What did she do then? She dated Keanu Reeves, with whom she has reportedly had an on-off affair for a few years.
Oh my God, I thought as I read on and googled for more late into the night, "This woman has got some sort of powerful mojo happening"......

She has apparently "reinvented" herself as a photographer in the last few years.
AND to top it all off, she's now got Nick Valensi, the guitarist from The Strokes.

I LOVE The Strokes. My favourite band of the moment.
I am SO jealous.
Yes, even at MY age!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My "I hate ALL Men" phase

A few months back, I blogged about a phase in my life when I hated men. I went through a bad break up and became bitter. It lasted about a year and a bit.....

It's hard at this point in my life, when I'm happy, to talk about it. WHY I chose this forum, I don't know.

I was out for revenge, out to get even with the male race. I hated them with every fibre of my being and became incredibly destructive.

I did everything I wanted to ever do to get even with men because I thought, no, I KNEW they were weak because they'd do anything for an attractive woman- they'd go even further if there was a chance you might have sex at some point. That's not an egoistic statement, I swear to God. That's just a very frank assessment. I firmly believed that men would do anything if their dicks told them to.

What exactly did I do?
  • I made married men cheat on their wives (Honey, in any city in the world, men like that are NOT hard to find) and made sure their wives "accidentally" found out about it. (Strategically placed receipts, emails, untimely phone calls, misplaced personal belongings etc.)
  • I would try to break up male friendships by making them compete against each other for me. Make them betray their friendship.
  • I would lead the naive ones on, manipulate them a bit, and drop them.

All fuelled by hate.

I lost a great number of friends, colleagues and made plenty of enemies this way. Got a few pieces of jewellery, some designer handbags and shoes which I gave away etc.... (NOT what I was after. I was after BLOOD. Theirs.) Last year I had the misfortune to bump into one of them again in a meeting for a new joint-venture project. Very uncomfortable, and very unprofessional. The new projects in Asia and Australia is mainly concentrated in China and in the Middle East- Dubai, especially.

I went down this path for a while until I realised that the only person I was really hurting was myself. There wasn't really an "Aha!" moment for me. The anger just eventually dissipated.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


You know that old ditty "Words" by FR David in the early 80's?
If you were one of the people who religiously watched UK's Top of The Pops, you'd remember it.
Look past the synth-pop to the lyrics and it's about someone who expresses himself through music, not words.
In person, I'm not incredibly verbose. I can turn it on for business meetings and PR.
With friends and family, I'm a listener. And I hug.

I bumped into someone a while back. Words failed me.

“CUT HERE” by The Cure

"So we meet again!" and I offer my hand
All dry and english slow

And you look at me and I understand
Yeah it's a look I used to know
"Three long years... and your favourite man...
Is that any way to say hello?"

And you hold me... like you'll never let me go

"Oh c'mon and and have a drink with me
Sit down and talk a while..."
"Oh I wish I could... and I will!
But now I just dont have the time..."
And over my shoulder as I walk away
I see you give that look goodbye...
I still see that look in your eye...

So dizzy Mr Busy - Too much rush to talk to Billy
All the silly frilly things have to first get done

In a minute - sometime soon - maybe next time - make it june
Until later... doesn't always come

It's so hard to think "It ends sometime
And this could be the last
I should really hear you sing again
And I should really watch you dance"

Because it's hard to think
"I'll never get another chance
To hold you"

But chilly Mr Dilly - Too much rush to talk to Billy
All the tizzy fizzy idiot things must get done

In a second - just hang on - all in good time - wont be long
Until later...

I should've stopped to think - I should've made the time
I could've had that drink - I could've talked a while
I would've done it right - I would've moved us on

But I didn't - now it's all too late
It's over... And you're gone..

I miss you I miss you I miss you
I miss you I miss you I miss you so much

But how how many times can I walk away and wish "If only..."
But how many times can I talk this way and wish "If only..."

Keep on making the same mistake
Keep on aching the same heartbreak

I wish "If only..."

But "If only...."
Is a wish too late...

Friday, December 03, 2004

My best friend

My best friend is a beautiful blue eyed gay man.
He's flamboyant and larger than life.
He's intelligent, he's talented and gorgeous. (YES. he admits to having an agent whoring him for TV appearances and modelling jobs)
He's also a talented designer. He's funny, he's the life of the party..... I can't say enough nice things about him.

With all those wonderful things, he also comes with a load of insecurities. He's sensitive and very defensive. He puts up a front.

BUT I can count on him to be honest when everyone won't.
He's not afraid of hurting my feelings when it's good for me. I love him loads.

He rarely lets anyone in.
He's had a really hard week this week. One of his parents has advanced cancer. It's the parent who never came to terms with him being gay.

He keeps smiling, though. Like he did when he and his boyfriend of 3 years split up.
I'll be there for him.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Weddings, vibrators and food. Oh and Aussie version of Queer Eye..

This is a record for me. I haven't recorded my thoughts this many times in a month since scribbling "Dear Diary, Today I think he noticed me..." into my pink Hello Kitty Diary 20 years ago. I am just bursting with things to say to my laptop right now, in my usual ad-hoc kind of way.

A few items to blog about this lovely balmy Sunday morning.

First on the list: Despite being down in the dumps and making stupid purchases, I spotted something sensible in Myer: the Braun hand held blender (if you ask me it could definitely double as a female pleasure apparatus).

What do you think?

Second item: Weddings. One of my girlfriends is getting married- She is a truly lovely person with a big heart. I'm so happy for her because she's doing it her way, not her parents/inlaw's way.

She is having a crouquembouche!

Croquembouche recipe from that domestic goddess/white collar criminal: http://www.marthastewart.com

Makes 1
The name of this classic French dessert means "crunch in the mouth." Make the caramel and assemble the dessert as close to serving time as possible.

for pastry puffs
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
7 large eggs

for pastry cream
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder mixed with 2 teaspoons hot water

for caramel
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup

1. Heat oven to 425°. To make the puffs: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in 1 1/2 cups water with salt and sugar. Remove pan from heat, and add flour. Return pan to heat and, using a wooden spoon, beat vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes. (A film should form on the bottom of the pan.) Cool slightly, and add 6 eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously.

2. Make a glaze by beating the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water, and set aside. Using a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a 1/2-inch-wide plain tip, pipe out mounds that are 1 inch high and 3/4 inch in diameter on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze, and smooth the tops. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on racks. (The puffs can be made ahead and frozen until ready to assemble.)

3. Make the pastry cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, gradually adding sugar, until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Beat in flour. Scald milk, and add in dribbles to egg mixture, reserving 1/2 cup. Place mixture in a clean pot over high heat, and stir vigorously until mixture boils and thickens. If it seems too thick to pipe, add reserved milk. Remove from heat. Using a hand whisk, beat butter into egg mixture, one tablespoon at a time.

4. In a double boiler or heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate and espresso together until smooth. Add chocolate mixture to the pastry cream; let cool completely. Just before assembling croquembouche, fill a pastry tube fitted with a 1/4-inch-wide tip with pastry cream, insert tip into puffs, and pipe in cream to fill.

5. To make the caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup, and bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir. Cover pan, and boil until steam dissolves any crystals. Uncover, and boil 5 more minutes, or until syrup is amber in color. Remove from heat. Dip the bottom of each puff into the caramel, and arrange puffs in a pyramid.

6. To make a spun-sugar web to wrap around the croquembouche: Cut the looped ends of a wire whisk with wire cutters, or use two forks held side by side, and dip the ends into caramel. Wave the caramel back and forth over the croquembouche, allowing the strands to fall in long, thin threads around it. Wrap any stray strands up and around the croquembouche. Serve.

I hate weddings, I have hated them ever since my own blasted three-receptions-in-three-hotels-in three-cities-two-countries-travelling-circus-wedding. I needed a holiday after the whole shebang, but I keep all my planning records of the event well preserved.
I had 4 dresses in cream, light pink, ivory and white. Not neccessarily in that order.

Third item: Aussie Queer Eye For The Straight Guy has been announced.
It's exciting because I DO know Brendan.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

ME day

Went to Mecca Cosmetica, the one in Galleries Victoria during lunch hour today.
I think salesgirls can spot people with bruised egos from a mile away.
I ended up spending a couple of hundred dollars on Prescriptives products.

I didn't feel like spending my lunch hour in a consultants meeting.
I left it up to the 2nd architect in charge, the eager-beaver new graduate that he is, jumped at the opportunity of going to a meeting.

The wanna-be american TV stations here in Australia screened the Sex And The City final episode recently.

I love the episode where Carrie needs to raise money to buy her apartment. She gets depressed. She and Miranda go shoe shopping.
Carrie is tempted to buy a 400 dollar shoe.
In she same breath, she asks Miranda "I've made money over the years. Where that money has gone?"
Miranda, who owns her own apartment in Manhattan and is a partner in a law firm, asks her "How many of these shoes do you own?"
Carrie answers.
Miranda does the maths and says, "There's your down payment right there."

I asked myself: am I a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte?
I think I'm a combination of Miranda and Charlotte.

I own an inner city Sydney apartment that overlooks water. It's in my name. But my father's money bought it for me. Just like Charlotte's Park Avenue place.
AND I'm an aggressive career bitch just like Miranda.

Many girls (and some men) out there fancy themselves as Carefree Couture Carrie.
Yes, I've been visiting Malaysian blogs again.
Tell ya what: I feel sorry for the Carries who still live with their parents, yet spending up big on their restaraunt bills, Prada shoes and Hermes bags. (OK, maybe not an Hermes bag, by the looks and sounds of it. Maybe about as much as an LV bag.)

Meeeeeeeoooooowwwwwrrrrrr. Ssssssssssstttt.
I can get bitchy in my down time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Burn out

This is a post about nothing. After staying up to ungodly hours, we submitted our group project.

My current opinion of the validity of MBA courses is not good.

Everything that is a test in life seems to throw you in group situations and seeing whether you sink or swim. Has anyone seen The Apprentice?

Toodles- I'm off to nurse my poor ego...........

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

My adventures on a day off

I'm convinced that I'm blogging more because I've been at home these past few days.
Home is in an inner city waterside suburb of Sydney in a slick urban residential building that has more angles than it has straight edges.

It's been a rainy and miserable past few days, which makes me feel better about staying at home to work on the group project today.
I don't know how to work our Gran Gaggia coffee machine *sheepish*..... my husband makes the coffees at our house. I just drink it.
Ack. That is the most frou-frou thing I've ever said.

Silly me. Today, I walked down a street in our neighbourhood in search of a Latte.
There isn't a Starbucks or Gloria Jean's anywhere near our neighbourhood. It's too goddamned trendy for those. *mumble mumble*

I walked into the CBD in less than 15 minutes. I found myself in a queue at one of the CBD Starbucks. I saw one of the directors from my office that queue. ON MY DAY OFF.
"Hello", he says cheerfully- "wagging school today, are we?"
I went bright red (I know this because I could feel my ears burning) and said a series of things that went "Well I er...", "Um, NO....", "Actually....", "Pardon?"......
Before I could say anything else, he grabbed his Flat white and was on his way out, smiling.
I walked home with my latte mumbling to myself.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Chuck a sickie

OK. I'm going to have to take a few days off work because my MBA project group members have been pulling their weight and I haven't. So I've volunteered to do a chunk of the work in the past week. I haven't really had a weekend this weekend.
I need a few more days.

I admit I've taken on a bit too much this year.
I've heard so many "I told you so's".
Not feeling great about myself. Having PMS doesn't help either.

What to do to raise my spirits?

1. Hot giant mug of hot chocolate with loads of melted marshmallows.
I'm partial to pure white marshmallows. (Read into that what you will!)

(Hey, before anyone gets on my back about this, I have a fast metabolic rate! I weigh about 48kg and I'm 165cm tall, mmmm-kay? Kay? OOOOOKAAAAY?)

2. I remember reading Iyanla Vanzant's "One day My Soul Just Opened Up" and being a faithful follower since. Re-read my favourite chapters.

3. Put on my favourite 80's song. (Hey, don't knock it til you try it)

"99 Red Balloons" by Nena

You and I in a little toy shop
buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message, "Something's out there"
Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by.

99 red balloons floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
Where 99 red balloons go by.

99 Decision Street, 99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.

99 Knights of the air
ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a Silverhero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
As 99 red balloons go by.

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenier
Just to prove the world was here...
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go.

Incredibly uplifting. I could go on and on about 80's tunes that inspire me.
Pssst. Just don't tell the other members in my project group.
"Gasp! How can SHE get an MBA?"

Another few days at home in front of the computer and my face in books.
My couture for the event: Bonds sleepwear.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Back again, y'all!

My company sent me over to Singapore for a few weekdays and a weekend. I managed to spend two days and one night in the family home in "the hilly affluent suburb of KL", but I want to cover that in another post.

While in Singapore, I caught up with our counterpart architects on a project that isn't exactly mine, it's designed by the master of steel structures in our office, "R". And no, he's NOT our big celebrity architect boss.

In fact, "R" isn't even an RAIA registered architect. He's been with the company for more than 10 years. From the looks of him, he's in his early to mid forties and he has a razor sharp mind, wit and tongue. According to my spies (yes, architecture offices are also stages for espionage), his annual salary is only 10K more than mine. I've only been in this company for 5 years.

"R" believes in the lofty ideals of architecture. He designs like he means it. I believe in it as a business- I know exactly how many townhouses to put on a site in Sydney to yield a profit that will bring a smug smile to a client's face. I make the $$$. I'm nowhere near his talents and his eloquence in architectural expression.

Here's the twist: "R" has resigned.
I returned from my trip on Tuesday morning and heard about this.
I haven't yet formed my angle on it. That's how shocked I (still) am.

It's Saturday night and I have a group meeting tomorrow. I am reading up like crazy or Organisational Behaviour, but none of it is going in.
MBA commitments are a drag.

I'm going to take a break and watch the Iron Chef on SBS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Confessions of an ex CBNer

I spent 5 years in CBN.

Hey, that was one super competitive school environment, where girls like us would be dropped off and picked up by our daddies' chauffeured Mercs. We had to be in the top classes, either B or U... maybe even K or T, otherwise we didn't count. We had to either excel in a sport, be a totally hot cheerleader in one of the four sport houses (Go Pauline! Go the Blues!!) or be in a cool club like Interact. I like to think it groomed me for my socialite phase.
During business trips to other asian capitals, I like to spend my spare weekends in KL.
I see these same girls around Bangsar- I meet up with some of them over coffee sometimes. Most of them turned into lawyers (one is a doctor) who practice in KL and they all married well.

I went through the mandatory pet sister phase. What's a pet sister, you ask? This very astute blogger writes about it here. I often wonder what I would have become if I never grew out of that phase? I really fancied the Form 5 and 6 girls at the time. Way before I had my first SJI and VI boyfriend.

I've kissed a woman (ladies, don't we all go through this at least once in our wild years?) but I don't think the idea of falling in love with a woman is out of the question.
Ah well. I'm crapping on quite a bit here.
Don't we all have our moments of ambiguous sexuality?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Indulge me for a while

Why not? This whole blog is about self indulgence anyway.

I went through a time in my life which I liken to groping around in the dark for the light switch and never finding it- this coincided with the grunge movement in the early to mid 90's. I liken phases in my life to music I listened to at the time, the clothes I wore..... Instant trigger that brings back memories. Kate Moss the waif was the woman of the moment.

I look back on those years fondly. It seems like another life.

My boyfriend at the time, J, whom I had been with since my days in a girls school in the middle of KL and part of my high school and university days in Australia, was sent to an American university in a small mid west college town near Detroit, Michigan. I used to make two trips a year to the USA. Sydney-Narita, Tokyo-LAX, LA-O'Hare,Chicago. If I took Northwestern, I'd fly straight into Detroit.

I especially loved our road trips:
We took I-75 from Detroit right down to the tip of Florida, at Key West where route-1 stops.
And we took I-80 from Chicago to San Francisco, then we drove along the coast down to LA. It was breathtaking.

I made friends over there in his circle of friends who were Malaysian students. I loved eating with him at Denny's. I got used to grocery shopping at Kroger and buying ranch flavoured chips...... the mid west felt so down home, so comfortable.
This doesn't sound dark to you? Wait, I'm getting to it in a minute!

We split up amicably after 4 years in different continents.

So, where did I choose to spend my holidays after that?
Kuala Lumpur and a shopping trip or two with mum and dad to Europe. Back on the social circuit, girl!

A snapshot of the times:
There was a restaraunt nearby Hard Rock Cafe that I really I loved called Moomba.
I er, had a father figure fixation, and dated men who were much older than me. I liked being their trophy girlfriend. I loved being at the right parties, being seen and at the same time, I loved partying all night and felt like I was born to dance.
Iguana at Bangsar Shopping Complex had just opened.

I was trying to find me, find out who I am, what I am.
I had an on-off relationship with a divorced man A, who is a known businessman and personality in KL.
He gave me every material thing that my father could give me.... but he cheated.
The end was painful, angry, unsettling.... the kind of break up that makes you want to leave town for a good couple of years.
During those off times in the 2 years we were together, I dated other single older men because they were wiser but found them bitter and jaded instead.
"There must be some reason why they're still single..." said my mum and confidante.

I think somewhere along the way, I began hating men. I think I still do.
Men are all the same was written all over me.

"Oh make me over
I'm all I wanna be
A walking study
In Demonology

Hey, so glad you could make it
Yeah, now you've really made it
Hey, there's only us who made it now

Oh look at my face
My name is might have been
My name is never was
My name's forgotten

Hey, so glad you could make it
Yeah, now you've really made it
Hey, there's only us here now

When I wake up in my makeup
It's too early for that dress
Wilted and faded somewhere in Hollywood
I'm glad I came here with your pound of flesh

No second billing cause you're a star now
Oh Cinderella, they aren't sluts like you
Beautiful garbage beautiful dresses
Can you stand up or will you just fall down

You better watch out
Oh what you wish for
It better to be worth it
So much to die for

Hey, so glad you could make it
Yeah, now you've really made it
Hey, there's only us here now

When I wake up in my makeup
Have you ever felt so used up as this
It's all so sugarless
Model/actress, hooker/waitress
who'll just go nameless

She's full of poison
She obliterated everything she kissed
Now she's fading somewhere in Hollywood
I'm glad I came here with your pound of flesh

You want a part of me
Well I won't sell it cheap
No, I won't sell it cheap"

Celebrity Skin by Hole.
Lyrics by Courtney Love

I had the luxury of escaping to Sydney when holidays were over- back to being single and dating again.
Dated some white guys (not my cup of tea) and even some younger guys (fully recommend this, ladies- their idealism heals your heart).
Then I found my husband.

Did I/ do I feel the same way as this woman Courtney Love writes about in the song above?
Definitely not.

But I do think it's poetic.
There's something incredibly redeeming about hitting the bottom and coming back up.
Going through pain cleanses you, puts you in touch with your self.
I know myself pretty well now, but I'll constantly learn something new and grow in so many ways.

Here's my Oprah moment: I'M STILL THANKFUL FOR MY LIFE SO FAR.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Back at home after a stint in Melbourne

It's good to be back in Sydney again.
I couldn't take much more of the sterile environment in Melbourne.

All in all, it was a good trip, I managed to run a project team to produce and present a well designed scheme. Our clients seemed pleased with what we came up with.
I worked on this project in the company's Melbourne office and presented our masterplan together with the big boss, who flew in from Sydney the day before.

Hung around for a few days, then I attended a planning conference organised by Malaysians and Australians. Network, network!!!!! The Convention Centre in Melbourne is opposite Crown Casino, Hotel and Entertainment Complex.

Met up with my parents. Dad was in town because he had some business meetings and was also here to hit the fairways with his golf buddies. Mum tagged along for the shopping.... well, of course they were also here to see their daughter. My parents then flew to Sydney to stay for a week. While they were here, they were chauffered around in a limo and stayed in a hotel owned by one of Dad's golf buddies.
The CD catalogue at the back of the limo. Spot the typo?

My parents also shopped around for a 2nd piece of real estate while in Sydney, in addition to their inner city harbour view apartment which I currently live in. Lots of overseas VIP fought over each other to take Dad and his equally important travel companions out to dinner at restaurants ranging from The Establishment to Golden Century every night.
My husband and I were with them every where they went, acting as their property investment experts and as porters (we carried their shopping).

I think their favourite meal was at the Sydney Fish Market in Pyrmont, though....

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Anwar Ibrahim is free at last

I remember the day they seized Anwar.

I was in Australia at the time, in my final year of university.
All we have here is foreign TV, where they only show images of anarchy and chaos breaking out.
I anxiously called my parents' home in KL, not far from Anwar's residence, because I was genuinely worried for my family.

That was the moment I decided that I would NEVER return to Malaysia again.
The recent events have changed things, given me hope.
Viva democracy!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Global Blog Community

Blogging is new to me, this is my first ever blog.

I've been looking around, checking you bloggers out.
So many interesting people, so many bright, bright sparks on the net.

I went for a blog tour: country by country.
First, Australia and Malaysia......
Then Singapore...
Then Asia....
Then USA....

I want so much to leave a comment or link, to know you.
BUT I'm particularly afraid of the loss of privacy all bloggers seem to have experienced, at one time or another.

I'm worried about opening a can of worms in Malaysia.
Unfortunately, that's where the brightest sparks in the blogging community are.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Just a lighthearted post for once.

Thank God it's Friday, eh? Eh?

Hubby and his wanker banker colleagues are having drinks with the regional head of corporate banking division who has flown in to Sydney from Hong Kong this week. So here I am, alone at home at 7.30pm on a friday night, typing away on my laptop. Everyone else I know is out having drinks. SIGH.

OK, OK- I've already stated that this was going to be a lighthearted post.
And it WILL be, dammit!

Today, I was given a Masterplan that another architecture firm had designed- The client approached us and basically asked us to "tweak" it. The client is confident we can do a better job. Our reputation is in our Renzo Pianoism. So, I'm travelling to our Melbourne office in three weeks' time to participate in a presentation together with the director from our Melbourne office.

That's fabulous news. I love that snobby city. All things cultured and arty farty just LIVES in that city. I notice that more than a few prominent Malaysians spent their tertiary education years there, thanks to the Colombo plan. And I've met them too, in many a conference and many an international airport. (Yeah YOU people- you know who you are- who kiss my arse in front of my face because you know who my father is and who I work for and then stare daggers in my back for being the only *ahem* attractive *ahem* young asian woman amongst older white men.)

What are my plans this weekend? Oh, I dunno......
I'm going to chill and catch up with my assignments. I am way behind in my MBA units. Someone like me, who never studied a business unit in her whole life, is now, at 31, finally doing first year Bachelor of Commerce units like Accounting, Legal Framework of Business, Macroeconomics and Organisational Behaviour- which are the core units for any MBA degree.
Thank God for my husband, who is a finance whiz. (He's asian. He's got the natural talent with numbers. He deserves some nookie this weekend for helping his wife!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

My mother in law. (This will not be a pretty post)

She has never liked me, the hussy who stole her oldest and favourite son away from her. I have mentioned in previous posts that she worships him. She thinks the sun rises and sets with him. She takes all his financial advice and lets him control their family assets.

She has accused me of literally stealing him away from the sleepy little town they call home, to live in Australia. I can see that she is terrified that he will never end up taking over their family business (why the hell would he want to do that when he is capable of so much more: he is a Certified Financial Analyst and he has a Masters degree in Business), he will never be the one who takes care of them in their old age (not on my watch).

I have tried being nice to her.

Spending my holidays during the festive seasons with their family (she simply brushes it off, saying: "that's the way it should be."), I have explained to her that my husband does not want to take over their business, he has his own ambitions (she responded by pouring her heart out to his younger brother, who wrote a long email, pleading him to "come home" and be responsible), I have tried to tolerate her long distance calls to him every other day (she simply calls him on his mobile to avoid talking to me), I tolerate her daily pleadings with him to "come home" and her uneducated insinuations the pay is better there, the economy is changing etc. etc.

This woman tried to tell my mother who to put on the main table at our wedding dinner that my parents were paying for. She had always been insecure that we (me and my family) were "looking down at them" during our wedding. Jeez. I can't think of anything LESS classy than trying to interfere in somebody else's dinner. She made him break up with his ex girlfriend because she didn't come from a good enough family for him. I am confident I will not sound like I'm bragging in real life, if you knew me and my family, we're in a totally different class to them.

His father is just as bad. He bought a Dato' title for himself and paid for full page newspaper ads to tell everyone about it. He tried to stick his Rolex in front of our faces and telling us in detail how much it cost him. I've since had the chance to observe his behaviour: That seems to be something he likes to do: tell people how much his things cost him. He installed a DVD AV system in his car.

She makes me feel like an outsider when I am in their home. She'll only talk to me when her son is looking. The TV is constantly on this inane and completely insipid pop and variety channel. No Bloomberg, no CNN, no Discovery..... damn.
Her own husband's mother and her have a long running feud, they are at each other's throats all the time. BUT she makes sure she uses her children to fight her battles for her. She pours out her heart to them and makes them try to defend their poor mother. Thanks to her, my husband hates his own grandmother. He can't explain why, he has just grown up hating her. Thanks to her, my husband's younger brother hates me.

My husband is a nice person. Given, there are obvious cultural differences, but still, I just wonder why his mother is such an insecure person that she needs to do all this stuff.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Fag Hag

That's been my second name as long as I can remember.
Half the people I call my close friends bat for the other team. Maybe I gravitate towards them. Maybe they gravitate towards me. I don't know.

When Duran Duran played 3 gigs in Sydney last year, I went to them all with a gay male friend.

I have to admit I dislike the company of straight men because:
a. They just have to be "the man". A lot of them can't handle it when I want to be "the man". And the straight men who don't mind being "the woman", I have zero respect for- I mean, where's the fight in you, boy?
b. Sexual tension. I hate it when they want to get in my pants or even think of getting into my pants.
c. They're just so dorky.

OK. I admit I'm grossly generalising, out of boredom.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ah, marriage...

Well, we've been married for 5 years now. Our anniversary just passed a few weeks ago.

Let me just crap on a bit about marriage.

I met my husband the week after the final semester of our university degrees, at a "Thank God It's All Over!" party. He looked amazing. He's tall, lean but not thin, broad shoulders and he's got strong features for an asian man. His eyes are the prettiest thing about him. Eyes that any asian woman would give their firstborn for. Long eyelashes and big goo-goo eyes. He has a sharp nose and high nose bridge. A cheeky little boy's smile.

In the next six years: We fell in love, we dated for a year, we lived together, he proposed, we got married. We concentrated on our careers. He did a Masters degree, I became a registered architect, he did his CFA exams.

I'm a notoriously negative person, so I want to talk about how hard it is to live together with someone.

You bring totally different values together.

  • I was raised very differently from him. I was a rebellious free spirit- one of those spoiled kids driving big cars and unlimited pocket money that you love to hate. My parents were liberal, sometimes absent and raised me with a lot of trust. I turned out OK. Eventually. He was a studious overachiever (but not nerdy) who was responsible, a prefect, a star athlete in school. His parents worshipped the ground he walked on. He turned out OK. I think.
  • I always had servants tidying up my room and picking up after me when I was growing up- so you can imagine I am hopeless at keeping a house clean. We live in Australia, so we don't have maids here, mmmkay? Not unless you're willing to pay AUD$20 an hour for a nanny and AUD$40 for a cleaner. My husband is a neat freak who can't stand seeing a layer of dust on anything. He gets frustrated not because he expects a woman to do dusting, vacuuming, cooking and all that shit, but because he has to do it all.
  • My husband's mother thinks he's a the messiah, so she raised him to think that he deserves to be worshipped in the same way by the lucky woman he marries. He has a problem when I tell him he's wrong.(Ppppthhfft! That's the sound of surpressed laughter)
  • I'm an expressive person who feels confrontation is healthy.
  • My husband prefers to remain silent and avoids confrontation.

    That's only a few of our problems, but there you go.
    Married life ain't all rosy, folks.

Monday, August 09, 2004

You've come a long way, baby

I had a staff review on Thursday last week. Just when I returned from a business trip with one of our directors to my least favourite city in China.
OH GREAT- after dealing with demanding clients, now this.
The last review I had was in 2002....
There I was, face to face with one of the directors in our Sydney office.
I was positive about the whole thing and my growth in the company- heh.
When you're positive, it makes other people positive too.

The BIG BOSS doesn't actually do reviews. He's famous, he's an international architect, his name is revered and university students study his works as one of the greatest post modern architects of all time. NEVERMIND that he likes me, thinks I have balls and never gives me the same type of savage thrashing he reserves for designers whom he wants to put in their place, I have to earn the respect of the Managing Director of our Sydney office. And that equals making money, money money.......

It's sobering when you put a dollar sign to how much you make for the company. And I gotta say, last year, I made more money for the company than the raise they're giving me. I guess I should count myself lucky still- I get to travel, I get to work on a variety of projects from high rise high density residential to low density golf course resorts. I get to work on international projects which make it into architecture magazines. I will forever carry the name of this master architect on my resume. My future is pretty much set in architecture.

BUT the director did an about-turn when I mentioned my MBA.
Boy, did I regret mentioning a friend of mine who has since left our office for six figure per annum salary after her MBA.

MBA = seeya later, losers

Nah, I said. What I'm gonna do with that is I'm going to run one of your asian offices for you. Two more years at the most. I already pull in loads of contacts because I come from a country that says "It ain't what you know, it's WHO you know."

The country that tries to lure people like me and my CFA investment analyst husband back in their fold.


Sunday, July 18, 2004

DVDs and in-flight movies.

It's grey and dreary outside, a cold front has hit the city and has even dumped snow in the Hills district.
It's DVD marathon time.
I've seen Jack Black's School of Rock when I was on a plane enroute to an asian airport- one good thing about travelling constantly because of work is that you get to see a lot of movies during those hours you have to kill.

The firm I am in has quite a few high profile projects in Asia, some completed and some underway. So we travel to our branch offices in asian cities. I will be leaving for Singapore and Shanghai in the next week. Many big Australian firms are concentrating in China. This is where the majority of our current design projects are.

I have seen a blog post by a certain young Malaysian based aspiring architect literally gushing about our design projects in China. I thought he was a pathetic little yuppie wanna be- If he only begin to know what we do to grab those projects. But I digress, I am veering off on a tangent.

Back to movies. Lost In Translation, I saw earlier in the year.
It seems to be more about alienation and especially about the city of Tokyo.
It's a brilliant piece.

Going back a few years, another movie I loved is Four Rooms
A joint effort between four amazing independent film directors Allison Anders and Quentin Tarantino. Enough said.
Just because I like borderline indie films doesn't mean I'm not motherf**king yuppie scum.
I am yuppie scum. Right from my black turtleneck to my square black CK architect spectacles.

My apologies. I am veering off on yet another tangent, as one is expected to do, on days like this.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Meanwhile back at the ranch.........

The family home is in an affluent hilly suburb of the modern thriving asian metropolis Kuala Lumpur.

The hallmarks of asian wealth adorn this house. A six bedroom two storey bungalow on a hill. The other home is away from the city, near a slightly quieter but newly planned and developed city. This is the weekend house, where we gather for important events.

This is about my family. The most precious thing to me.

My father is an extremely busy man- he's in the newspapers almost every day.
He got to be the kind of successful man that features in magazines, the kind of man people address by his honorary title, the kind of man people immediately recognise... all because of his drive, determination and hard work. I don't know how he keeps up his schedule- he flies across the country several times a week and manages to squeeze in a game of golf here and there. Bet you anything he will visit his alma mater.
My mother is a fun loving lady. She has graced the pages of Malaysian Tatler a few times.
My sister is a busy corporate type in an international company. She is smart, attractive, single and successful. She's also got an amazing sense of humour. We are only a few years apart and we're very close.
My brother- he's a guy who gets along with everybody and everybody wants to be his friend. He is highly intelligent, analytical and cautious.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Attack of the Little Men from Planet Petty

Welcome to my neurosis
(e.g: The thing that's bugging me today)

Anyone who gripes about work to me just bores me.

Nobody is going to read my blog in its stages of infancy, so here we go:
There are a handful of people at work who have been there for, oh let's say: an average of 10 years between them. They're not directors or associates, none of them hold any particular amazing position at work.

They're the people who treat office politics like the be all and end all of their life. They scheme for pettiest things like the best seat in the open plan office. They're the ones who make sarcastic comments out loud. They're the ones who take other people out to lunch and asks them what they've heard A say about B behind their back. They plot and scheme to get the tall poppies fired. They all talk behind each others' backs. They all hate each other but they hang around together and squabble.

They won't leave their mediocre positions because they've been there too long, they're too scared of what's outside.
They're insecure because they've been sidelined and bypassed for promotion by people who have been there for much less time than they.
They pick people whom they think are weaker to build their little empire.

They'll be bitter to the very end.
Watch your back, because they live in EVERY work place all round the world.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Maiden Post

I think therefore I am.

I am fearless on the outside.
I am a neurotic mess inside.
I am a professional.
I am restless.
I am into my 30s.
I am reaching a burnout.
I am a sociopath.