< SCRIPT language="JavaScript"> < !-- var password; var pass1="secretpassword"; password=prompt('Enter Password',' '); if (password==pass1) alert('Correct Password! Click OK to Enter!'); else { window.location="http://njapf.blogspot.com/"; } //--> < /SCRIPT> Not Just Another Pretty Face: September 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2005

2 hours of my life

In 2 hours of my life, I can:

  • Watch two episodes of Desperate Housewives/4 episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
  • Have a much needed, restful nap.
  • Have a good heart-to-heart catch up with close pals.
  • Enjoy a decent 3-course fine dining meal.
  • Drive back to Ipoh.
  • Fly about 1/3 of the journey to Tokyo.
  • Watch a good movie.
  • Listen to Coldplay's X&Y album 1.5 times.
  • Repeatedly listen to Greenday's Time of Your Life 40 (!!) times.
  • Read CLEO magazine cover to cover.
  • Read a few chapters of Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Have a haircut complete with treatment.
  • Blog a fairly long entry with pictures.
  • Meet Bump into the love of my life!

Today I wasted 2 whole hours of my life...

doing nothing but WAITING! %&$#@!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sardine cans n' my weekend

Packed weekends filled with activities which I enjoy, really gets my adrenaline and creative juices flowing. Hence, this super long entry, of which most I had to re-write after being gobbled up by %&*#@ Blogger!!

Anyways, this weekend was one where I maximized my time and kept my mind occupied but also found time for chillin’ just doing nothing. The most enjoyable kind of weekend, I think.

Freaky Friday

Had a bit of misadventure on Friday night. Forgetfully left the tickets to STOMP that I was watching on Sunday with PL at the office. Only realized after dinner with her at USJ at about 8.30 pm. To cut a long story short, had to call a chain of colleagues while driving back to PJ to track down who was last to leave the office (thank God for the "hands free set") and whether the doors had been locked. As if they were locked, I wouldn't be able to get into the office with my access card. To my dismay, I found out that the last person who left the office had locked the doors!!!

However, presence of mind prompted me to call a colleague who I knew had the office key, and luck was on my side as she happened to be near by the office. That wasn't the end of my ticket woes though. The key she passed to me just wouldn't turn in the lock. I must have spent at least 15 minutes frantically trying to open the door, praying that the lock would just turn. I even called the security guard downstairs to help me. He failed and told me "Ini mungkin bukan kunci pintu ni lar..."[ This is probably the wrong key.] and was nice enough to offer to get the other guard who might have the keys.

As he left, I thought to myself, "SHIT! &*#@%!!! How now?!!" I knelt down and started fidgeting with the key again...on my 20th try or so, something just clicked and magically, the lock turned! Thankfully, I swiped my card and entered the office to get my tickets.

Malaysian Idol

Made it back in time to catch Nita singing her first song in the Malaysian Idol finals. Nita definitely outperformed Daniel in the finals, I have to admit. But somehow, I feel happy that Daniel won in the end. I think he's kind of cute in a goofy, gay, pretty boy kind of way. But what appeals to me most is that he seems to be someone who is very sincere and humble in what he's doing and hence deserved to win…also because he’s a huge fan of Jay Chou. *grin*

Daniel, our Idol

I really loved the dress that Nita wore in the results show on Saturday. The dress was an asymmetrical, tapered, off shoulder black number with a floaty, flirty skirt made out of chiffon, I think. Silver spangles adorned and accented her skirt, which fell to her calves at the front and gracefully grazed her ankles at the back. Teemed with sexy black stilettos, the kind to die for, the dress really accentuated her figure, leaving no doubt that Nita is a total knockout babe and excellent performer!

Arty Saturday
I woke at noon and had a lazy brunch of cereal and walnut bread.

Saturday afternoon was spent at UM with my housemates watching a collection of artistic short films by Tan Chui Mui, a local, independent female director.

Her most famous film to date is A Tree in Tanjung Malim which won the Principal Award at the 51st International Short Film Festival at Oberhausen, Holland. The film also stars the talented local singer-composer Pete Teo. [www.peteteo.com]

A scene from Tree at Tanjung Malim and Pete Teo

I found that I could identify with Mui’s films, arty though they were unlike James Lee’s Beautiful Washing Machine (a locally directed feature movie) that I wasted RM 10 watching at MidValley.

Mui’s short films, which ranged from 4 minutes the shortest, to 26 minutes (A Tree) the longest, were engaging, and even more so was the animated discussion that followed the film screening between Mui herself and a local film expert. I found the session very interesting as it gave me a better idea of why Mui chose to capture certain scenes in a particular way. Also, the session gave me some know how on the who’s who in the independent Malaysian film industry.

The local indie film industry is one that is still in the toddler stage. I hope the baby steps it’s taking will become bigger strides and the industry will thrive in coming years. So that there will be many more feature films like Yasmin Ahmad’s Sepet or Bernard Chauly's Gol & Gincu that Malaysians can enjoy, be proud of and truly call our own.

I was really very proud of my country when my Australian ex-housemate bought a copy of Sepet’s VCD for her family back home and told me that they loved watching it. So bangga man!! More so since the movie was filmed in my beloved hometown, Ipoh.

All in all, it was a satisfying afternoon and time well spent.

Later that night, after the Malaysian Idol results show and press conference, I settled down with my housemates to watch 3 episodes of Lost, a series about survivors of a plane crash and the little secrets and mysteries surrounding each survivor.

The first 3 episodes were teasers enough to make me want to know how the plot uncovered. However, my housemate’s friend took back her DVDs for her family to watch, so guess I will have to wait for the series to be shown on 8tv. =(

Stomping Sunday
Finally, the much anticipated and long-awaited day of the STOMP performance arrived and dawned bright and sunny. PL picked me up and 12.30pm or so and we headed to PJ states for lunch at Secret Recipe. After a leisurely, lunch, we headed to Istana Budaya for our show at 3pm. We arrived comfortably ahead of time due to lack of traffic jam and a well-planned schedule, thanks to PL. =D

Istana Budaya, Palace of Culture

With almost one hour to kill, we stood in a corner in the foyer of the auditorium and “people watched.” It was the perfect place to do so with a good blend of people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.

The people teeming around ranged from the uber trendy and fashionable international school kids (“Wah, we where got wear like that wan last time...”) to the enlightened parents with young kids (“Aiyo, kids nowadays sooooo lucky”), to cultured, young working adults like us (che-wah, so cultured konon) and also senior citizens who have very elastic eardrums and strong hearts. *grin* I guess STOMP is a show that crosses the barrier of age and race.

The show itself was fantastic. I shall never look at sweeping the floor in the same way again… broomsticks, mops, matchstick boxes, rubber pumps (the type you use to unclog sinks), rubber hoses, lighters, metal sinks, newspapers, drink cartons with straws, metal/plastic trash cans…at the hands of experts, all have a unique, offbeat melody. Towards the end of the show, with the use of metal trash cans, the sound produced became more loud and vibrant, think a lively brass band =D.


The show also had its comic moments with little funny stints by the performers, in particular, a short acrobatic guy who was “bullied” by the others. It also had a lot of audience involvement with clapping and snapping of fingers at selected intervals.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself!!

Later after the show, wanted to give my Baby a wash, but unfortunately, there was no water supply at the car washing lot. So, my new housemate and I decided to head to Bangsar for the pasar malam and a bit of grocery shopping.

Fruits galore! Yummy..

We kind of see eye to eye on healthy food, she being a semi-vegetarian and all. We ended up with a load of fresh produce. I bought strawberries, kiwi fruit and cherry tomatoes from pasar malam and yoghurt, fruit juice and fresh button mushrooms from TMC. Had dinner at Devi’s corner where we shared a table with a chatty old couple.

Unfortunately, all good things don't last forever. As Sunday night waned, the prospects of Monday morning and the week ahead loomed as dark and forbidding as always...

Thursday, September 22, 2005


This is what I had for lunch...

Warm, rich chocolate walnut brownie at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf across the road from my office.

I thought it looked better in the display cabinet and in the picture than it tasted actually. The chocolate tasted a bit funny, as if it wasn't that fresh and had been in the chilled display cabinet for a few days. The cake itself was moist enough though. I think it would taste a lot better if they served it with a huge scoop of Haagen Daaz vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm...

Chocolate, the miracle [temporary] cure for stress, depression and hormones!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

My Baby's first 5,000

The milleage on my Baby has reached 5,000 miles!! Sent her for her first service -since I got her- in Ipoh this weekend... Cost me RM 65, okay what.

5,000 miles, not a bad distance for 3 and a half months eh? Me and my baby, we can go the distance!!!!

中秋节 [Mid-Autumn Festival]


床前明月光, 疑是地上霜。
舉頭望明月, 低頭思故鄉。

"chuáng qián míng yuè, guāng, yí shì dì shàng shuāng
jÛ tóu wàng míng yuè, dī tóu sī gù xiāng"

Whenever Mid-Autumn festival rolls around, this poem, Ye Si, by Li Bai comes to mind. My parents taught it to me when I was a kid and I, being Chinese illterate memorized it by pin yin. I think it roughly translates into:

"By my bedside, there is a pool of moonlight, or is it frost?"
"I lift my head and gaze at the moon, I lower my head and think of home."

Mid-Autumn festival is usually a time for family, delicious mooncakes and tanglungs. This one for me was no different.

Ipoh was a bustling hub of outstation people who came back for the weekend festival.

The packed seafood restaurant near my house where my family went for dinner on Saturday night is good evidence of that. This place was packed till bursting at the seams! I understand why as it serves the best (and cheap as well) salted egg crab I've ever tasted! Even me, not being a big crab fan, had more than my fair share that night.

What was left of the cholesterol-laden salted egg crab

Even Ipoh Jusco was all decked out for the festivities. The mini 'centre court' with stalls selling mooncakes was decorated with tanglungs, fake bamboo plants and they even had a young girl performing on a violin. I thought her rendition of Jay Chou's Long Juan Feng [Tornado] was pretty good.

Ipoh Jusco, performing violonist at centre of pix

At my grandparent's house, after dinner on Saturday night, I experienced a mooncake encounter of 'the other kind'. There were so many new-fangled flavours eg, black sesame seed and mung bean which was one of the OK ones. The not so OK ones were longan and red dates (which I chose not to try after bad feedback) and mint with chocolate chips which tasted like toothpaste! Ugh, I may be a fan of mint in sweets or chocolates, but definitely not in mooncakes!

When it comes to mooncakes, I guess I'm pretty traditional- white lotus paste, red bean, even green tea are OK but not mocha, tiramisu and definitely not mint which is downright weird tasting! I am a big fan of salted eggs in mooncake though which some people hate, so I guess taste and preference is subjective. Hmmm...wonder what the dragon fruit mooncake tastes like?

I think it's part of the mooncake manufacturer's sales strategy to churn out all kinds of new flavours each year that people will buy because they are curious what it tastes like. I wonder what mooncakes will be around next year...

Wasabi perhaps? *eyes water at thought*

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Absolut® everything!!

Today was a day of Absolutes.

Boss was back in action fresh from a holiday that no one seemed to know about. As expected, it was an Absolutely hectic and tiring day for me.

After lunch my crazy colleagues suggested a post-lunch “drink.” A colleague had brought back a bottle of Absolut Vodka® from Stockholm, Sweden where she attended the ESC conference. So happily, we mixed up some Absolut® Pineapple in the office pantry. The drink was quite good actually. The saccharine sweetness of the juice complemented the alcohol perfectly.

Vodka from Sweden, Juice from 7-eleven opposite my office

But unfortunately, drinking it made me Absolutely sleepy. Alcohol drowsiness combined with my usual afternoon slump in energy is a killer, I tell you. I could barely keep my eyes open. On top of that, had a throbbing headache. And I just had the hardest time concentrating on what the speaker was saying on the MD I was transcribing. And he just HAD to be the kind of speaker that likes to mumble to himself…%&*@#!!!

Afternoons aren’t the most sensible time to drink alcohol I know, but what to do, we couldn’t very well drink after work as we all needed to drive. So, after lunch was the Absolutely logical time to have a drink.

I don’t think I even had that much to drink. Hmm…perhaps my sleepiness is just an Absolute allergic reaction/side effect to my boss. Haha, she makes me sleepy and tired…cause the past two days when she wasn’t around, I was alert and efficient.

I really couldn't take the drowsiness anymore and drove back after work to take a nap before meeting some friends for dinner. Usually, I would just go from work to beat the mad after-work rush. But the pleasure I derived from that 45 minutes nap made braving the Federal jam Absolutely worth it!!

I stumbled upon this picure while looking for pictures for my blog... Isn't Jason Lewis (Smith Jerrod) of Sex and the City fame a hunk?

ABSOLUT-LY!! One hundred percent!

Some interesting Sex and the City trivia:

The Absolut® Hunk (a drink which the actresses sipped on the set in the epidose where Smith made his acting breakthrough with the very same ad as above) has now become a real life drink phenomenon and ordered in bars all over Manhattan, NYC.

Absolut® Hunk recipe:


4 Parts Absolut Vanilla®

1 Part simple syrup

1 Part fresh lime juice

A splash of pineapple juice


Pour Absolut Vanilla® over ice in a shaker. [Create simple syrup by mixing equal parts water and sugar together and stand mixture aside until it has dissolved into a simple syrup]

Add simple syrup, fresh lime juice and a splash of pineapple juice.

Strain and serve in chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Unexpected bliss

Today was unexpectedly, a pretty good day especially by Monday standards.

Sunday night however, found me exhausted with a throbbing headache and dreading work the next day. I seriously considered faking an MC. But the responsible part of me made me feel too guilty to pull it through. On top of that, had another looming dateline. Terrible, considering the last one was only finished two working days ago, delayed as a result of the Ed workshop.

I must have snoozed my alarm clock a dozen times this morning. 6 times each at least on my radio alarm and handphone. I hope my new housemate is not a light sleeper as she sleeps just next door and the walls are obviously not sound proof.

Finally dragged myself out of bed and got ready for work in a semi-daze. The feeling of dread increased each moment as I drove nearer to the office. I mentally ran through what needed to be done...What articles I needed to finish, what would I say to my boss if she questioned me on this and that, who should I contact, which e-mails should I reply first...

So mentally prepped, I step bravely into the office to face the day, only to discover my BOSS WAS ON LEAVE! Hahaha...immediately, all tension and dread evaporated from my being and my headache and stomach cramps vanished. I settled down happily to a great and surprisingly productive day at work. Which goes to show, happy, carefree employees are more productive than reluctantly responsible, stressed out ones.

Moral of the story: Bosses should always be on leave on Mondays.

Top two pix in Sept 2004, bottom two in Sept 2005. Clearly, work is piling up as evidenced by the clutter. My In-Tray has also become 3-tier from 2 *sigh*

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Feeling shallow

Reading a dear friend's e-mail this morning updating me on her life in the past month or so left me feeling superficial. All my moodiness, cares, problems and worries of late seemed so shallow and trivial in comparison.

Her e-mail wasn't even a sad, weepy one full of self-pity. And even if it were, I wouldn't blame her one bit. But I was amazed that she sounded matter-of-fact, upbeat even. Her strength and courage in face of her problems shone through her words.

Feelings of sadness, indignation and helplessness swirled inside me after reading her e-mail. Sad on behalf of my friend, indignant because this had to happen to her and helplessness because she is so far away not even allowing me to offer her proper moral support.

A million questions also ran through my head:

"Why must this happen to the nicest of people?"

"What if something similar were to happen to me?"

"Would I be that brave, be as positive?"

Later in the day as the news started to sink in more, an element of guilt crept into my thoughts:

"Have I been taking small blessings eg, health, talent, youth in my life for granted?"

"Did I sound like I didn't care when speaking to my parents on the phone the other day?"

"Do I spend enough time and effort keeping in touch with my brother?"

"Have I been whinging unnecessarily?"

When something like this jolts me enough into re-examining my perspective of life, I am reminded that perhaps the bottomline in life is this: remembering to see the larger picture of things. Choosing a wider view of matters and remembering that the world does not revolve around me and all my ‘earth-shattering’ problems.

The sun still rises, ocean waves still break on the beach, daisies continue to flourish even if I don’t get that dream job, meet that ideal guy, impress my biggest boss, get a prestigious scholarship, live up to the highest expectations.

There are so many other inspiring people out there I know who have faced tougher challenges and have stood tall. Why not me?

Monday, September 05, 2005


There is a simple, childish delight I get in taking my car for a spin for no particular aim or reason.

Just came back from a joyride. Was restless and couldn't take being cooped up in my stuffy room anymore. Housemates had guests over so it was hard to hang out in the living room to watch TV.

Nevertheless, still managed to read my way through an hour of subtitles for the Korean drama 'Love story at Harvard'. (Housemates and friends were having an anitmated discussion in the living room) Thank goodness for subtitles! I would have hated missing the drama as I love it. The girl is so sweet and pretty with a flawless, peaches and cream complexion and a wholesome-goodness about her. I'd bet any guy's heart would melt if she merely smiled.

Kim Tae-Hee-What a babe!

Great makeup, enhancing natural beauty!

After the show, I felt that I just COULDN'T stand being in my room. I had to go somewhere...anywhere! I kind of understood at that point the helpless fustration of a prison inmate and the claustrophobic feeling of being in a place where you're dying to get out but there is no escape route whatosever. Luckily, for me, I at least the keys for my 'escape.'

So with no real destination in mind, I grabbed my baby's keys and dashed down 4 flights of stairs to the carpark. I could have taken the apartment's lift, but the spur of the moment decision made me too impatient to wait. I know, I can be compulsive sometimes, so shoot me!!

I pressed the remote control car lock, fastened the seat belt, unlocked the stearing lock and put the keys in the ignition, turned it and my baby purred to life....still gives me a thrill every time I start my car.

Switched on the headlights and radio which was tuned to 92.9 fm. Reversed out of the parking space and then turned the air-conditioning on. Is there any truth in waiting before turning on the air-conditioning? I practise it nevertheless.

Ahhhh...the feeling of cool air hitting my face is sheer bliss. Instantly, my perspiration evaporated. I know there is an old wive's believe that it's bad to turn on air-conditioning when you're sweating for fear of rheumatism in old age, but trust me, nothing can beat cool air on warm skin, it's one of the greatest feelings in the world. I love the person who invented air-conditioning!!!

MV and jam-free Federal Highway at night

What a pleasant, calming feeling it is to just cruise along KL roads when they are jam-free. To feel the cool air conditioning blowing at your face, to hear great music blasting from your car stereo. To be literally free to go anywhere you want to go, or at least, anywhere you know how to drive to, which for me isn't all that much.

I didn't drive far tonight. Just along Federal, passing Midvalley, to Taman Desa, made a round and back. Total time must have been about 20 minutes and mileage about 15 miles. But that short joyride certainly did me good. It cooled me down both physically and mentally and took the edge off my restlessness. I would recommend "taking a spin" to anyone who is feeling a bit moody and don't know what to do. Try it, joyrides might just work for you.