< 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 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Happy Moments

What do you do when life bogs you down with its seemingly neverending worries, frustrations, dissappointments, hurt and loneliness?

Typically like most girls, most of the time I shop, or eat dessert (the more chocolatey and rich the better...and after that fret and feel guilty about the extra calories), whine to friends who care enough to listen or at least, bear with me (Thank goodness for these special people!), escape KL and run home to Ipoh, and sometimes, as what 3-seconder's tag has reminded me to do, is to reflect on and remember happy moments in your life. A little exercise that should serve as a wake up call to yourself that life has not always been that meaningless or difficult.

So what have been the happiest moments in my life?

I remember a surreal moment in the wee hours of one morning in 1999 halfway up the peak of Mt. Kinabalu. I remember it was freezing, I was exhausted, my legs felt like lead and I was sprawled on the rocky terrain fighting altitude sickeness in the thin mountain air. And then, I saw a small but clear streak of light flicker across the sky. A shooting star! I remember closing my eyes and wishing with all my heart that I would make it to the peak of Mt. Kinabalu, which I subsequently found some hidden strength in me to actually achieve! The feeling at that point was an exhilarating, adrenaline-fueled conviction that I could achieve ANYTHING I put my mind to! Ah, the lovely innocence of youth! *reminicises*

I remember a certain English teacher when I was 16, who set me and some other kids in my tuition class to write an essay that ended with the phrase "...and they looked at each other and smiled." In the two hours allocated, I fancifully wrote a story about this nerdy, bespectacled, plain-looking boy from Ipoh who met the most beautiful girl he had ever seen at his grandmother's 80 year old brithday bash in Penang. The girl gave him a stunning smile across the room (which he thought was meant for somone else and actually looked behind him to see if there was anyone there) but he didn't have the nerve to speak to her at the party. When he went home to Ipoh, it felt like he was a different person, because a girl that beautiful actually noticed him and smiled at him, and that one smile changed his life. He became more confident, he ran for and won the election for Computer Club president and started writing his own software program. The program subsequently won him a scholarship to a presitigious university overseas. One fine day, he spotted a girl walking in front of him who looked very familiar. With his new-found confidence, he went up to her. She turned to him and it was that girl from the party long-ago...and they looked at each other and smiled. Such a childish story, but one I will always remember. *reminisces* My teacher loved the story and the writing. I realized at that point I was actually good at something I enjoyed doing.

More recently, I also recall a surprise birthday party for my 25th birthday planned for me by someone special to me at that time. Everything was just perfect, and best of all, I was really, really surprised and touched. It was one of those unforgettable nights that only happen once in every rose-tinted dream.

And of course, the little things my parents do for me. My happy anticipation as a 12-year old of my dad coming home from US business trips with books for me, where I would always get the Sweet Valley books ahead of their release in Malaysia. My mom sending stuff to me from Malaysia when I was in Glasgow.

It's a short list and nothing overwhelmingly outstanding by most standards except that they are memories and experiences uniquely mine. I think this little exercise sorta worked though...among other things! :)

Have a great week ahead everyone!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Orgy on books

I finally got around to using the Borders book cards that I received quite some time ago. Luckily for me, they don't have expiry dates!

I got two Tony Parsons (because I loved Man and Boy), two Jodi Picoults (because I've read so many rave reviews about her books) and The Alchemist (because I was looking for a third book to get the Borders 3 for 2 promotion). Hehe.

Someone recently asked me who my favourite author was and I was actually quite stumped which I found mildly surprising.

After giving it some thought, I think I really don't have a favourite author! Because there are so many authors whom I think write really well and yet, each of them have such diverse writing styles and write about such different topics! How can you say one is better than the other when they are so clearly different? Of course, I have never studied literature or really examined books with a miscroscopic view and hence, probably haven't read enough books in each and every genre to decide which is my favourite kind. Instead, I dabble in all types of books and most of the time, I just read because it's something fun to do.

I think I read based on my moods. Chick-lit like Shopaholics when I'm feeling frivolous and in need of a good laugh and entertainment, Sci-Fi or fantasy when I feel in the mood for reading about how Good always triumphs over Evil (I wish!), arty-farty and interestingly weird Jap books by Murakami when I want to read something different and any other books that happen to catch my attention be it by being mentioned in a movie, by it's attractive cover or by a friend's recommendation. I recently read Thousand Cranes by Kawabata, recommended to me by someone in a Book Club meeting. Quite good, and I look forward to getting some insight on what he was really trying to portray in his book!

Btw, Happy Mooncake Festival to everyone! What's your favourite flavour? Mine's the very conventional lotus paste with one egg yolk or red bean and lotsa lotsa pipping hot tea to go with it! ^_^


Monday, September 17, 2007

And another one bites the dust

I attended another wedding this weekend.

It’s the 3rd one I’ve been to this year!

This weekend’s wedding was a garden lunch at Top Hat in KL. It’s a restaurant in a refurbished double storey bungalow, serving mostly Nyonya fare, which IMHO on that day was nothing to shout about.

Since it was a Christian wedding, there was the usual pastor’s sermon, singing of hymns, solemnization of vows (which I have always thought and still think, is the nicest, most touching and meaningful part of a wedding) and of course after it all, the customary bridal toss of the wedding bouquet.

The latter was the funniest part of this wedding.

The radiant bride clambered carefully onto a chair, helped by her bridesmaid. The Master of Ceremony announced that all single, unmarried females should gather behind the bride to see which “lucky” girl would catch the bride’s bouquet and thus, as the belief goes, be the next girl to get married.

The crowd of 100 something guests tittered and waited expectantly but not one girl stepped into the sunny clearing.

I tried to make myself invisible by staring at the ground.

A few reluctant moments later...

The poor bride from her precarious post looked beseechingly at the cluster of her bridal chi mui entourage, which I unfortunately, happened to be a part of.

Earlier this morning we had been a bunch of giggly, devious girls thinking up ingenious tasks to make life difficult for the bridegroom and his best men, before they were allowed to pick up the bride from her room.

Now, all of us looked like she wished she could dissapparate on the spot.

Unwillingly, with egging from the crowd and mostly for the bride’s benefit, the bunch of us straggled into the clearing, a fine sight in our strappy heels and flowery sundresses.

The bride heaved a sigh of relieve and readied to toss her bouquet over her shoulder.

We collectively edged further and further away from where the bride stood. At one point, I noticed I was right in front of all the girls and I instinctively took two huge steps back, and settled comfortably at the back of the group, which was now a safe 12 feet away from the bride.

The Law of Physics would not allow the bouquet to reach us.

In the end, the cute little 5-year old flower girl happily caught the lovely baby-pink rose bouquet.

Her mother later laughingly told us that she was the only girl not shy to catch the bouquet because she was too young to understand the significance of catching the bridal toss.

I don’t know about the other girls, but for me coyness had nothing to do with my reluctance to catch the bouquet.

It had a lot more to do with the sweltering hot mid-day sun, whose rays were beating down mercilessly on the unsheltered driveway of the restaurant (pictured above, with tables removed) where we had to stand.

Over-exposure to UV rays are bad for you. ;)

Haha, what did you think was my reason?

Disclaimer: Contrary to the drift of this post, I am not a jaded, bitter female who does not believe in the sanctity of marriage. Really, I am not! :)


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

All things bright and beautiful

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness."- John Keats

I think Keats was right. Granted, beauty may not be everything in life, but there’s no doubt that being beautiful adds significant value to your life.

Beauty, like money, has the power of transforming an ordinary life into a life less ordinary.

Superficial as it may sound, I think that in nine out of ten situations, being physically beautiful, gender nonwithstanding, is always an advantage on top of intelligence and hard work, don’t you agree?

Then of course, there is the saying that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. What does that really mean?

The cynic in me thinks that it’s a lousy way of saying, “Sorry, nobody thinks you’re attractive except me, but I’m blind and deaf BTW.”

The eternal optimist in me would like to believe that it means that someone actually sees beyond your exterior, sees you for who you really are, ugly flaws and all and still thinks you’re the magnificent shining sun and that the whole world revolves around you.

Cynic or optimist, take your pick!

The bottomline though is that people enjoy being around objects of beauty. People love beautiful scenery, beautiful buildings, beautiful cars, beautiful music, beautiful food even (think Jap cuisine) and of course beautiful people.

Me? I have a soft spot for beautiful shoes. Ooooooooooh, I could cuddle these solemates of mine to sleep! (I’m exaggerating of course, what, you think I’m crazy or something?!)

Some of my beautiful new shoes, photo inspired by 3smem's blog about girly stuff! =D

And beautiful make up packaging like Stila or Benefit. The latter's packaging is so retro dontcha think? And Stilla has the bestest, prettiest, most beautifully packaged lip glaze ever. I’ve actually never tried using it before, haha, but with packaging like that, any girl who uses has to feel like the most beautiful girl alive. Packaging sells! These companies have a smart marketing team that’s for sure! I’m waffling...ooops, sorry!

It’s not hard to imagine why the beauty industry is such a thriving one in today’s world. Facials, make up, manicures, pedicures, waxing, slimming, most of course, targeted at the fairer sex and of course, not forgetting the new-age metrosexual male. All this pulling, polishing, painting and squeezing ourselves into an unfathomable mold.

What's the point, I sometimes can't help but wonder.

But after all's been said and done, I agree with this tagline I spotted at Benefit’s counter in MidValley.

A smile can make anyone beautiful.

"A smile can make anyone beautiful...so grin and wear it!" Kinda ironic, since they're selling cosmetics, but maybe reverse psychology works in pushing sales?

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the 911 tragedy. It's been six years already.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007


For some inexplicable reason this morning, I woke up debating in my befuddled sleep-deprived brain, whether there was one or two "gs" in "Armageddon". (A quick Google check confirmed the singular "g".)

Why I was dreaming about the Apocalypse, The End of the World, the final battle between Good and Evil, watever you want to call it, is anybody's guess.

Was is indigestion from the maggi mee sup soto ayam (which in yesterday's unfocused post-work state, prepared it in maggi mee goreng style- no wonder it was so salty!) that I had for dinner? More possibly, it was my pre-bedtime reading of Preludes and Nocturnes (Yes, I finally finished it!). Dark and twisty but interesting nevertheless, because of its strangeness.

But really, who knows why you dream what you dream?

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