Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sweet 16

I had a date with the sixteen-year-old me last night. I went through my old photos, read my old blog posts and brought the sixteen year old me alive. It was as if she was standing there, right in front me, with all her pride and shame, fears and insecurities, hope and dreams, twirling and singing to me.

I came to discover a lot about her. She had a young strong voice, one that was muffled most of the time by her lack of confidence and the fear of what others would think of her. Nonetheless, I felt that this young girl had quite a lot to say about life and relationships around her, she was sensitive to emotions and feelings, mostly of her own. Sometimes, she rose above herself, appearing confident and self assured, other times, I see her sobbing, especially in front of her family, who ceased to notice her. Despite having sensible thoughts on humanity at times, overall this girl was naive. Her sixteen year old was structured on grids and lines, she was clear of each territory, and was sure of the consequences of crossing them. To her, black is black, white is white, the notion of grey only appeared out of sympathy and the allowance to bend the rules sometimes.

That notion, that this is a black and white world, faded in time. Much of the naivity and optimism has slowly chipped away. Some of the core attributes still remain, however, I feel like I'm still fighting the battle she fought, still pursuing her unfinished business. One of them is the acceptance by her family. If I could say anything to her, and if saying anything could have made a difference, I'd tell her to find an avenue to voice out her thoughts, I'd tell her not to be afraid to pursue her dreams, and to believe in herself more.

And I believe, if she could point to me and say something in return, it would be, "Tell it to yourself, me."

My favourite quote from me then,

"...Lonely, but not in a negative way. I'm starting to look at loneliness in a different light now. I believe that one must maintain a certain degree of loneliness in order to cherish the ones they love. Besides, it is in loneliness that we can reflect on ourselves.

Loneliness is only segregation from other human beings, by which we uphold our own distinctive identity. However, we are never truly alone because God is always with us, whether you believe it or not."

December 29th, 2006.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Leave your eyes with me

Can you go away?
But leave your set of eyes
Leave your set of eyes
Follow me around all day.
Oh can you disappear?
don't come, not too near,
but leave your eyes just here.

Let your eyes follow me,
my smile, my tear
even my lingerie.
let your eyes linger, just here.
see me upside down
see me go round and round.

Oh can you take your words away?
the same old ones i hear everyday
but leave your set of eyes
leave your set of eyes, with me.
Follow me into the night
see me get into a fight
with the moon...

Leave your eyes with me
Been staring at myself all day
Saw my shadow tried to kill itself
So take my eyes away from me
But leave your eyes
Leave your eyes with me.


坐著 等著 走著時

Memorable Petronas Ads

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bumper Issue Vol. 1 No.1


If I could ever be the director of an autobiographical movie on the late Malaysian producer/director Yasmin Ahmad, my movie title would simply be named,"Ibu", because that's how I portray her in my mind- the mother who gently reminds her children about the simply yet fundamental things in life, using words and vivid images-literally.

I was only fortunate enough to have sat through a lecture given by Yasmin during my first year undergrad studies in media comm at Taylors last year. Though it was only a one hour lecture, it was condensed with a lot of simple, down-to-earth messages, mostly about coming back to the fundamentals of humanity and culturalism. A friend of mine recently posted a comment on my facebook status saying, "She is a simple lady who has a simple vision to unite all Malaysians in Malaysia." I think simplicity is beyond her vision, it's in her aura too. The way she dressed, the way she talked and the way she carries herself was so unfrivolous, so real.

One of the things that I remember Yasmin saying in the lecture was that advertisements should not be all about hard selling a product or misleading consumers. She pointed out that advertisements can make a bigger impact if they found a connection with consumers - and these connections could be about everyday things in life that people take granted for. One of the examples she gave that I would remember for life is this: A client who sold batteries wanted her to promote the fact that the new batteries had 'higher' capacity when in reality they had lowered the old batch and raised this new batch of batteries to their original capacity. The client said, 'nevermind la, the consumers won't know...' Yasmin was annoyed and said, 'the consumers include my father, my mother, my sister and the rest of my friends and family members, are you telling me to lie to them as well?'
Not many practitioners would have taken such a brave stand in the face of profit and revenue.

Yasmin's early demise does leave a void in the local film and advertising industry, but i think, as much as we grieve, we should also rejoice over the fact that in the brief moment that this angel has managed to spend on our land, she has helped open many new doors for us.

p/s: Ho Yu Hang, the rest of us are looking towards you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"daddy daddy see what i drew?"

3 Distinctions. 1 Higher Distinction.

Mum was so excited that she searched RMIT's website to find out about their grading systme. Never in my life has she been so interested in my academic results. Growing up, my parents always maintained the policy that our education is our responsibility. It doesn't matter if you came in first or last in class, as long as the apple don't fall too far away from the tree. They would be proud of you, they would beamed at all the prizes and awards, but a smile and the pride in their eyes is all you'd get. I admired this policy and would do the same to my children.

3 Ds and 1HDs is really not the best result around, i totally understand. I'm not elated or super proud myself. It's the process i seek, not the end result. Still, i reckon it isnt a bad result. I am not looking for your validation or whatever pride you have left of me. But I reckon i'd rather you not say anything than to say this, dad:

"Ok la...congratulations la did well. But I don't think you're the only one right? I'm sure a lot of people scored this grade too, at least 20% - 30% did?"

You don't have to say anything if you have nothing encouraging to say.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coco Avant Chanel

Most girls and women would do anything to own a Chanel. Those who can afford, would pay a price that could amount to six to eight figures for a Chanel dress or her famous tweed jacket. Others find themselves yielding to her signature fragrance-simply named No.5. Poor students like me have nothing to offer but to brave the wet and cold weather, forgoing three meals just to pay for a film about the legend, the empress of the empire herself-Mademoiselle Coco Chanel.

Although quite shamely, the movie was focused more on Chanel's love life - and the eventual lost of her true love - it did give an honest portrayal of the strong, independent and fearless woman who single-handedly shifted the paradigm of fashion in the early 20s. Audrey Tatou's portrayal of the fashion pioneer herself was convincing and strong.

It always amazes me how women like Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel were courageous enough to stand firm on their grounds, and not be affected by people or norms that shaped the society around her. One of my favourite quotes from Chanel was the one she said in Harper's Bazaar in 1923 : "Simplicity is the keynote for all true elegance".

In Chanel's own words, "There are several Duchesses in Westminster, but there is only one Chanel!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You once asked me if i reckon this will work out.

I think we might stand a chance.

All we need to do is learn how to laugh.

It's been a long time since I laughed at you and with you.

And tonight, I did. We did.

So, if you asked me again, if i reckon this will work out?

I'd say, we stand a fair chance.

All we need to do is keep breathing, keep yearning and keep laughing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A speck of blue

Tonight, I feel small.
Tiny, meagre, nothing,
but a speck of blue.
In a fiery furnace,
I'm a speck of blue,
wishing, I could live as you.
My father, my mother,
they're red,
but i'm a speck of blue,
wishing, I could breathe in you.
They're trying to speak,
trying to listen,
but i'm only a speck of blue,
wishing, I could walk with you.
I am trying.
What else can i do?
In a scarlet sea,
I'm a speck of blue,
wishing,I could see through you.
I'm a speck of blue,
hoping, to talk to you;
But most of all,
I'm a speck of blue,
yearning, to be talked to.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cussonia Tree @ Melbourne Uni.

They thought she was lost.
As she floated aimlessly from
one gate to the other,
poking her head in to any open window.
But she was merely,
letting her instincts guide her feet.
Taking in the faint smell of
acid corroded paper.
The odour of academia-
stale, sturdy and stern.

They watched her with a frown.
They mocked her curiosity.
Her romantic eyes, they hated-
how she looked at them romantically.

But she was too busy
wishing underneath the cussonia tree.
Temporarily forgetting her dispositions.
Indeed she was looking at them-
with romantic eyes.
Arrogantly they went back to sleep.

It was a cold winter's night.
Yet she remained under the cussonia tree,
and allowed the blade-like wind,
in the shape of her love's body-
to caressed her cheeks,
press itself against her bosom,
piercing deep into her naked heart.

There they made love,
the wind and she.
Under the cussonia tree-
over and over...
over and over...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Once Wanted To Be A VJ

Here's a fact that not all of you might be interested in, but if you must know, 90s RnB gets me more amorous than any amount of oysters I can feed on. If you're my potential boyfriend, i hope you're taking notes.

I've been listening to Janet Jackson's I Get Lonely and Whitney Houston's Heartbreak Hotel for the past one hour. Just these two songs, on playback non stop. It's my new red wine and chocolate.

I guess there is a big part in me that will always resonate with these songs from the 90s like how mum clicks with The Carpenters. It brings back memories, it brightens up your day, and it sure makes you snicker at youngsters these days, saying,"tsk tsk tsk, these young dopes, they ain't know nuthin' about music..." Those good old days of MTV Pop Charts , Channel V's American Billboard. Those days when VJ Sonia, Asha, Jamie, Donita and Utt were my role models, those endless practises I had being a VJ in front of my toilet mirror.

Ahh. I will come up with a list of songs that you can play anytime of the day, any amount of times you want and I'd still be bopping my head along. But for now, I'm going to play those two songs again before I hit the sheets.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Overwhelmed. Touched. Inspired.

In order of the gifts that I've received, I'd like to thank:

Xiuxiu. Thank you for your sweet journal that has been personalised with my name on it. I really wanted a journal so I was really happy and touched when I opened your parcel.

William. Thank you for the Vittoria Stove Top Coffee Maker. It was one of the things one my wish list and i didn't know how you found that out. I was actually eyeying it on Woolworths Online Catalogue. I'll make you a cup of espresso as soon as i master it k? Promise.

Hann, for your call. Wish you were here. All the time.

Yik Han, Yi Hui, Jing Harn, Derek and Dong Xiao for ambushing me at 1230 am with a cake and trick candles. It took me 4 try-s to finally blow them all out! =) Was so close to tears though. Touched is an understatement.

Jun. Your timely present is really practical and useful!! Thanks so much and yes, I recognized your writing instantly!! =) hhahaha!! Messy and written with Love. Thanks dear!! I am wearing the socks now btw. Haha.

Jessie. Thanks not only for being a wonderful housemate and colleague. For all your patience and kindness. Thanks for your mug and the burrett!! Thanks to Tim, Antonia, William, Tee (Lipton) too!

Tsu Mei and Chris. Thank you for your Winnie the Pooh slippers. It looks so warm and comfy!! Hee! Now Jiajia cannot say anything about me walking like an elephant.

Yan. Thank you for the daisies, of which you do not know yet that is my favourite flower. And....i cant believe you really bought it....but the Il Papiro Leather Journal is beautiful. It really is! Thank you so so much dear friend.

Monday, July 6, 2009



The Day Before I Turn 20

Yes, this is the post about the day before I turn twenty. Yes, twenty, not twenty-one, not twenty-something(I have to constantly remind my new friends who constantly reminds me that I'm not acting my age enugh).

The day before I turn twenty, I spent the whole day in the shoes of a full-time housewife. To be more specific, I walked in the shoes of a Vietnamese migrant-housewife attempting to cook an Indonesian dish. To illustrate this otherwise confusing and absurd disposition, I have to go back to the wise idea i proposed last Friday. Upon seeing the TV ad of MJ's Last Concert airing on Channel 7, I turned to Jessie and said, "hey, let's order Pizza and watch MJ's concert on TV next Monday. We can call Yan and Tsu Mei over!" Our heads bopped up and down excitedly. 5 minutes later, I said, "Nah forget Pizza, I'll cook." I cooked last week as a result of my PMS and everyone seemed pleased, i just had to smother everyone with my motherly love once more! Snort. Yea right. Anyways...I decided to try my hands at Indonesian cuisine this time, in honour of Yan. He's the second person I know who's as excited about Tempe as I am so he earned it.

Don't ask me how and why the combination of MJ and Gado-gado came about, besides both being very mixed and confused. I've only heard of Gado-gado, and all i know is that it is similar to our Malaysian Pasembur or Indian Rojak, because Peanut Sauce is the base of both dishes.

For the Vietnamese part, it was because I had to take a tram down to Richmond-one of the suburbs that has a relatively large Vietnamese community (i will blog about it next time, makes me miss my Vietnamese friends back home) to do my marketing. Victoria Market is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays. I bought a Mortar at one of the Asian groceries (actually, only Asian groceries exist in that area). I know, I'm a poor student who is about to get poorer very very soon, but I felt that the Mortar would be a good investment. It's like listenin to LPs, something is just different.

I'm off topic again. Bottom line is, I spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen, pounding my own Sambal Belacan, boiling Dried Longan Tong Sui and my Gado-gado. Whew. It was more work than I anticipated. But it was well worth it, especially seeing the homesickness on Yan's face. MJ rocked the house too, as always. With Jiajia away, we could finally crank our TV volume up t0 50 and scream our hearts out.

It's fifteen pass 12 now. I've turned twenty according to Australian time. My phone line is open and I'm really hoping you'll call.

1215am and I'm talking to you and i'm happy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hallmark Moments

Jessie, Tsu-Mei and her friends and I went to Hawthorn Craft Market today. It's a craft market that takes place only every first Sunday of the month. It wasn't a big one but i did managed to buy really beautiful hand painted birthday cards for my family. Actually, i can't wait till November to send them out. Jess said I could send them the cards out of spontaneity. I bit my lower lip and pondered for a minute. It would be a really wild gesture but maybe it is called for. Maybe the spontaneity will mend wounds faster. Maybe i should get over the conservativeness and the rigidity that were possibly the cause of the problem in the first place.

"'Just thinking of you dad..." "Just missing you mum..."

Since when have we fallen into the close-minded mould that many traditional Chinese families were created from? Since when was it such a taboo for us to say we love each other among ourselves. Why do my hands tremble and my lips quiver slightly whenever mum hands the phone over to dad? Or why do i half-wish that dad won't be everytime I call? Sad, isn't it? But that's what we've been reduced to.

You think I should send that card soon don't you? I know you do. I can feel your heaad nodding.

p/s: I can only take photos of the stuff that i bought tomorrow as my SD card is with someone else.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hole 空洞 : Part 1

I once had a hole.
A big, fat, round hole.
A dark, black, bottomless hole.
It had no beginnings,
needed no end.
Just a long tube of empty sorrows.
Not a stranger who wanted to be a friend.
Not a friend who acted like a stranger.
Just a hole. A non-pretentious hole.
I had a hole.
To talk to.
To shout and screamed at.
To whisper to.
To stick my head in and
learn how to stop breathing.
A hole that was mine.
A hole that was there, rain or shine.
A hole than embraced me,consumed me,
suffocated me with a wave of nothingness.
A whirpool of madness that sucked me in.
Still i came back for more...