Friday, August 31, 2007

View via the pinhole that is my blog

They had a father's day breakfast at the school and any kid who wanted to, could read poems they composed for their dad. So when her turn came, I was thinking, This is going to be cringeworthy, cos the first four girls were quite so. You know, Dad protects me, sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, lovey lovey, kissy kissy etc etc... But it was actually really cool. She wrote about what I wasnt. Not a superhero, not a cook, not a cleaner, and some others which I cannot remember. What I was was that I was her Dad! I felt, relieved, cos it was non-cringey. Good kid.
So what did I do for Fathers day? I cleaned after her, I cooked her bacon and eggs for breakfast, pancakes for dinner and we went bike riding. I dont know where she gets her inspiration for her poems from. *sighs*

I went for one of the many talks they held for the Melbourne Writers Festival. The guy from Boing Boing was one of the people speaking. He is such a well prepared and polished speaker and made the others look quite dull and unfocussed. Very entertaining speaker.
One of the ladies speaking made the unfortunate decision to wear a skirt for the session. Because of the elevated stage, it was like that Sharon Stone interrogation scene from Basic Instinct. It was so distracting. I know, I know. I couldnt bear to watch but cannot look away. What was the talk about, you ask? I dont remember.

Anyway, Susanna had this 80s music lyrics quiz on her facebook which I got a paltry 4/10 and of that, some of them were lucky guesses. Heh. Well, who pays attention to the lyrics anyway but to be honest, I wasnt really listening to that type of music.
So I was dredging my memories back to the 80s as to what I was listening to then. Dont judge me but prominent in my memory was a lot of Windham Hill. Yeah, no lyrics, see. Some Yo Yo Ma, lots of Stevie Wonder (Hotter Than July), some Vangelis, The Police, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Quincy Jones (The Dude), XTC's Skylarking and Michael Jackson. I said, Dont judge me. But most prominent amongst them was Kate Bush. I still think The Dreaming is the most complex and multi-layered album that I've ever come across.
Oh yeah, and this very talented French composer Jean Michel Jarre and the English group Scritti Politti. I liked them both a lot. Ahhh.... the 80s. What?
Now? I've been listening to this Lily Allen song a lot. On repeat. Yes, I admit, not much of a leap there.
And no, I never listened to any Yanni.

OK, I admit it. I considered doing a "Chai has left the building" kind of post. Maybe next month. Till then.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bending the Truth

Good lord! I wonder what these guys are like in a social setting. How does one bring up the topic without coming across as being weird? "Hey, you know what would be really fun?".

Speaking of fun, it's funny how some people can affect me. I've had many occasions where I've had to deal with people where each meeting prior, I tell myself I am going to be very very patient and not get riled. But when push comes to shove, I lose control and get visibly irritated.
So if spending time with such a bunch of people, who communicate using endless barbs, where every interaction has some underlying tension even if the topic of conversation may only be the latest episode of Sesame Street, where just purely from the tone used is enough to raise ones anxiety and stress levels no end, affects me so badly, why do I do it? Why indeed?
To those people who have asked me this, I say to them, "Mum, Dad, you are family".
But Kim loved being the centre of attention, getting everything she wanted.

Trip back to M'sia was OK. Wasnt a holiday so much as a trip to visit the olds. Coming back to a house with a temperature of 4C after 16 days of 32C/99% humidity is a little confronting though. Still, I think I prefer the cold.

Each trip home does dredge up lots of almost forgotten memories.
Kid : Who was that guy you were talking to, Dad?
Me : Do you remember me telling you when I was 7, and this bigger kid 6 doors down from where I lived told me that there are some birds which will swoop down on you and pluck out this special hair on top of your head which acts like stopper to keep your soul in? And when this specific hair is pulled out, you suffer great indescribable pain and you die very soon after? And that I didnt dare leave his house for hours until I had to and I sprinted home like I've never done before with my hands on my head, screaming for my mum?
Kid : Yes.
Me : Well, that was him.

And driving past the place where I used to sometimes play table tennis as a kid made me wonder what happened to the guy who used to bully my friend and I? I dont remember his name now, but everyone called him Fei Chee, which when translated means fat pig. I wonder if I can get any compensation for that. I could handle some free money right now.

Anyway, some pics from the trip, in case you had nothing better to do.

Soundtrack to viewing the pics? PSB's Being Boring. Though in reality, listening to this song often makes me feel a little melancholic. Maybe that's why it's the only Pet Shop Boys song I listen to regularly.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Seeing what's not there

Sheet. I just typed in my name and the word blog and my blog comes up. I was going to write about how my procrastination is costing me money but I recall reading how some employers are using the net to do background checks on prospective employees. So writing about this could be 'detrimental' to any future job applications.

So procrastination is not costing me money. I didnt leave applying for my kid's passport renewal so late as to require the express service and I didnt have to pay an extra $76 for the express service. And I'm pretty sure the apostrophe in kids in correct.

Ah well, the internet remembers all. So they'll now know about my car accident, my run-in with the japanese takeaway etc etc... But do hire me anyway. I work quick and am quite easy to work with! References available. Note that I am not looking for work right now.

Anyways, where was I?
Oh yes, I was saying that I've always been conflicted about eating meat. Sometimes when I chew, I can imagine the muscle and tendons that I am chomping on. And sometimes, the personality of the animal in question. Yes, yes, don't judge me. It's pretty distressing enough but I am too weak to give up meat. My best effort was a meatless 7 weeks about 10 years ago. Anyway, I read recently that some Dutch scientists are making meat in the laboratory. Isn't that cool or what? You could eat anything you like. Chicken, beef, whale, tiger, dodo, eagle, panda, giant tortoises. And all without a single animal being killed. A world without abattoirs. Now that would be worth seeing, no? And no methane problem from the cows too. Cant wait for that day. And then, I'd really go vegetarian. :-) Icky, no?

Anyway, will be eating satays (in M'sia) exclusively the next 2 weeks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You cannot get good satays here though this place comes pretty close.
I told the kid I'd take her to see her cousins in the U.S. next year if she'll read 10 books of my choosing. She thought about it for like 5 seconds and said "Dad, I think I'll get to go anyway so I dont think I'll be reading those books". I would have threatened to not take her but I was so flabbergasted by the reply that I just went "Uh, ah, ah, uh...". But she's right. She's going to go anyway. This is the kid who at 4 years of age asked me "When mum goes out, can I be the boss?". What makes her think her mum's the boss and furthermore, what makes her think that when her mum's out, the #2 spot is up for grabs? Creative parenting is hard. Bring back corporal punishment, I say.

And isnt this a pretty song? I'm still puzzled as to what instruments are used in the chorus and how they are arranged. Sufjan is a major talent. He can even make the scales sound really good.

Catch ya later.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cleanest room in the house

is now the laundry!

[Update : Bloody blogger. It disabled comments by default! Just noticed.]

And there I was, wondering why this load of washing was taking such a long time. I then waded into the laundry and spent the next hour mopping up the results. Ah well, the mowing will have to wait another week. And it is a 20 y.o. machine. Amazing it lasted this long. But then, it wasnt used very much. :-)

Some joker has been going around and drawing faces on the heads of the figures the council put on the footpaths. Some of them look like Jack, the Pumpkin King. Much appreciated. The kid and I had a good laugh.

Speaking of, snippet of a recent conversation.

[C is doing work on the computer]
F : You know how you dont eat much chocolate anymore, cos if you start, it's really, really hard to stop.
C : Uh huh.
F : And if you've not had chocolate for a long time, you dont even miss it. And it doesnt even cross your mind to long for it?
C : Uh huh. [continues doing work on his computer]
F : And then all of a sudden, someone comes along and offers you tasty, tasty chocolate, which you initially resist but once you give in and you start consuming that sweet, sweet and oh so rich chocolate in large quantities and then just as suddenly, the supply is halted and now, you're in the situation where you lust for lashings of that luscious chocolate, almost all the time?
C: Uh huh.
F : I wish I didnt crave now what I didnt crave then.
C: [distractedly] Uh huh.
[heavy silence]
C : [stops typing] Ummm, you're not talking about chocolate, are you?
[dog barks in the distance]
C : *big sigh*

Best song from the album.
Flaming Lips. Well, either this one or "One More Robot", which I hum more often. Mostly cos the ringtone of the reception desk in the front office sounds like the first note of the song, which then leads in to the song in my head. Hope the link still works.

And it seems this blog has lost a lot of momentum. Is there anyone who'd like to write something for it? Me? I guess. But if you would like to, let me know.

Catch you around, soon.

Monday, April 30, 2007

As Strange As You Are

Awwww crap! Is it already almost May? And April has only 30 days? Since when?
It crossed my mind to do a very terse Sex Pistols "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated" post but that would be cheating, right? After all, the purpose I blog is to treat this as a repository for my memories, which will all be lost, eventually, like footprints in the sand, snowflakes on the sill, tears in the rain.

I started listening to this song again. I think this is best song from the album. Subl may or may not agree. I must have listened to this song at least 500 times, since 1998. Funny how it makes me remember stuff that was happening around then. Personal stuff, not public events.

Anyway, I see Mandy is going to be the Australian ambassador to Italy, land of Versace, Gucci, D&G, Prada etc... Milan fashion will never be the same again. I just hope I dont have to pay another $30000 for more language lessons. That woman amuses me.

Hmmm, this is harder than I thought. And to those vicious anonymous commenters leaving messages like "its almost that time of the month again for Chai...", it does NOT help! And your unique phrasing gives you away, you little witch!

I guess I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here but did you know my mum was a teacher at the primary school I went to? Anyway occasionally, the school held plays, some of which had female characters, which isnt a problem normally except it was an ALL BOYS school. And guess who managed to snag this prized role? I wonder if having to wear my sister's dress in front of the whole frigging school affected my personal development? We will never know.

Das is alles, I'm afraid.

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Hey, you got a song out of it. Not a whole song? Complain, complain, complain. Leave a comment/email regd this and I'll see what I can do.

Just trying this feature.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Smile

Speaking of smiles, not that it bothers me in the slightest (what, me shallow?), but has anybody noticed that the presenters on Channel Nine have crooked mouths, namely Ms Fanning (who I think is pretty hot. Whoa... I didnt know she was Bernard's sister.) and their male newsreader who sometimes does the late news, might be Michael Usher.
Or maybe it is just my TV.

On to more sombre matters, I read of this totally disgusting murder. I can completely understand why the Americans are not liked over in Iraq. I wonder about the others that are not reported or caught. Would drive one to be a suicide bomber.

Click on me!

A Current snapshot of my life, a break from all this reminiscing that seems to be going on. So I bare to you (a snippet of) my soul, for all to see. Be kind to my nakedness.

"Meet me at the Moravia. We need to talk." Oh oh.

It's the old, old story. Droid meets droid. Droid becomes chameleon. Droid loses chameleon, chameleon turns into blob, droid gets blob back again, blob meets blob, blob goes off with blob, and droid loses blob, chameleon and droid. How many times have we seen that story?
[Apologies to Red Dwarf]

Same old, same old. I've heard them all.

* I only like you as a friend
* It's not you, it's me.
* I'm getting married in an hour, for God's sake.
* I already have a boyfriend.
* I am leaving the country.
* I need space.
* I am leaving Melbourne.
* My lesbian partner forbids me to see you any more.
* I am not ready for this
* I am married to the sea

And thus I was subjected to what I shall, from this day call the Moravian manoeveur. Ah well.

One of the above reasons is NOT true.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Holy Canelloni

Doesnt that Mr. Turnbull person seem like such a nice guy? The things that flow from that mouth. I'd lose that smug look if I were him cos it might make some people want to smack him in the face. Mr Abbott should start looking over his shoulder to protect his most-smug-politician position.

Apart from raving about Pan's Labyrinth, I have nothing new to say. Go see it, if you get a chance. It's worth it, even though it is brutally violent in parts and made me look away on more than one occasion (OK, 4!). Admittedly, I am of the queasy variety. Best movie I've seen in a long time.

Am afraid I'll have to dredge something from my unreliable memory for this month's post. So technically, this could have been written ages ago. No timeliness factor here.
[will now need you to imagine the screen dissolving]

"Whoo-hooo". Finally, some real use of my Malaysian passport. No visa required for Czechoslovakia. The consulate in Australia had suggested I get it when I was in Germany. Munich confirmed I needed one but was only open like 2 hours a week and seeing as I was going to be in London. Anyway, when I tried to get one, the London consulate contradicted them. "New law. You dont need one", said London. I'd just saved AUD$60!!! SIXTY buckeroos!

That Saturday, I then drove to the Czech checkpoint at Waldhaus, armed with my visa-less passport. I'll omit the "professional hitchhikers" anecdote for brevity. The guard glanced at my passport and waved me through. Heh. I spent the rest of the day and all my money at Karlovy-Vary. They shot Casino Royale here. Real pretty place.

Anyway, happy and penniless, with my haul of Bohemian crystal, I headed back to Germany. This time, the Czech guard examined my passport, scrutinising every page and then said, "Visum?". Huh? "Visum?!" Holy shit!!! What's he talking about? What visum? Instinctively, I squeaked "Sprechen Sie Inglisch?". I could feel the sweat slide down my armpits. I was alone on this trip and would not be missed at work till Monday. My visions of spending several nights in jail accompanied by snippets of Midnight Express was interrupted by the answer I least wanted to hear. "Nein, nur Deutsch." "Oder Czech.", he helpfully added with what appeared to me to be a menacing grin. [Will need you to imagine subtitles here] Eeek!! I then slowly explained (in pidgin German and in a pitch higher than what I normally use) how the London Consulate assured me I didnt need a visa and if he double checked, he'll discover I didnt need one. Thereafter, I spilled my guts, telling him about my work, my childhood, how that shoplifting incident was really all a misunderstanding. "London give incorrect information", placing his hand on his holster. My bladder contracted.

With 40 kroner left (around AUD$2, give or take), bribery was clearly out of the question and the barricades seemed pretty sturdy, even for a speedy Ford Sierra (black, 2.0L, Stuttgart plates). The other guards had that "Why dont you try it, buddy" look, whilst caressing their automatic weapons. After holding up traffic for a few more minutes, he gave up and grinned "Next time, get a visa".
Yeh, sure, next time. I snatched my passport back while thanking him profusely (and silently prayed that they not shoot me in the back as I drive away) and when he tired of this, I quickly drove off before he could change his mind. You should have seen the other cars overtake me for fear the same thing repeated itself at the German checkpoint, which it didnt. These days, I insist on getting a visa everywhere, regardless of need.

And thus ends this month's entry. Thank you for your indulgence.
Note that the Czech republic is a great place to visit. I'd revisit it in a flash. If you'd like more travel tips, give me a buzz.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I was heading to Fitzroy on the very crowded peak hour tram. As I sat in my seat, the pungent aroma of urea wafted in around me. Phooo-eeey... It was hard to determine where the source was. I looked around. No obvious candidates. Very strange.

I gently leaned to my left and took a little whiff. The intensity was even stronger. Echhh. I slowly leaned back but the intensity did not decrease. Very strange indeed. So I tilted my head in the other direction. The intensity still did not decrease. Hmmm, so it's not any weaker on my left nor on my right. This makes no sense. Then a horrible thought popped into my head. "Ohhhhhh no, it's not possible". I started very discreetly sniffing my clothes. Phew, I thought to myself. It's not me. As I looked up, these passengers across from me were looking at me with an expression best described as sour. "No, no, no", I violently shook my head. "It's not me", I assured them. I think my denials must have been quite convincing cos they all quickly looked away. I had to get off the tram soon after and so never got to figure out who or what it was that was the source of the smell. I hope the fact that the smell remained after I got off would have convinced my fellow passengers that it was not me. I hope the smell remained after I got off. I hope.

Ah well. Anyway, was meeting indecisive Simon for dinner. Half way to the pasta place, he reckons he feels like Indian instead. Now I had heard a lot about Indian Chinese food and how great it was. This is the Indianfied version of Chinese food. I've spoken to many many Indians (from India) and they rave about how great it is. Many Indians. One even ventured to opine that if he had to give up Indian or Indian Chinese, he'd give up Indian food. Quite a call. Now after hearing such consistently high praise from so many varied sources was making me really curious about this food. After numerous enquiries, I finally found one place which cooks this so called Indian Chinese food, in Malvern. "I know just the place", I said. Small problem was that I only knew the name of the restaurant but not the address. And then, a lightbulb moment! Telstra offers a service where if you SMS 191SMS with a command like b banjara vic, it will sms you back with business names with the word banjara in it's listings. I've never used this before(*). So I waved goodbye to my 55 cents and lo and behold, it sent me back the address I asked for. I've never been so excited before. Why? Because I sort of worked on the system last year. Boyd did the b(usiness), p(erson) and m(ovies). I did the sn(ow), w(eather) and su(rf). One of the very rare times where something I do at work (or ex-work, in this case) is actually useful in real life. I is happy. I explained all this in great detail to Simon but he didnt seemed all that impressed. Maybe cos he had to concentrate on driving. Anyway, we found the place no problems at all. It's near the train lines, cnr Glenferrie and Dandenong Rd.

Piece of trivia. Did you know that beep when you get receive an SMS is S M S in morse code? You did? Gee, I must have been the only person on earth who didnt know that. Disclaimer : AFAIK, it's like this at least on the Nokia phones.

How was the food, I hear you ask? I'll write a review of the meal at WDCoF soon. When I brush up on my adjectives, that is. Till then. Oh yeah, if any of you would like to be part of the WDCoF motley crew, let me know. We have low (actually, no) standards.

Viral marketing? What's that?

(*) OK, technically I have, in the lab. But I've never paid my own money to use it before.