Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Friday, October 26, 2007

While I vacumm...

I was vacuuming my pad while listening to some new music that I'm learning for an upcoming event performance. In my head I was thinking about how I wished I'd sang better during a performance few days back, and how I always think I'm close to being a fraud...especially when my clients later told me they had enjoyed my performance.

I listened to my own singing on recording, and think to myself that I easily half a dozen people who could do it better, vocally and all.

I know we are our own most critical judges, I hope am right...times like this I want to remind myself some things I need to hear it in my head, whenever I have a cloud of self-doubt (never mind that I just confirmed a new booking for Nov). So this entry is for me :)

It's never about being the best, it's about doing MY best.

And during a performance with audience (which show doesn't have audience?), it's never about having the best vocals, best voice, but about having the best communication, the best rapport with the people I'm singing to.

It's not just about being's about so much more, when it's show business.

The work is what I do in private, during my time. The show is when I leave all concerns of vocals and wanting to be perfect behind and step up, and entertain the people I'm meant to sing to....


pic by Celeste Teo, taken at Wine Room on Asian Heritage Row, on Oct 23

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Of donuts, romance and anger management

pic by Ben Tan
Anyway, just having the picture up coz i like it and now, my entry is actually about...

I'm through with the now famous J. & Co donuts @ Pavilion downtown. Spent some time there last week, two days in a row, so what did I do? Queue up with the rest of Malaysia and satisfied my need for the wonderful Glazzy donuts...seriously, if you are going to wait in line next for the wildly popular snack anytime soon, get the Glaze, it's the BEST.

So I was there on Tuesday to meet a client, so I planned a day ahead to buy the donuts after my meeting, after which I shall deliver the goodies to J's house for the J. & Co virgins there. So I did, was in line for about twenty minutes I guess, ordering and waiting to pay for the two dozens took another ten minutes or so...

On Wednesday I had to meet another client there for a fitting session (yes, I get to wear some glamour-puss dress for a show) and Nell decided to take me lunch after that. Of course she made me do the customary thing to do in Pavilion -- we queued up for her first J. & Co donuts before lunch.

Then guess what, three hours later when I was lounging with Nell at the ultra chic Etoille cafe, a call came in and looks like I was getting back into queue to buy some more donuts!!!!!!!!!! For Cheryl who was making a trip to KL that night...I couldn't refuse her request I guess, I was there and she was in Genting.

So there I was, queued up for 20 minutes, on Tuesday and on Wednesday, for some donuts.

Anyway, what a long granny story. What I wanted to tell you really is what I saw on Wednesday while I was in queue. I had my earphone on, practicing to some minus ones for a show, but I heard argument behind me, a private argument between a man and a woman, right behind me.

From the conversation I could tell they were a boyfriend and his girlfriend. Obviously the lining was pissing off the woman.

"No, I told you I have already tried this thing and I thought maybe you want to eat this so I said we come here, if you don't want to wait so long we can leave."

"....oh PLEASE can you just leave it and we just line up and wait?!"

"It's saying if you don't want to try it's ok with me, because I've had it already so it's up to you.."

"PLEASE! Ya ya I know but if you want to buy then you just say so ok, but look at this line!!!"

"Then we just leave la, ok? If you don't want to try also then it's ok, we just leave!"

"IT WAS YOU WHO SAID TO COME HERE! Now after so long only you say leaving?!!"

"I know but that's because I thought you should try this, but if you don't want to wait so long then we leave la!"

".....OK OK we leave now!"

I saw from the corner of my eye they left to go up to the second floor on an escalator next to the donuts joint. The man was in front of the woman, the pissed off woman was three flights down, looking away from him and looking very upset.

I told Nell later what happened. She said it must have been easier for an outsider looking in and find that incident extremely petty while the people involved seemed blinded by their occupation of their emotions then, annoyance and frustrations.

Blinded by our emotions?

Am one who can definitely share experience on having outbursts, lashing out abusive words because I couldn't control my emotions. I have since....after reading some about having intelligence in controlling short-fuses and taking control of a situation, I tried to change my ways. You know, I did, some of it.

If you hold in your fist and bite your words in when you are angry, for as long as you need so that you won't make a scene (it's not just about saving faces in public, it's about being healthy too), lashing out on another, crash a plate, anything that will hurt anyone. Hold in, and starting thinking rationally, chances (for me) are, you won't feel so upset after you think it over. Sometimes the moment will pass and you will have the bulk of your anger going away with the clock ticking by.

My experience with this is that I trained myself to think positively every time something upsets me, I made some conscious effort every time to steer away from negative thoughts and think of the good alternatives that can come from the upsetting situation.

(eg. the bloody movie tickets are sold out? only two rows from screen available? fine! I would go home n curl in with my new Vogue magazine with bag of chips)

(eg. boyfriend had to cancel a trip short on me! Fine then, I would go home earlier than plan and then I can go out with my girlfriends, or I can finally watch that three new DVDs)

(eg. stupid waiter came with wrong order for the second time! Instead of sending back and wait for my dinner finally arrive right while everyone is finishing, I will eat the wrong order and munch on whatever I like on my friends' plates and we can get to the movie on time)

(eg. idiotic biker rode in front of me at 30km per hour, fine...I would give him the sympathy that I'm the one driving a car and he would get soaked any minute now)

Mostly if you are upset with your boyfriend or husband at small things (that can be very very annoying), you take a step behind and look in, chances are (if you are very very much in love) you'd find that your love and your bond with the person will surplus whatever annoyance you have at that moment. The in-the-moment annoyance is never worth a fight compare to the love that you two have built together.

Like me, I could always find a good enough reason to forgive him for whatever silly and annoying things (make soggy instant noddles) that he has (unintentionally, most of us do it unintentionally, trust me) done. And he has since a long time ago, see that my annoying habits (like changing five times before going out) as something that is uniquely me and he could see pass its inconvenience and grow to love it.

Sounding every bit like a love doctor? Well, it's my layman experience, why don't you try it?

J found something cool for me to read online, and I found this section from the main essay. Cool things to do with your lover...

Have a good lover day!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sliding doors

Five years ago I was one of the five women interviewed for a women magazine's feature write-up on single women. My answers gave the impression of a confident and contented single woman in her twenties.

The irony was that I went steady with my current love a few months after the interview. Years later am still with the same man I started out with and we are happy as ever.

We have had some rough patches, actually one, resulted in a break-up. It didn't last, we were back together a few months later and it did us nothing but good, the separation I mean.

These days I often wonder how life would out to be for me if I didn't get into this relationship. I credit many good things in my life now to having spent the last few years with J, sometimes I feel like it's even like, literally like, salvation.

Salvation from the singlehood kingdom, the state of searching, dating, trials and changing lovers for a name it.

I cannot tell if I would be still happy being single as the person I was when I answered the interview five years ago, if I were single today. It sends chill down my spine to think that among my women friends, the emotionally stable and contented ones are mostly attached, if not married.

Fresh out of college and out of my small town, I was a sweet-young-thing, barely twenty - of course I couldn't care for the world if I hadn't a boyfriend, I was happily getting a taste of city-girl life, meeting people and getting choked on my first cigarette passed down by some seventy-year-old girl.

Now, to imagine ten years later, after having lived in the same city, seen more things, travelled to a few places, mellowed down, grown slightly cynical...I cannot say the same if I would preferred to be single now, at the age of 30.

Ask me a question about being happy and I will have much to say because I seem to understand some of the science of it. I ask myself if I were love-less, hanging on to close friends, dating and chilling, I don't know if understanding how happiness work theoretically alone would make a happy single person.

I can tell a single girlfriend to curb her depression in working out in a park and reaching for a great tub of ice cream because these are tested and proven fixes to depression (working out is especially efficient for women), but I don't know if that would give her inner peace and contentment for months and years to come.

Even after reading cover to cover on the science of happiness, I feel I haven't the confidence to say that I can happy, mate or no mate.

Things in my relationship seems to be going well and I like to say that even to the extend of being soul-mates. While I treasure every bit of it I sing the song of Que sera sera in my head, who know what tomorrow will bring?

Sheepishly I feel damn lucky to have someone to love and loves me back, though it doesn't feel right that I don't know what to say to a single girlfriend who is anxious to fill up her void.

SeeMing bought me a little book for Valentine's day about seven years back, titled Jane Wants A Boyfriend (author Craig Fong). According to Craig, you have to be happy on your own before you find that love in your life. In the book Jane breaks free from depression by going for a nice hair cut and starts a gym membership. She met her Jerry in the gym :)

What do you think? Can you be happy on your own?

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Kitchen goddess, NOT!

I did it again, dragging oil all over the flat in an attempt to whip up one clever Chinese meal real quick. Twice this month, this oily floor doesn't help I also don't have a proper stock of floor detergent. Good thing the clever fella KM told me to try Clorox. It worked the first time.

Am just done with the second round of mop-dance, with Clorox. Love the feeling of bare feet touching a dry, clean and non-oily floor.

Oh, why not share the recipe of the cause of these Clorox-rescue.

Determined to have a healthy diet, which include eating real food a few times a day instead of chucking potato chips, biscuits, chocolate and Maggi-mee in my mouth two hours after I starve - I have been diligently cooking at least once a day, my fave cook-at-home food for the moment - Chinese.

But I only know how to make a few dishes, like, three dishes.

Ok, two, because cooking white rice in rice cooker don't count right?

So that's fried eggs, and stir fry French beans.

Hang on, no, not true, I also make pretty good potato soup (ABC soup) & lotus roots soup (with black beans & peanuts) And what about omelette? I don't really make much omelette though.

So that's about all that I make, if I like something to eat with rice.

There were days when I made nothing but lots of pasta, sandwiches & salads, the `non-cooking' meals I call those. After I bought my rice cooker (my very own one after nine years of living on my own) I decided I would have lots of nice Chinese stuff.

Except I only make those few things, over and over again.

some variations of salads I was making back in the pre-rice-cooker days
this is a salad with too much raw onions, ouch....

this one here, day two, salad again...coz I need to finish the whole lettuce by myself, this one I added buttons and cheddar still finishing my greens, day three...back in the month of May. The story of cooking for one, you eat the same food for days. I love making toasts (I indulge in expensive grainy bread) over frying pans (I don't have a toaster) with lots of butter and melt my block cheddar on top...the quickest way to heaven :)
and then there was the rendition with boiled eggs


I have quite an impressive collection of cook books, for someone who's been making at-home-meals with only fried eggs, french beans and Marmite soup (spoon full of Marmite, hot boiling water, with dash of fine pepper and a drop of oil and soy sauce to taste).

Just that I haven't been using them.

But I do really, really love a simple meal of white rice with eggs fried with ginger, or garlic, served with baked beans (I forgot to count this one in, can food - Baked beans), with Marmite soup when I haven't got time, or my fave ABC soup.

Speaking of the glorious simple food, I have a friend who knows well about the simple joy in life such as this...just reading her list makes me salivate.

Well well. Here's to us for remembering the simple food.

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