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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Letter eighty - Day one-hundred-and-ninteen of your vacation

Dearest J,

Tomorrow I drive home to my parents.  Thursday will be home alone for two days.  I got her new food, it's a different and double the price, that shop didn't have her usual brand.  She loves the new food, walloped it heartily.

She is sitting next to me on the same chair now, cleaning her face...and behaving.  This morning I think she buried her favourite toy (of the moment) in the accident, maybe?  I threw it out.  The toy was a purple hair scrunchy that I gave her.

Had dinner at your house.  Mama wanted to give me a Sarong, told me to pick any I want from a fat pile of sarongs, all presumably vintage.  I picked one out because of its softness in the material, being well-worn.  It was the only one in the pile that is a ready-to-wear sarong skirt.  Mama made the skirt with hooks, it's exactly my size, she was my size, she said.

February is not `empty' after all.  I have a dinner gig on the 5th day of Chinese new year.  Then on the 16th another one.  There are three more dates in February that am waiting for client's confirmation.

Your wisdom for my singing is slowly showing even more nowadays.  You told me to always include operatic numbers in my wedding gigs.  Yesterday at a client's lunch meeting, the family hiring me to sing at a birthday dinner do had asked me to consider singing an operatic number at the performance.  Last week at another dinner gig the event planner (Bebe my friend) had asked me the same thing.

You are truly very well-loved.  It's in the air...I was at Tristan's birthday do at your house and people spoke of you with so much fondness and love.  Aileen's mom told me she dreamed of you just the other night, you were eating her new year biscuits, the love-letters.  She said you ate non-stop with a big smile on your face, telling her it was yummy.

I half dread the new year but am happy to just step up to whatever's ahead.  Anyway I think I look forward to seeing my parents, I haven't seen them since the funeral.

I got very emotional after leaving your house earlier, coming home to pack for tomorrow.  I felt a lot for your parents and Alex suddenly, suddenly re-living their moments of pain and what they must have felt.  We can't tell the future but I hope we remain as family for a long time to come.

Thursday is staring at me again, from this chair.  It seems to be what she does most of the time when am home with her.  Am really curious about what goes on in her pretty little head.

Poor kitty, the next two days would definitely see a lot of fireworks round the house here...I hope she just, be strong and huddle under the sofa bed.

OK, I better pack now so I can get to bed soon.

Miss you.  Love you lots.


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Friday, January 28, 2011

Letter seventy-nine - Day one-hundred-and-sixteen of your vacation

Dearest J,

It's been 4 days since I check in here.

This morning after a phone call with my sister about CNY, I was combing my hair and making a mental check list on things to do before next week's holiday.  A sudden thought came to me - I wonder if you had the chance to talk to us, what would have been some of your last words.

I imagine you would tell us to take care of some people for you in your absence.  Take care of Mama.  That seem to be your job all your life, take care of things, and take care of people.  Even in your most unintentionally disorganized ways, you have always taken care of things and people.

Mama just rang up!  She asked me to bring friends over for Tristan's birthday.  She is making jelly today, for the party I presume.

Am glad that I was able to `take care' of you a little in the past.  You were the easiest person to please.  You were thrilled just to have me help you pack for your business trips; you were always damn happy to have me around to help you fold those damn working shirts so they fit nicely in your back pack for work; you'd get all glowing just listening to me talk about singing and doing a show.

If anyone is listening, I think you'd want us to take over now, and take care of things.

Call Mama more often, visit her whenever I have the time.  Be peaceful, don't fight, don't get angry unnecessarily, practice singing a lot, sleep early.

I think we'll be fine.  If having known you for that many years mean anything, it would be that now we are able to continue on living your legacy, your old ways as the guiding light.

It's CNY next week.

I had three incredible days down at Singapore this week.  I was truly having a holiday bliss.  Was happy I could be happy there, even without you there...I savoured every single moment of `lepaking' and being with good people, good friends.

I have a gig tonight.

That means it's time to have breakfast, and get ready.

I love you long long....




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Letter seventy-eight - Day one-hundred-and-eleven of your vacation

Dearest J,

Am hosting a singing rehearsal at home now.  Scott and gang are rehearsing in the hall now, am not in that piece so I came in here to babysit Thursday while I do my stuff.

The Tawau gig was such an amazing success, am totally relieved.  I had quite some butterflies before the performance...worried about my stamina of moving in that heavy gown and dancing, and singing those what I know now, rather ambitious repertoire.

The ladies at the agency said the host thought I was very good and entertaining!  Entertaining!  I could definitely use that skill - to be entertaining :)  Now this gig would really put off some of my self-soubts for a while, while I work on getting better.

It sure help to have fantastic back-up dancers too!  I was constantly being lifted very high in the air in a few songs and all my dance choreography were so well-designed it made me look good.

The other complement I received was what wonderful dance company that I have hired for the client.  Dawn and company wowed them with a totally sleek Burlesque performance.

Thursday had her third bath earlier.  I mopped the house after I got home from the airport today.


rehearsal done :) I sang a Mozart today.

Am off to Singapore in the morning with Tania.  Three days there.  Excited about going to watch Carmen the opera.  Three days in Singapore is too long for me, but it looks like it should be quite a productive one in meeting up with friends.  Going to take Tania to Bugis to shop too.  Want to have lots of great conversations with friends too.

Ok, better eat something and sleep soon :)

I miss you today.  I lied in bed this morning in Tawau, trying to imagine how it felt like to be held by you in bed, when I ask you to hold me tight tight.

Love always,


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Letter seventy-seven - Day one-hundred-and-eight of your vacation

Dearest J,

I've been singing and singing! :D  Practising my singing I mean, at home.  The feeling is that I just can't stop singing once I start.  It's so...addictive!

Am reminded now how much I love singing classical music, now that am learning my songs for the sacred music concert in July.

I wonder what Thursday thinks whenever she stays in the room while I practice....

Gotta `tighten' my belt a bit since now am going to spend quite a bit every month on singing lessons.  Will sacrifice for my passion.

And really, it's about time I go back to the classroom.

Here's pic taken by Brandon last week at that orchestra gig

Sandakan gig last week, Friday.  Had a blast with the wacky East Malaysia musicians.  They are Teddy Chin Jr (sax), Leo Liew (bass), Peter Lau (drums), Angelina (vocals) and Roger Wang (guitar)

Here's one more from the wedding gig last week, Saturday...Rina from Crossroad took this one

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Letter seventy-six - Day one-hundred-and-five of your vacation

Dearest J,

I just scrubbed our toilet floor, I do a way better job than the cleaners I hire.  The laundry is still in the washing machine, done a while back.  The heavy downpour just subsided few minutes ago.

These days I have a little daily cleaning routine which I have grown to enjoy, I like to see the dirt gets swept up and go into the bin.  It's also kinda meditative and therapeutic, and it's something to do away from the desktop.

Thursday gets more adventurous these days.  She likes to sit on top of my study chair back rest and enjoy the view from there, it looks out into the River City stretch and Jalan Suppiah Pillai.  Mostly she amuses herself watching me type, after she's done looking out of the window.

Miss you,


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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Letter seventy-five - Day one-hundred of your vacation

Dearest J,

I went for a really nice supper with Brandon after the orchestra gig, we talked about living and death.  He told me that you have a rather esteemed reputation in the bikers circle!  His biker friends know of you, a good biker, good at what you do and they heard about your master class too :)

We had a nice time, comparing notes...about our experience in living as the `living-other-halves'.

Despite the cold, and I having gone through the performance earlier with stuffed nose and huskiness, etc, I am looking forward to everything that's ahead of me.

That include a cab ride to the airport at 5am, very soon.

And making music in Sandakan.

I am looking forward to the future, making music.  Make a life in making music.

I celebrate you, I celebrate us, I celebrate by singing.

Love always and forever,




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Letter seventy-four - Day ninety-nine of your vacation

Dearest J,

Am listening to the rehearsal clips recorded from just a few minutes ago in KLPac Indicine... Ok, so the `mask placement' trick I did does seem to reduce the nasality in my singing.  I must remember to lift my mask more when I sing.  You would tell me am clever :)

I have learned that I need to sustain, or build more self-confidence towards my singing capability.  I realised I have been spending a lot of time conditioning myself that my voice is `not nice' and that my singing is bordering being half-cooked.  These thoughts are results of listening to myself a lot on recording, I have been recording myself a lot lately while am learning new repertoire.

Though recently I have met enough people said good things about my craft, you would think, that should help me get out of this mind-funk.  But no, I turn their compliments into fluke statements.

But this will stop, don't worry.  I maybe over-thinking slightly but am still rational.  I will record, and listen to my flaws and weaknesses, and fix them.  And I will believe it when someone tells me that I have a beautiful voice.

Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  This voice may really be beautiful to some people out there, even not to me.  Don't fret, I remember, I have the world biggest fan, you.  I was always the beautiful singer.  I will remember it tomorrow night when I sing Nobody Does It Better.

Last night was painful, I couldn't sleep.  I wanted to rest but tiredness stayed away. I thought of you and the days are going by so fast that tomorrow turns 100th day since Oct 3rd.  And then sad sad thought came over me.  It was a quick sand effect, I tried to get out but the more I try the deeper I go down.

Finally sleep came two hours later, I think.

Something from Thursday, for you to see.  Happened before I left for rehearsal.  That was Thursday's first game with the  toilet roll.  

Anyway, looks like tomorrow will be a full day out...I hope it's a full day out there with the music, despite the long waiting I have ahead.  2pm I have my sound check, the orchestra will start theirs at 230pm, at 330pm we will have a full run-thro which I wait in turn for my little three big songs.  After which I will have the whole day ahead of me while I wait to sing at 9pm.

...the days after this...100 days later and counting on.  Looking back at my letters to you, I realise what an incredibly self-indulgent journey this has been.

Three months ago when I started this letter project people asked me, Well, how long are you planning to and going to keep writing to him?  I said, I don't know.  I still don't know now, I guess I don't ever need to, or should feel the need to stop?

But I do want to stop having the feeling for need of missing you, and wallow in the misery of your absence.  Even though I feel that from day one of your departure, you have given me a very strong foundation, a fantastic foreword, a great opening chapter, to finish this book by myself.  It is because of that you gave me such great start, I was able to pick up the pieces so swiftly.

Sometimes I worry if there would be negative repercussions from my all-too-quick `recovery'.

I want to stop all these worrying, pondering if I should spend more time crying, thinking, mourning...

There is no purpose in wanting to cry more, wanting to wallow more.  I have had many nights, and days of those.   And I think now, with the next brand new eleven months ahead, I want to allocate some purposeful efforts to live more...meaningfully.

No more concerted sadness, I have to bring in a breathe of fresh air and really start to celebrate our union.  You and I, forever, and ever, even time won't part us.

Love always,


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Letter seventy-three - Day ninety-eight of your vacation

Dearest J,

98 days.

The other day, I think it was yesterday, I asked a question to myself, I don't have the answer.  If you have found your biggest love in your life, and lost it.  What do you do for the rest of the journey left?

I got a Smart Tag finally.  Seeming and Sim got it for me.  Very happy to have it now.

Voice is much better today.  Still no singing, am saving it for tomorrow's rehearsal.

Had a lot of soups yesterday.  ABC soup in the morning, lotus roots & peanut soup in the afternoon and herbal soup at night.

This morning I had ABC soup again with rice and some olive bits, for breakfast.

Jazz class started a new routine today, Bollywood!!  We put Coldplay's song to and end.  Everyone had a blast.  I had a big lunch after the class, very happy.  These dance classes keep me very happy.

I do need to get back to singing class SOON.  The damage in the budget will be...big but, like, I think, it's necessary.

Thursday is getting bigger all the time, everyone jumps and exclaims "how fat is her little ass!"  everyone adores her wide-eyed innocence and enthusiasm.

I slept a lot last two days, went to bed at 12 last night.  Am glad to find some peace in a chaotic week like this.

Am making good progress packing for the three back-to-back shows today.

Just received a booking today for a show on your birth date...

Miss you much.



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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Letter seventy-two - Day ninety-six of your vacation

Dearest J,

I just came home.  As I close the door behind me and walked in with my luggage the cool air in our home enveloped me as if saying - "Hey, you're home, welcome back."

The stillness (but still cool) of the air and the beige wash of the furniture shout to me suddenly...I think this is what I will work hard for, ?!  I will work and sweat for just this, coming home from the noise, cars, weather, tolls, hotels and the works - to step into my own cool air at home, no one around, just me and the mute cat.

And I can be stripped of things and just lie there, not say a thing, sing any note, I can just breathe in the stillness of this home.

I am glad you got me into this, am glad you have chosen this one.  I want to own this place.  I really want to.

You like my taste in all the furnishing, though they are minimal, they complete the picture.

Yesterday was a survival experience for me.  I woke up early to get ready to carpool at Charles to go Lumut, my throat was all time scratchy and uncomfortable.  I decided I would pop into the 24-hour hospital down the road again to get some medicine.  I was prescribed with strong antibiotics for the cold, something for the cough and something for the throat inflammation.

I arrived at Charles' first, on time.  No one else was there yet, so Charles let me in and I popped all the bills down my system, empty-stomach system.  Not a good move at all.

I told the boys I needed to take the front seat after we started the journey, late.   At the first gas stop I floated from the car to the toilet and threw up in the first sink I saw, bright red gargle solution spewed from me into the grey sink...and water, and more water.

Ok, now I know.  I cannot stomach the strong medicine first and eat later.  Cushioning first.  I bought some bread and sugar drink and went back into the car, on cloud nine literally.

The sound check felt like an out of body experience, my tongue was asleep and I felt light.

We goofed around after the sound check while we walked back to the our lodging, Best Western Hotel, a few steps from the `multi-purpose-hall' where the 1600 pax dinner was held.

Vincent, Charles and Wei Li saunter back to our hotel from the back of the ware-house looking massive dinner hall.
The show went well however, I came back to myself after a hot shower and some food.  I managed to have fun with the band, dancers and the audience.  It was a big big dinner.  The Siti Nurhaliza song in our second set got response from the right side of stage, Teresa Teng songs got claps from the Chinese on the left side of stage.  The Sinatra classics got some attention from the ONE Caucasian table - BMW management table from KL I think.

I asked the boys to take the master room because two of them would share.  All the rooms in this apartment has attached bath so everyone was  happy.

That's Vincent's sign of relief that we were provided with decent and clean lodging.  Not to mention how big the apartment was.

Love you lots, 


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Friday, January 07, 2011

Letter seventy-one - Day ninety-four of your vacation

Dearest J,

It's a cold cold day here in the flat.  I painted my nails red today, for a show tomorrow in Lumut.  A big dinner party for the car people in Sitiawan.  Practiced my Broadway medley for my orchestra gig next week while I paint.  Thursday is rather tame today, Chels and I wonder why.

Thursday sits with me a lot when am working at my desk, nowadays she sits with me in my leather chair.  The leather seat is tattered with wounds of her scratching, giving it a `new skin'.  She is asleep now behind me on the chair!  Maybe it's the sleepy weather.  I too took a nap after staring at the music and my nails for over an hour.

I sent some flowers over for your mom's birthday today.  I can't make dinner with them tonight.  I bought her some lotion for her New Zealand trip next month, hope she finds them useful.

Down with a cold too.  Sore throat is better now but nose drips.

Next week it turns 100th day, of your departure.  Jan 12th.  A Wednesday.

It's going to be packed week.  Monday dance rehearsal with client review for Tawau dinner.  Tuesday I attending an annual dinner, attending as a guest!  Wednesday night orchestra rehearsal for the Thursday dinner show.  Friday morning I leave for the Sandakan dinner show, Saturday I come home for the Sheraton Imperial wedding show.  Sunday, I will catch a play on its last performance at 3pm, and at night I rehearse ensemble singing for a sacred music concert in July.

Wish you were here.

Much love,


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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Letter seventy - Day ninety-two of your vacation

Dearest J,

Hey you, you get to me once again, when I don't expect you to...

Am just sitting here learning a new Mandarin song for a gig next song.  A lovely lovely love song, with lyrics I like.  Don't know how, the tears just came when I get to the line that says "...just listen to your voice is enough to make my heart calm".

Remember how you liked to just call me sometimes to listen to my voice.  You said you just needed to hear my'd SMS me first to see if I am free to pick up your call.

I wish I was there to say something to you there then.


I move on, to music.  For there's all there is for me, without you.

Love you and missing you,


a picture for you, the orchestra working on Nobody Does It Better last night at Pentas 2.  I am singing with them next week...

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Letter sixty-nine - Day ninety-one of your vacation

Dearest J,

Took a nap in Mama's room before I came home.  Not a single mosquito bothered me, I could have spent the night on that bed.

Time flies, really.

I had a swell time at Sushee's on new year's eve.  We had fine vegetarian Indian food and Shoba's home made pasta.  Had a few drinks, didn't get tipsy at all, don't know why.  All I felt was sleepiness.  We saw some fireworks on the lawn of the house.

Last new year's eve was a good one too.  We had each other on the phone while fireworks went on in the two cities we spent new year's eve in.  I guess that is going to last forever - we will always spend new year's eve from now in different cities but we connect despite the distance.

This is a busy month, you see...this weekend I go to Sitiawan's Marina Island Resort for an annual dinner dinner gig.  Next week is a packed one with three gigs back to back, 13th is gig with 25-piece orchestra, 14th morning I fly to Sandakan for a dinner show, 15th morning I fly home for a wedding reception gig.  The week after I will sing at the NIKON Malaysia dinner, the day after I fly to Tawau for another annual dinner show.

Then I go to Singapore to watch Peter in Carmen the opera, with Tania & TP.

Feb is zero at the moment in the booking department.  I hope to finally complete that database I was building halfway, a database of ALL my clients.  Also, that project that was suppose to take place in Feb, it's practically being stalled...I want to do something about it.

I slept for 12 hours yesterday.

Am learning an old Japanese song for that NIKON dinner.

There's a lot to talk about, I shall write more when am in the right frame of mind.

Miss you like crazy, love


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