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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Letter one hundred and seventeen - The days go on

Dearest J,

Today is one of those rare Mondays when I have a window of time to clear the mini pile of books and CDs off my writing desk.  Put them back on the bookcase, I felt quite uneasy looking at the huge number of new books I have accumulated but have yet to read them.

Then I proceed to look inside the fridge and check for expired foods.  I have done it about two weeks ago and cleared out a crazy pile of foods that have been sitting there for great many months.  Your Kelloggs bars, they have been sitting in their boxes since before Oct 2010.  I took out the two boxes and checked for Best By dates...I think I read October 2010.  I remember you swore by Kellogg's then when you were losing weight back then, for your biking.  Lower body weight on the bike means you could go faster and be more efficient, you told me.

I can't quite comprehend the reason why I kept the bars in the fridge for this long, knowing I am not going to make use of them.  I place them now on the kitchen top, along with this tub of fermented black beans that you bought for me to eat with the special wheat Japanese noddles...which I never got around eating.  I felt terrible that I have let these good stuff gone to waste, and also your good intention.

But I won't just cry in vain over spilled milk.  I am taking steps now to eat better and take better care of things...and people.

I miss you lots.



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Friday, July 20, 2012

for me, for you, my songs

So I remember what needs to be done, from scratch...ground zero.

My album.

10 songs.

5 covers, 5 originals.

English and Mandarin.

I write, he writes, she writes.  I have 2 songs, 1 more in the workshop with Cher Siang.  

What songs do I cover?  Think, sing, try, chat...think, write, chat, share, try.

Ok, let's go.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Letters one hundred and sixteen - The days go on

Dearest J,

Am sure many lovers all over the world who's in love with this song think Pink Martini wrote the song just for them...just like how I have been thinking, since the first time I heard it many months ago..


Everywhere I go I know
Everywhere I go will glow
The sleepy summer sky
The lovers passing by
All the cities too
Make me think of you

Everywhere I go I see
A world designed for you and me
I always realised with every new sunrise
That you are with me everywhere

I've never ever known a love that lasted
Beyond the thrill of a first kiss
This love of ours has utterly surpassed it
And now my bliss is this

Every time I'm far from home
I am never quite alone
Whenever we're apart
You're always in my heart
For you are with me everywhere

I think it speaks for me, every single line of it.  I hope to perform it one day soon...for you, everywhere.

Miss you much,


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at the playground all day

Am too busy having fun.

And then I would stop and examine the situation and try to see if there's a catch in this whole business.

Is this all right?  What did I do to deserve so much fun, I need to pinch myself to check for reality?

Am also busy accumulating bruises from my weekly classes of assortment of clean, physical fun.  In my Monday and Wednesday classes of contemporary dance at Enfiniti, am the oldest in class, being the only untrained dancer, among the young and very flexible ballerinas - the routines in the class reek of pain but seriously satisfying, serotonin-pumping.  I am taught various ways of moving, turning, rubbing, pushing different parts of my body on the dance floor...plenty of throwing limps around with maximum control.  Yes, throwing things around with lots of control...yea, like singing too - to sound effortless requires plenty of control within.  I have matching bruises on my left and right shoulders, pieces of skin rubbed off various parts of my feet, my elbows are decorated with spots of bruises too...knees.

In my Tuesday jazz class at Caterpillar, I am the youngest person in class, still dancing among a few trained ballerinas, older than me.  The contact to the floor is a lot less, there's plenty of pirouettes work and sexy routines to master...the scene is different.  Here I mingle with ladies who discuss relationships and anti-aging products.

On Saturday mornings I try to get to yoga class at Aravind Centre on time.  I talk to no one but the instructor, interaction with fellow classmates are mostly a polite nod and a smile.  I spoke to less than three persons in all of my four sessions there so far.

Thursday mornings I make sure I hit the road by 1040am in order to arrive in Subang in time for my singing class with Cecilia.  This new relationship started in February, what was suppose to be a push and boost to my singing has turned out to be a really slow and consistent struggle of understanding and doing it right...all boils down to lack of homework and practice.

Off the weekly class and such, I find myself in a constant tug of war with time, chasing after a better time management.  From taking phone calls to meeting clients, sending an invoice via email, booking a band, collecting dry cleaning, making a song list, etc - I know I want to better my time management and  find more time to practice my music.

And then there's a long list of friends to meet, family to see, strings of performances to catch.

Oh, so all these fun things to do, even work is too much fun - singing with my top cats on stage and get paid for doing so.

What's the catch?

For how long can I do this for?  I don't know but I hope whatever it is I do now is going to contribute to sustaining my lifestyle of having fun non-stop.

Sometimes, maybe a tad too often, I wonder how things would turn out if J is still around.  Would I be as busy?  Would he be happy, would his work fulfill him as much as mine fulfill me?

I know I would never never find out.

Sometimes I close my eyes hard and try to picture a future with a new lover, I see a long winding road to that point and then I open my eyes again and ask myself why should I bother - the routine at this moment is too much fun, this freedom is blinding me from that future.

Too many new songs to learn.

So many great books still unread.

Still so many roads not travelled.

Many more blank pages in my passport waiting for new stamps.

This playground is so huge.  I need to stay focused and play hard.


Saturday, July 07, 2012

Letter one hundred and fifteen - The days go on

Dearest J,

I just had one of those perfect mornings and a strong urge came to write about it, so I can remember it.

I had barely 5 hours of sleep after a late late night chat with my mates in the flat.  The thought of doing yoga at 10am today must have kept me on my toes in bed...I woke up by myself at 830am.  After checking the updated studio schedule I realize today's class would start at 930am, not 10am.  I made it into the class at 931am and had a fabulous 75-min class that ended with a 15-min meditation.

The reward for my joyous pain session was breakfast at Tommy's.  The counter and the shoppe front was packed with customers.  I walked into the back to help, because helping in a shop always make me feel incredibly practical and useful, it helps that Tommy is such a lovely person.  I helped write a few receipts and bills for him and waited for my sandwich.

The weather was so lovely and the fresh baguette with hot tea too.  Things couldn't be more perfect in that moment, while my biceps were still trembling with post-yoga tremors as I dig into the hot meal.

I know what it is, it's the feeling and the sensation of aliveness.  The pain in the body, slightly sticky with sweat and the rare cool morning breeze at Tommy with my freshly melted cheese.

Speaking of being alive.  I went on radio to speak about this writing routine between us.  Xandria wanted a chat on how blogging help with things around here.  I still can't quite decide how I felt about talking to public about how I continued the journey without you, I just knew I agreed to go on the show because I want to share my experience.

You see, I want people to know that no matter how `alone' I am now without you, I am really not lonely because I have learned how not to be lonely...but I suspect, some of this weren't too bad for me because just like you, I too get a kick out of solitary existence.  Anyway, I mostly emphasized on how it was really helpful to allow myself to be totally engulfed by my work in music, and to write to you.

Our experiences, those lived by you by yourself and me on my own can merge as one because we had all those wonderful times talking about them.  In a way that I cannot explain (yet), every time I go out to do something outdoorsy or physical, like running, dancing, cycling, walking under the sun, etc - I feel as though you were around somewhere near me, like inside of me.

I saw a couple on a Kawasaki Zephyr near your house two weeks ago.

And oh, what a joy it is that I have finally came out of my long kitchen/cooking draught!  I am trying to maintain a `cooking routine' at home.  My repertoire is terribly tiny but am happy to be feeding myself at home sometimes.  Here are the menus so far...

May and June went by fast and furious, I had a packed period of corporate bookings and club gigs and concerts and a fundraiser.  I always have so much fun at work that sometimes I stop in my track and examine this great ball of fun am having and feel a bit guilty, is it ok to have THIS much fun at work? And get paid for that?

This photo taken on my phone, at Sunbeam Homes fundraiser last month - Shelah and I shared a dressing room :)

other goofy photos off stage at other work/gigs...

At the end of my wonder on how much fun it's normal to have at work, I came to this conclusion - one is paid to have fun at work because of one's handwork in his previous training to achieve a level of competency or better still, a virtuosic performance.  So the fun only begin after you have invested countless hours of practice and training to play like a master...a professional - and then that's when you deserve to be paid a professional fee, to have a hell lot of fun.

An artist's growth and worth is maintained through constant challenges.  I am not entirely organized in my planning for a better career but I have certainly spent enough time and money recently for some new excitements:

I now remember where things are not so easy and not so much fun, not yet - my singing lessons.  My sessions with Cecilia so far is still a constant struggle, of understanding what am being taught and instructing my body to do what is needed to improve.  The progress is really slow.  I admit I only have myself to blame, my practice at home is too far and few in between classes to see any serious improvement.

I have also signed up and started attending a new class with a new teacher, Suhaili Michelin, in contemporary dance!  I feel a little like a cook being put in a ballet class full of trained ballerinas but I dig every second of the class.  I have gotten hooked on pain in more ways than one!  I secretly enjoy the burning pain on my thighs and my arms two days after a class, and I relish in every little new trick I learn in class to make my figure look leaner and longer in my reflection in the mirror.  Tightening of the butt is one of  them...

With so much going on, and visit Mama in other pockets of time - you can see the road is busy and long.  Other times I enjoy a few minutes of sitting on the floor with Thursday, just patting her and not thinking anything...she reminds me of you, how silent and still you could keep.  Just enjoying each other's company, doing nothing.

Much love,


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