Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mickey and Minnie to Malaysia

Happy 22nd Birthday Elaine! I only SMS-ed you at 8am this morning (1am your time in UK). I DID think about wishing you right on the dot of midnight (your time), but that would mean I have to wake up an hour earlier. And I didn't really want to do that. Heh.

Sister dearest, I hope you have an awesome birthday this year! It is your first birthday away from home huh? Well, from your reply this morning, you said you missed home.

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We miss you tooooooooooooooo!

Don't worry! You'll be home for the holidays soon and yes lah, I'll make sure I have your gift ready for when I go home in July.


In yesterday's papers, the topic of having a Disneyland in Johor Bahru came up again. This new venture has been proposed for the new Nusajaya township. Even the PM himself has got no objections with Disney coming to Malaysia.

Sure, it will rake in the tourist dollars and overall, be good for the country in the long run. Of course, as quoted - "Plenty of homework needs to be done, especially on the financial prospect of attracting regional visitors, if we wish to set up world-class theme parks here.
Malaysians would surely like to see Mickey Mouse in Nusajaya but we believe careful planning and plenty of common sense are needed as massive public funds would be involved, so that no one takes the mickey out of us"

Damn right!

Plan dudes, PLAN PROPERLY.

Nusajaya is a suburb located right next to Bukit Indah, and that's where home is for me. Both these townships are relatively new, compared to the older housing developments in Perling. People living in Bukit Indah and/or Nusajaya will have to pass through Perling. Perling is like another town altogether. It has malls, plenty of shops, schools, mosques, temples, market, everything lah!

Over the years, plenty of developments have occured in Bukit Indah and its surrounding housing estates. More houses are being built, commercial areas are fast rising and well, it's a fast booming place!

Then the Gelang Patah/Second Link to Singapore is also accessed via the abovementioned areas, i.e. they have to pass through Perling as well. These days more and more people are using the Second Link to get into Singapore to avoid cramming the already jammed up Causeway.

Sure, it's great and all seeing all these huge projects coming up. But there is a teeny weeny factor that those calling the shots overlooked. And well, this teeny weeny factor causes, excuse my French, big shit.

You see, Perling is an old township. The roads are, you guessed it, small. With all these developments happening beyond Perling, and if the only way to Bukit Indah / Nusajaya / Nusa Bestari etc. is via Perling, god damn it, we need more roads!

These days, getting in and out of Perling can sometimes take up to 45 freaking minutes! And let's not forget the Giant hypermarket which is just at the exit of Perling which makes it even more insane on weekends!

If the roads are going to stay like this, screw Disneyland.

Posted by Doreen at 9:27 am


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Oral Stage again!

Fancy theatre? Fancy meeting other young people with similar interests? Fancy working with the crazy, creative and fun bunch at The Oral Stage?

Fresh from TOS' second and latest production, Rojak!, the team is now gearing up for another production and yup, there are vacancies to be filled!

The Oral Stage is once again looking for actors, writers, sound and lights crew, stage / crew managers, backstage crew, uhm... basically the whole lot.

It don't matter if you have no theatre experience, as long as you are willing to learn and enjoy the ride! The high that you get after each successful production? Gosh! Better than any drugs. Trust me on this one aight?

Worked with them on 2 productions, and I had a blast! Quite an experience I must say.

So if you are keen and have an open mind with a sense of wanting to learn and experience theatre... The Oral Stage wants you! Visit The Oral Stage to find out more about this upcoming production, and to email the Director if you have any queries.

Oh, and yes, I've heard whispers from many of the fairer sex who think that the Producer is, I quote - "fucking hot". So hurry lah!

PS: Sorry Reuben, gotta use you as bait again.

Posted by Doreen at 12:21 pm


Monday, May 29, 2006

It's Monday, therefore I'm tired

My weekend went by, *snaps fingers* just like that!

I remembered falling asleep with my head spinning and spinning (intoxicated, obviously) on Friday night... and then *snaps fingers again*, and via some supreme magical powers, I have been teleported straight to my desk, and everyone's already at the office.. and I'm like, "Yo! WTF?"

Monday already?

*sai mm sai kam fai wor?* (Cantonese: Need to be so fast or not?)

So, the holiday plans have been laid out. After JJ's concert on 1 July, I will travel to my little island paradise down south.

Not Singapore lah you fools. Since when did Singapore ever equate to paradise in MY book? Bah.

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Tioman, I'll see you on 7 July aight?

Oh God, please give me the strength and sanity to live to see pristine and white sandy beaches, sea glistening under the sun, and idle days of swinging on the hammock and getting high.


OK, I'm obviously over-worked and terribly sick of it.

Oh well, here goes a couple of pictures. Just because.

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I love how the slanted shadows are thrown over these objects.

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See how the water shines?

Posted by Doreen at 12:07 pm


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Old Enemies

The other night, I had dinner with two Liverpoolians and another girl who doesn't give a rat's ass about soccer. Well, not Liverpoolians per se, but supporters of the Liverpool Football Club.

I was chatting with the girlfriend, getting her to ask her boyfriend about the 1999 Manchester United jersey, yes, the year where they won the Treble. Since I don't have any MU jersey (too expensive), I thought buying and keeping just one as a memorabilia would be nice.

The two Liverpoolians sat there nursing their drinks and listening to us while waiting for our food to be served.

Liverpoolian 1: You see these MU fans, always stuck in the past. Your glory days are over lah..

Liverpoolian 2: That's why! Back then, OK lah MU terror. But look who just spent an entire season running around the field like a headless chook and goes home empty handed? Wake up lah. Stop being so arrogant and think that you are still king.

Me: Not all MU fans are like that OK? A couple of bad ones you meet along the way happen to be fucked up, so don't generalize! Remember I was telling you about how I think Liverpool rocked during the match with West Ham? And how I thought Cisse's goal was superb?

Hello? What did I do now? I was talking to the girlfriend about purchasing a 1999 MU jersey from her boyfriend. No mention of Liverpool, no mention of Benitez, no bashing whatsoever!

Seriously guys, what is with all these bashing? I definitely don't qualify to bash other teams and their supporters. Heck, if I am so qualified, I would be out on the field kick Reina's ass! Why must supporters of sporting teams constantly put each other down? Why can't sports fans, soccer fans, unite and share their passion for this beautiful game in an amicable manner? Shit guys, the world is stressful enough as it is, so relax lah!

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm cool with playful banter. It's all in good spirit of sporting fun. I understand. Really. But have you seen the way football fans criticize and mock each other? One trying to outdo the other by quoting this or that year where they bagged certain titles, or when this team managed to equalize just as final whistle blew, or which stupid fuck missed a crucial penalty, and the list goes on! It's damn ridiculous!

The thing is - seasons come, seasons go. Players come, players go. Managers come, managers go. Just because Chelsea won the Premiership last year and this year, it don't mean Mourinho is gonna get it again next year? I'm not saying he's not getting it, but hey, you know what a football match is like. There are twists here and there, and always be prepared to expect the unexpected.

OK, back to the dinner table. So as I was saying, I was talking to the girlfriend about a jersey, not, I repeat -NOT condemning Benitez or his boys.

Liverpoolian 1: You lah, all MU fans damn arrogant.

Me: Will you both quit it already!!!!!

Liverpoolian 2: Cannot! Us Liverpool and MU go way back as arch rivals!

Me: So let's stop! We should be standing together and bash Chelsea instead!

Liverpoolian 1 & 2: *stoned*

Think about it. Makes sense no?

So I say to all MU and Liverpool fans - let's not bicker anymore? We're like an old bitter couple who can't stop bitchin' at each other, even while we are cleaning our dentures by the kitchen sink! Damn. Let's forget our hatred and enmity for the next season and let's BRING THE BLUES DOWN!!!

Posted by Doreen at 4:09 pm


Premiere: X-Men III

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Thanks to the Blue Telco, we received a couple of invites to check out the premiere of X-Men III: The Last Stand last night.

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The Blue Telco booked a total of 12 halls for this exclusive screening, for their customers and business partners.

There were a couple of hot promoter girls giving out flyers for downloads of X-Men III mobile contents, and there were 3 men dressed up as Cyclops, Wolverine and an unidentified character who hung around trying to look cool, and to be photographed with people.

There was a pretty cool service which was offered last night as well. Customers can use their mobile phones to snap pictures with these men in costumes, and it will be immediately printed out free of charge on a little credit card sized polaroid thingie.

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That's June and me with the 3 men in costume. See the guy in the middle? What character is he supposed to be? He has white hair, that makes him Storm (OK, so Storm is female). The way he opens his palm, he could also be Iceman or Piro.

I tripped on Cyclops' shoes while getting into position for the picture. Fortunately, the superhero was there to save me from falling and embarassing myself in front of everyone.

The movie? It was great! I love X-Men, eventhough I didn't grow up reading the comics. But I think this is the saddest X-Men movie of them all!

OK, so the movie revolves around a war between homo sapiens and the mutants because the US government has developed this "cure" which will un-mutant a mutant.

Some mutants, those who hate their "gift" and desperately want to be normal, can opt to be cured by the US government. However, there's also groups of mutants who think that this "cure" is an insult to all mutants. Charles Xavier preaches about tolerance and co-existence and his X-Men team stand up for that too. However, the mutants of the Brotherhood, led by the evil Magneto preaches a doctrine of mutant supremacy, and this leads to a war between Magneto's men and the US government.

X-Men III also sees the introduction of new characters such as the Beast, Angel and Colossus. The scene whereMagneto breaks the San Francisco bridge and redirects it to Alcatraz is an awesome scene, a testament to how fabulous CGI advancement is.

OK, I shan't reveal more and spoil it for you. Go see it!

All in all, it was a good night out. My only gripe is that handphones with cameras and all other recording devices are STRICTLY prohibited in the hall. No kidding! We had to deposit it with GSC or keep them in our car. Yup, they even metal-detector-ed every single person to ensure that you don't hide recording devices in your crotch or cleavage.

Posted by Doreen at 1:46 pm


Thursday, May 18, 2006

So you want to read the news?

When I was in my mid-teens, I wanted so badly to be a news presenter.

I'd read news headlines from the paper out loud, paying extra attention to my pronunciation, intonation and overall diction. I even practiced reading out loud in front of the mirror to see how I looked, or if I had any twitches from my eye or nose which I wasn't aware of. Of course no one ever said I sucked, because I only did in in the confines of my room - alone.

But I always thought I was pretty good. My command of a particular language is strong. English has always been the first language at home. Sure, there were sporadic use of Chinese littered in our conversation as well, but English is our primary tongue at home.

I was also extra attentive when it came to watching the news on TV. Not only did I have to check out the news, I also had to learn from the lady reading it - her body language, her facial expressions, which words to stress on, her posture, and how she reacts in the occurence of a slip of her tongue.

Plus, I also thought that my voice was (and is!) kinda nice. None of those screechy, hoarse or high-pitched types. I'm a stable, soothing and warm-sounding one. Yes? Heh. Really whaaaat! I've had people tell me I sound great over the phone, and when I do my freelance broadcasting stints, people do come up and compliment how I sound over the speakers.


My dreams of becoming a news presenter plummeted as my weight skyrocketted. HAHA. OK hush now. Don't be laughing your heads off. But I just kept putting on weight, and you know how they say being on camera will make you look 10kgs heavier? By the time it was time for university, deep down I still had that inkling desire to read the news on prime time television. So I pursued a degree in Communications.

Along the way, it sort of became, "Well, if I don't get to be in front of the TV, then I guess I can contribute off-screen". And then I graduated and I'm no where near any TV production works after close to 4 years of working.

So why am I telling you this?

I was at home tuning it to the news yesterday evening. Channel surfed for a while before settling for NTV7's English news at 6:30pm.

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Presenting the news was Adriana Aris. Only then did it hit me. She's not twiggy skinny! Adriana has a full figure and even her face is not pointy sharp at the chin!

The rest of her colleagues at NTV7 look like this...

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Miza Eusi Muhamed

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Lim She Ting

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Lee Sheah Nee

See what I mean?

Miza, She Ting and Sheah Nee are all slim and fit looking, and sharp pointy chins! Sheah Nee is a university mate by the way. HAHA.

Then at 8pm, I was still glued to the idiot box, and the Malay news came on.

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Presenting it was Norazlina Awang Had and she ain't skinny either!

I tell you! Imagine my delight! I don't have to be twiggy thin to be a news presenter! Hoorah to NTV7 for hiring presenters based on their skills and capabilities, and not just judging them based on how much screen space they take up.

If only I saw Norazlina and Adriana much, much earlier. I might, just MIGHT, still pursue that dream of mine.

Posted by Doreen at 9:42 am


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Of Trash Cans and Auditions

I went downstairs for a mid-afternoon ciggie break. The area has been 'launched' or rather, officially declared a Smoking Zone by the Management for more than 9 months now.

The Smoking Zone is an open air area, behind the Basement parking of the Main Block. It is shaded from the sun with one of those fibre roofings, and a pair of benches are placed there. Right in front of where the benches are placed, is a drain. And well, that's pretty much it.

For the past months, smokers have been throwing ciggie butts into the drain, and under the benches because there wasn't a trash can provided. The drain has proved more popular because from where we sit to smoke, with a slight flick of the ciggie butt, it lands straight into the drain.

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You don't see much ciggie butts in the drain today.. the gushing water from a bigger interconnecting drain clears this smaller drain every now and then.

Imagine my delight when I saw this just now.

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A spanking new trash can, complete with sand in the top crater for us to extinguish our butts. Yes, I know it's just another trash can, but when the Smoking Zone has provided me comfort for the past year, it's like having a new piece furniture in your living room or something.

Damn shiny OK the trash can! Syiok.

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So I wasn't the first smoker to put out my ciggie here. But hey, Numero Two is fine. Heh!

Oh, those who are excitedly anticipating the finals of the European Champion's League against Barca and Arsenal.. I read this hillarious entry entitled "How To Stop Ronaldinho". Go read. Fucking funny!

By the way, I'm also thinking of sending in a demo for this...

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I sent in a demo for Red 104.9FM last year when they were looking for new talents. That didn't go anywhere. So, loud-mouthed me is thinking of trying again this year.

For more information on FlyFM's Flydol, point your browser to their website. Not only will the grand prize winner walk away with a FlyFM Contract, but also lotsa prizes including a trip to Bali!

Live auditions are also being held for those who find it a hassle to record a demo.

21 May at Sunway Hotel Georgetown, Penang @ 1-5pm

28 May at Armada Hotel, Petaling Jaya @ 1-5pm

Anyone interested to teman me to Armada and let's do auditions together?

Posted by Doreen at 4:16 pm


Cry Baby

Mom read my Mother's Day posting, thanks to Serene. In an SMS to me, she said:

"Thanks 4 de long mum's day letter. Cried as I was reading. Tears of joy. Happy tt u still appreciate wat we've done. Brought back memories, like still fresh. Want to let u noe re ur convo, at tt time, ur 3 sisters studyin in Sg, back and forth Sg-JB daily, w/ends packed wit xtra tuitions, jz couldn't be away. Those 5 years we din even haf time 4 ourself. Sorry la. Now all independent alr. Dad knows I luv 2 c Europe, tt's why planning it 2gether with Elaine's convo. Sorry lah. We luv all 4 da same".

I returned her SMS with a short reply:

"Yes mi. Just 2 let u noe, sometimes we end up doing silly things. It may seem like we will nvr grow up, but believe me, we all do. Some just slower than others. Hv a good day!"

I must be PMSing big time since I've been ultra emotional for the past couple of days. I cried when I wrote the Mother's Day entry on Monday. On Tuesday me and second sis were shouting at each other over the phone and I cried again. Worse, I was in the office. Thank goodness for my own room. In between heavy sobs, and eventhough my speech was barely audible, I called mom to let her know that me and sis fought. And now, an SMS with about 400 characters bring tears to my eyes yet again.

I used to hate crying. I used to be stronger. I used to be much tougher. Not to say I didn't shed a single tear back then, but I would only cry with my face buried in the pillow. But these days, I cry openly. Those damn tears just flow freely down my cheeks.

These days, even movies can make me cry! Back when I was younger, I thought that crying over a scene out of a movie would deem me a wuss. It could be a heart-wrenching scene, but those tears just had to be contained - tilting my head backwards and sniffing it all back in. No crying in public!

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Psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors all recommend crying as a form of releasing pent up emotions. Tears help maintain sanity. It's got to be a yin and yang - being happy and being sad. Many also believe that if you do not release your tensions and emotions by crying when you ought to, these pent up psychological tensions would find another outlet, like causing physical pains on the human body.

Me being able to cry so openly and so freely these days probably indicates some sort of maturity. I'm way comfortable in my own skin and flesh, and in no way will crying make me a wuss. Crying is normal, crying is good, crying is therapeutic.

Hah! Now shoo! Go bawl your eyes out!

Posted by Doreen at 9:43 am


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Becks Cheating Again?

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Me got tickled by this little ad. Though I think Beckham is over-marketed, over-used, and over-everything else. Plus, Beckham, the name, the man, the wife - isn't that totally so yesterday? Commercially that is.

Since we are on the topic of sports, yes lah, I know, Manchester United is without a silverware this year, so can all you MU-haters out there stop the bitching already? God, go celebrate or something!

I enjoyed Liverpool's game against West Ham though. Lotsa good goals... I thought Cisse's goal was damn stylo. See? This is what sports fans should be like! Not go around bashing fans of other teams! Hehe, though I think Peter Crouch is damn funny! I've seen him fall on the field and his limbs seem to be all tangled up with one another. If he tackles another player or got tackled, it's even more hillarious! His super-tall frame and limbs that seem to go on forever make him fall clumsily!

Less than 30 days away before absenteeism from work peaks and the world's productivity dips to an all-time low! And I hope Sven has the right line-up for Germany, and I hope Rooney gets well in time. Much hoo-hah about Theo Walcott being in the 23 men line-up too. Young, yet to even play in a Premiership match, and he's off to Germany to play international.

Thing is, someone has to give these rookies a chance!

It like those recruitment ads which say, "Only those with experience need apply". Every company wants someone with experience, but how the hell is a fresh grad supposed to get experience if no one is willing to hire him in the first place? Huh? Huh?

Anyways. I'm bogged with work. And to keep me company for the rest of the afternoon while I finish off a presentation...

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Posted by Doreen at 1:54 pm


Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Mi,

This is a Mother's Day wish a day late.

It has been 25 years since your experience of being a first-time mother. I know you and dad tried for 5 years before conceiving me, but the 3 other sisters came easily after that didn't they? = P

Mi, we are growing up already. Even your youngest, Serene, is already 18 this year. I know you and dad must have had one helluva ride bringing up 4 girls. As naughty as we may be sometimes, I just want to let you know that you and dad have both done an amazing job - all of us turned out OK what!

Mi, I was a dark baby. I hope I didn't scare you if you were expecting a fair little princess to pop out. When I was born, you were still working then, and I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for about 2 years right? I have no recollection of those times. Still small ma! But I know I had problems with my milk bottle - I just wouldn't drink! I'm sorry I caused so much hassle because I had to be hidden out of sight before I would suckle on the teat of the bottle! And I know that papaya and rice isn't exactly gourmet, but I loved it all the same.

Thank you for the stacks of photo albums at home which featured baby me, and no one else but me. I guess I was like a novelty item huh? Being the first born, I'm sure I was showered with much love and attention from you and dad. I still remember you telling me that daddy spent a lot of money for my 1st month celebration! He booked tables at a restaurant and opened many bottles of brandy right? What a waste. I didn't even get to have a shot of whatever everyone was having! Hehe.

Then Daphne came along a week after I turned 2. And that's where my big-sister instincts started kicking in I believe? Yes, you were so proud of me because even as a kid, I would give up the chicken drumstick so that my sisters would have more meat to eat, while I made sure I only ate the parts no one else fancied, like, uh.. chicken neck? Hehe.

I had a happy childhood. I loved showing off didn't I? Remember my toy electric guitar I had when we were in Indonesia? That was a fun piece of plastic. Hehe. And I remember our inflatable pool which we used to splash around in on hot sunny afternoons. Elaine was already born then, and we'd take walks around the garden by the pond in the evenings. Mi, remember my red outfit? The blouse and skirt that came in a set? It had white buttons on it? Well, I loved that baju lah! I also remembered the hours you spent making those flash cards, and then teaching us how to read. If there is one thing which you would want the most from us, I think it would be for us to be knowledgeable.

We moved back to Malaysia and I soon started attending kindergarten in Melaka. We had a big garden behind our house and we'd always go to the backyard to blow bubbles. We never bought those silly soapy liquid which was nicely packaged and bottled. You always gave us your concoction of dishwashing liquid with water. Remember those wild grass that grew at the sides of our fences? I used to be allergic to those pollen. Sometimes, after an afternoon of playing in the sun, I'd come home with swollen lips!

You and dad bought me my first bicycle when I was 6. It was red BMX. Yes, it had 4 wheels at first, but we graduated to 3 wheels soon after, and eventually we cycled with only 2. That was fun! We also had a blue one. A mini one for Daphne and Elaine. At 6, you were already teaching me about responsibilities - taking care of my younger sisters. Certain mornings, you'd go to the market and you'd leave me and the sisters at home. You will lock us in and take the keys. We'll eat our breakfast which you have prepared, and sit by the glassdoor waiting for your return.

Serene came along that year I was 6. I remembered our family discussions in giving her a name. It was meant to be Kathleen, but of course, Elaine, 3 at that time, had trouble pronouncing it. So we opted for Serene instead.

All through primary school, I know I have always made you proud. I was a smart kid huh? Hehe, yes lah, the older I get, the stupider I become right! I aced examinations and would always come home being in the top 3 positions of a class of 40 or so. You quit your job so you could be a full time mother for all of us, and you certainly did well. We always had hot lunch waiting for us when we came home from school. After eating, you will send us to have a shower, before we settle down to do our homework. (The chasing us to have our shower bit, you still do today!) You were always there helping us, and yes, you were very strict and scary at times. I remember our guest room in the Nila house in JB. That was our study room then.

I remember once, I came home with awful results and you were so upset and angry. You took my school bag and threw it out of the gates onto the road. You told me that if I didn't want to study, I should throw away my books and bag. That really frightened me. Hehe. I cried and went out to pick it all back. Hey, remember that Indian woman who taught us tuition? She was scary too!

Remember how I loved watching Hindi movies? You would be taking your afternoon nap, and grumble because the songs from Bollywood interrupted you, and you would chase me to do my homework. Eventually, I learnt to mute the volume while watching it so you wouldn't know that I was not doing my homework! Muting it was fine, I didn't understand what they were saying anyway! Hehe.

We went to Alor Setar when I was 12. Hey, I was still smart then! I scored all As for UPSR! It was time for me to do my IC, and till this day, you still tell me that your favourite picture of me was my IC photo when I was 12. I had short, boy cut hair, and till this day, you still tell me that I looked so pretty in that particular photo. I still can't figure that out.

We went back to Jakarta again when I finished primary school, and those days were fantastic huh? Being chauffeur-driven around, having maids to wait on us, heck! It was a dream come true for any 13 year old! My high school days in Jakarta went by in a blink, and all 4 of us had a good time at school. Despite having maids and drivers to serve us, you never did neglect your motherly duties. Every day after school, you will be at the door to greet us when we arrive home, and a hot lunch will be waiting for us on the dining table.

During those teenage years of mine, I'd have gatherings and parties at our house rather often and I'd invite friends from school to come by. You never failed to impress my friends with your culinary skills, always whipping up something or the other when they came by. I remember there was once a couple of my Korean classmates came by to our house for a study session. It must be nearing exam period. Our subject for the day was biology, and I remembered how you sat at the table with us to see us draw and label the digestive system, and after which, a huge tea was served and you fed those boys well.

As us girls were growing up, like any parents of teenage daughters, I bet you both were anxious and had sleepless nights when it came to your girls and the boys they seem to fancy. You were always reminding us to be careful and selective with the boys we go out with, and "get someone like your dad!" is what we were told to do. Yes Mi, Dad is the best man and we will strive to marry someone just like our dad!

After I finished O-Levels at 16 (which I passed, but did horribly), I was shipped back to Malaysia to attend college. I know I had my initial doubts and fears about leaving home at that time, and on one particular afternoon while we were all busy packing my luggage, I suddenly said something along the lines you not wanting me anymore, thus sending me away. Of course I was just being silly. You flew back to KL with me and helped me settle in my new place when I attended Taylor's College because I was fresh out of home, and presumably, did not know how things work. Hehe.

From the day I left home at 16, it has been 8 years since I have been staying out on my own - 3 years in KL, 2 years in Perth, and now back in KL for good. Today, you look forward to every trip I make home, and stock up your fridge with all the food which you plan to cook for me. You always say that we don't get to eat when we live on our own. I presume you mean we don't get to eat well and nutritious food which can only come out of your wok.

I know my college years were tumultous and I gave you and dad big headaches and caused heartbreaks. Probably just one of those "growing-up-phase" which I was going through - skipping classes, the Marlboros, and the amount of money I've used up. Of course, during my not-quite-a-child-but-not-quite-an-adult period, I was rebellious and I used to think that you and dad are out to ruin my happiness and sabotage my freedom. How stupid and foolish I was.

One cold winter's night in Perth, as I was watching Survivor on television, a few of the participants got the opportunity to meet their families, and watching that episode, I was moved to tears. I ran to my room crying and missing home. I was 20 then. I finally realized then, that family is Number 1 in my life and that I miss you and dad terribly after all these years of staying out on my own. It was then that I made a promise to myself to always do my best in making you and dad happy and proud of us.

Mi, sometimes you also make me sad.. Till this day, I have always wondered why you and dad never attended my convocation when I graduated from Murdoch University. You both never even made mention of it, about coming to Perth, or even spoke about attending the mini convo which was held closer to home, in Singapore. I know it's just a silly ceremony where we take silly family pictures and I get to wear those loose and baggy robe with a silly hat on my head, but it still would be nice. And yet, Elaine is a year away from graduating, and you and dad are already making plans to attend her convocation in Scotland. Maybe I'm just jealous.

But, I have come to a conclusion that you have brought me up as a feisty and independent eldest daughter of yours, and I guess, I never really needed much "attention" in that sense. But you have brought me up well. You taught me how to take care of myself and also others.

As I am writing this, I get an SMS from you reminding me to pay my monthly charges for the Supplementary card which dad issued me. I assured you that I'll have the money transfered to you soonest. And your next SMS was more advice to manage my career and finances better, and you also added, "Our whole life only wori over de 4 of u. will know when u r mom".

Yes Mi, I know.

Mi, from you I have also learnt many a things. You are testament that one can never be too old to learn new things! Remember how you were so afraid of baking? Growing up, you only cooked from your pots and wok. Your biggest fear was then to bake a cake and not having it turn out well. But you faced your fears and you picked up baking. After rounds and rounds of practice, today, your cakes and pastry rock! You even said RM 8 for a slice of cheesecake from CoffeeBean is too expensive and thus, you have resorted to learning it and baking it for us. In addition to that, to save on call charges with us being everywhere, you have also conquered technology and learnt how to use the mobile phone to SMS us. But you're still stuck on inserting each alphabet manually instead of using the dictionary! Hehe.

You also taught me values and traditions, something which I know will carry me far in life. I know our family name will not be carried on after this generation, seeing how all of us will adopt another surname when we get married, but rest assured, what you have taught me will not disappear just yet. You are living example of "the woman behind every successful man". You taught us that a wife's role is to be a successful homemaker, to manage the home and the children well. I know I certainly will not give up my career so quickly after I have babies, but you have showed me the importance of not neglecting tradition and being a good wife while balancing my career.

From you, I have also learnt that the whites must never be washed with the coloured items and that the washing machine alone is not enough to get our clothes clean because you insisted on a semi-automatic washing machine, and still end up using your hands for the final rinse.

You have also taught us all to be thrifty and to spend wisely. Why pay RM 10 for a coffee at CoffeeBean when a whole jar of Nescafe only cost under 20 bucks and you can make so many mugs of coffee from it? Why pay RM 300 for a pair of Levi's when you can get a pair for RM70 from say, Giordano. You always remind us that if it weren't for you being so thrifty, we children will not have the opportunity to go to university. So we now know the importance of saving up. I know more often that not, we end up buying the most useless and uncessary things, but I guess it will come to us when we are older, I mean wiser. I know I'm not exactly managing my money well and have no savings whatsoever... but really, I know, I just can't seem to get it right yet. But wait lah! I'm going to get myself a man just like dad, and have everything provided for! Hehe.

You have also taught us that one of the tricks to keeping a family unit happy, is to have the fridge full all year round. You always say that eating out is no good, AND expensive, so you cook everything! Right down to our Christmas turkey!

Today, only Serene is still left at home, with the 3 elder ones out of the house, working or studying somewhere. In no time, it will be Serene's turn as well. You have sacrificed your whole life to give us this flight of independence, the day when we would leave our nest, to step out into the world on our own. (Of course, you will be still be waiting in the nest for when we need your help.. especially financially! Hehe)

This is going no where, because I can keep on writing and writing and writing... so Mi, happy Mother's Day to you! From the bottom of my heart and deep within my soul, Mi, thank you for everything! Everything that you have done for us, all your sacrifices, it truly is insurmountable.

Mi, I love you.

Your daugther,

Posted by Doreen at 1:39 pm


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Place or Yours?

"So I wake you up at 6:30 tomorrow OK?"

"Err.. OK lah, damn sien the thought of waking up for work tomorrow"

"Aiya.. work is work right babe? ... So, when the alarm goes off and the F.I.R rock song comes on, you can't hear a thing?"

"No wor, dead to the world lah girl"

"Like that if got fire means you'll be the first one dead lah!"

"I can feel the heat whaaaat!"

"Too late lor by then! You'll be burnt to death! So how are you going to wake up when you eventually stay alone?"

"That's why I will have you live with me. 1, 3 and 5 you stay over my place. 2 and 4, I stay over at yours. Then weekends, ah.. weekends we sleep in late anyway, so nevermind lah!" '

"You mean you are asking me to move in so that I can be your alarm clock?"

"No laaaah. Silly woman!" *and then snuggled in closer*

Typically, this would sound like girlfriend exploitation. You know, the sole purpose of getting me to stay with him is to be his alarm clock. But no. Coming from the boyfriend who's not very expressive and not very good with saying what's on his mind, this actually is good news.

In fact, this is the second time he's brought the issue up - living together that is. The first went somwhere along the lines of "What do you mean I don't care? Do you know I even had plans for us to move in together when I get the house to myself?" No points for guessing that we were in the midst of an argument then. Anyways.

Cohabiting, couples living together without being legally married, is no longer novel in today's society. Of course, there are plenty of debates surrounding this topic, the pros and cons of living together before marriage.

"One boy one girl stay together, people will talk one leh!" I can already hear mom saying. "What will people think?" would probably follow suit.

An older and wiser girlfriend will say, "You shouldn't move in with him yet. It will have you both taking things for granted, and not working towards bringing the relationship to the next stage," she would advise.

"NEVER MOVE IN WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND! It is he who will reap the benefits. Once you move in, you take over as "wife" and thus the rest of his household chores. You clean, sweep, mop, cook, wash and everything! And when you guys break up and you walk out of the house, you don't receive a single cent of alimony!" said another girlfriend.

A male friend will say to me, "OK what. It sorta give couples an opportunity to live under the same roof first, get used to each other's nasty habits before actually committing in a marriage. Kinda like testing the product before buying it - that same concept" said he. "You know, at some point, you girls will just have to get used to us men not putting the toilet seat back down you know?"

(Honest side note: I am actually very proud of the boyfriend. Whenever he takes a piss, he lifts the toilet seat up. When he's done, he places it back down. OK, I can hear your envy already... "Wah, you train him so well ah?" - But of course!)

"When you think about it, having a man around the house is quite useful you know? Blocked sink? Get him to fix it. Toilet flush faulty? Get him to fix it. Change a light bulb? Get him to fix it. And all other tasks which requires climbing the ladder, handling the screwdriver, hammer or nuts and bolts, get him to fix it it all!", exclaimed another male friend.

I am actually quite keen on couples cohabiting before marriage, instead of having to say "You mean you don't brush your teeth before bedtime?" on the first night. Of course I also believe that along the way, you will get so used to each other that things will be taken for granted, and somehow the relationship will just stay stagnant. What's the point of getting married if you are already living together right? But hey, there's no such thing as magic. You want something to work, you put in effort. Right?

Nevertheless, cohabiting DOES kinda scare me in some ways. Heck, it's a completely new phase in the relationship! But I think our arrangement would be a good start in allevating my fears (perhaps OUR fears?). Each of us still maintain our own residency, and we merely take turns in going to each other's place for a few days.

At least I will still have a place to run off to when we end up arguing!

Posted by Doreen at 2:45 pm


Monday, May 08, 2006

Monthly Visitor

Being relatively drunk from the bottle of wine I helped myself to in the earlier part of the evening, I was sprawled on my couch watching Phua Chu Kang. Not exactly the most glam of tv programmes to be watching, but it was Sunday night can? And I usually spend Sunday nights mourning about the impending doom - Monday morning.

I left the glass doors to the balcony open, it was a warm and humid evening. Even being clad in a halter top and lose cotton pants didn't help much in cooling me down. I got up to retrieve more mango pudding from the fridge and felt the stickiness of my back against the leather couch. Yuck. Time for another shower.

As I squeezed those little mango morsels out from their little cups, I slurped loudly sucking in the pudding and the sweet syrup around it. Yes, you read me - I slurped. Loudly. Hah! Sue me!

Damn nice I tell you! The liberation and high I get from slurping loudly while eating them mini mango puddings. Who cares? No one around what! Just the Phua family and me.

Then it was time for another short commercial break. Three ladies came on screen to tell us more about the "Peraduan Rebutan Emas Kotex" (Kotex Gold Snatching Contest) with RM140,000 of gold to be won. The first lady pranced around saying "Datang bulan lagi!" (Here comes my period!) in a little happy sing-song tune. The second went "Pakai kotex lagi!" (Use Kotex again!), while the third merely said something along the lines of no contest forms needed.

There I was, skin moist and sticky from the humidity and annoyed at the fact that if I don't go for a shower soon, I may end up being glued to the leather couch for good, and I get to see some lady sing away happily about having her monthly menses.

That's ridiculous! Which woman in the right frame of mind would jump for joy at the arrival of her monthlies? OK, maybe there's one - those who missed a pill, or miscalculated their cycle, and thus are worried that they could be pregnant. Only these women would be so elated when their menses arrive.

The rest of us groan and complain about when our period is here. OK, most of us have accepted the fact that it ain't gonna go away despite our hatred for it. We just live with it I guess. But really, let me tell you more about the inconvenience us women go through during the 5 days of our menstruation, and it's NOT to be sung in a happy sing-song manner.

There's the mess. Imagine blood oozing out from your vagina non-stop for 5 whole days. It's oozing out when you are sleeping. It's oozing out when you're working, when you're walking, when you're at the computer, when you're driving, when you're smoking, when you're eating, when you're shopping, when you're having sex, when you're peeing, when you're in the shower, when you're in the lift, when you're everywhere! It doesn't stop! God damn, it just doesn't stop! For that 5 days, we constantly walk around with a wet patch between our legs. It's not nice.

Then there's the smell. Fuck me the smell is gross. The musty tang of the smell of blood is fine, but blood which has been there for say a couple of hours till your next pad / tampon change? Huh? Yes, some sanitary pads these days boasts "dry and comfortable" feeling.. but we carry that wet patch around with us all day, and sometimes, we can smell ourselves, or rather, the musky bloody smell from down there. It's not exactly Givenchy.

Then there's the inconvenience of the whole ordeal. When I had my period the other day, I left the house in a hurry and few moments later, I U-turned back. I forgot my little pouch. Yes, the little secret pouch women carry when they hit the loo. It contains our precious jewels - some tissue, a couple of tampons or sanitary pads. We are advised to change our tampons every 3 to 4 hours, therefore if we spend 8 hours at work, we need to bring an extra of 1 or 2. And if we plan to go out after work, you need a couple more. See the hassle?

Then there's the contractions and spasms in our lower abdomen which makes us go pale and all we want to do is swallow some Ponstan and curl up on the bed, while hoping that it will go away soon. But honey, we've all got bills to pay! Curling up in bed isn't gonna help!

So the meeting is about to end, finally! After 2 hours of sitting next to Mister-Look-Down-My-Cleavage in the boardroom, I was glad to get up and leave. Then I think, "Hmm.. I wonder if I stained my skirt? My last change was about 3 hours ago.. oh shit! What if I stained my skirt? Oh no! Worse! What if I stained the fabric on the chair?" But these days my fear of this has been relatively subsided ever since I found the wonders of tampons a few years ago. Tampons don't usually leak cos you stick it up inside you - which is great! Though I sometimes still worry.

Then finally, you're at the shopping mall and it's time for a change of tampon. You run to the nearest public toilet. Most of us Malaysians have our grouses about the condition of our public toilets. Dirty toilet bowls, stained toilet seats, flooded cubicles, flush not working, the terrible smell, the whole works. OK, so you're just going in there to take a quick leak and then exit, and you're already complaining. Now imagine if we gotta go in there, find a clean spot to place or hang our little pouch, find the string hanging from outside our vagina, remove the tampon, wrap it up for disposal, unwrap new tampon, insert new tampon, and then only we exit the cubicle. Imagine if the the only toilet available was flooded and dirty. And in the midst of avoiding stepping on yellow or brown puddles, we sometimes accidentally drop our new tampon on the floor. Now imagine if that's the last one! Dang, imagine the trouble!

So Kotex, you should know better. Having your monthlies is nothing to sing about!

Posted by Doreen at 9:22 am


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Globalisation, Evolution & Plastic Surgery

While the rest of them were busy exercising their vocal chords to the sounds of A*Mei, Andy Hui, Leo Ku, and the Bee Gees at the karaoke recently, me and Resh sat in the corner discussing facial features.

I pointed out to Resh that Andy Hui is one bleeding hot son of a gun, when one of his music videos came on.

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Damn hot right? Can melt right?

Everytime I walk past any store that sells eye wear, I will also croon about how hot Jordan Chan looks in one of the standees promoting the eye wear label, Too Inch.

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Oooh, men with attitude - Me like!

Andy! Jordan! Me love you long long time! Marry meeeeeee! Anyoneeeeee!


Therefore, according to Resh's analysis of my preference of men, I dig men who: (No.1) Have high cheekbones or a well defined jaw or face (No.2) Have chinky slanted eyes. And he said that the boyfriend of mine has these facial features.

Wah, sure or not? But how come I look left, right and upside down, I still cannot see how the boyfriend looks like Andy Hui or Jordan Chan!

We soon moved on to facial features of Oriental girls. He said that more and more Chinese girls now have features they so yearn for - double eyelids, long lashes and a narrower nose usually tops the list.

I personally think it's a result of globalisation. Or on grounds closer to home, a result of mixed marriages in our multicultural Malaysia. He thinks otherwise. He says it is evolution - like Darwin's theory. Species evolve as a direct result of change in external environment.

Though I digress. How can that be? That Chinese girls these days have longer lashes to keep out smoke particles during those recurring haze that Malaysia is always plagued with? Probably. But quite unlikely. Therefore I shall stick to my original conclusion that globalisation is the cause of change in the facial features that each race traditionally possess.

Then I was doing my daily browse through the local daily couple of days back, and I came across this article in the R.AGE pullout of The Star. Plastic surgery is big. Plastic surgery is rampant. Plastic surgery is about improving one's self, and thus an ego booster for those who opt for it.

Apparently girls as young as 18 or 19 are going for plastic surgery these days, and with reference being made to Malaysia and Singapore, the most popular procedures are getting double eyelids and a narrower nose.

So that Chinese admin clerk in your office who has double eyelids probably has some part of her lids sewn back by a plastic surgeon. That Chinese girl in your Media Ethics lecture probably has got her nose custom made under the knife. That Chinese woman with them thick, dark and long lashes probably kept trimming it constantly and maybe injected some hair growth hormones or something or the other.

The article made it sound as though nearly everyone is going under the knife to have their features altered! Ah Lian, Ah Beng, Ah Kao, Ah Sam, all went under the knife? Quite scary when you think about it.

So there you go - 3 conclusions as to why facial features of certain races are changing - Globalisation, Evolution and Plastic Surgery. What do you think?

Posted by Doreen at 11:39 am


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Labour Day went by in a BLINK!

Hope your Labour Day weekend went well, cos I know mine rocked. No I didn't wake up and find myself naked in bed with Brad Pitt and his erected schlong greeting me from under the covers. Though THAT would be ultra kinky. Think about it - Jolie is about to deliver her baby in Namibia and Brad wakes up naked next to Doreen.

Went to submit my tax returns at the nearest Inland Revenue Board office on Friday morning. Technically, this act itself requires a whole posting by itself because this is my first experience as a tax payer!

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Cars queuing to get into the parking lot of the IRB office at Menara PGRM, Cheras.

I got dad's help in completing Borang BE, therefore the trip to the IRB office was a breeze. I queued for a mere 10 minutes before it was my turn to have the officer check on the completed form. Only a few minor errors here and there, and I proceeded to make payment.

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The IRB office is located on the 8th floor of Menara PGRM, but during this peak period being the last few days for submission, they have opened extra counters in the lobby to serve the last minute crowd.

Since this is my virgin trip to an IRB office, I have no comparisons to make with previous years, though I think the amoubt of people there that Friday morning was "aight". Nothing too crazy.

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I took me about 45 minutes to complete everything, so I'd say it was a good trip without much hassle.

And I took the rest of the day off from work seeing how things at the office was slow as a few items on our To Do List was still pending approval from various parties.

Caught The 40 Year Old Virgin on DVD with Thomas and Jan that afternoon. That movie was DA BOMB! Go get yourself a copy from your local DVD stall.

How best to watch it? Preferably stoned.

"Dude, have you got some weed? Like you know, a whole stash? I plan to just take a few days off from work and just get baked at home. You know, I love to get baked and watch Gandhi the movie over and over again..." said woman.

"Oh yeah! I love Gandhi! Except, I feel guilty everytime I watch Gandhi when I'm baked and I tend to eat a whole lot, and I look at the dude on the tv, and he's so skinny and he ain't got nothing to eat!" said man.


Anyways, when I emerged from Thomas and Jan's apartment, the sky had already turned dark. Shucks. There goes a Friday.

Somehow I don't quite remember what happened on Saturday... except for what we did at night... Went to some joint in Bangsar to watch the game between Chelsea and Manchester United with Resh and the boyfriend. Another drinking event proudly brought to us by Malaysian Today and Carlsberg. The game was full of shit, and Mourinho can go suck balls. The beer however, was free flowing and I was very happy.

Sunday, we spent in town. It's been ages since I set out on foot to wander aimlessly around Times Square, Sungai Wang and Low Yat Plaza.

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Golden toenails shining in the sun!

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KLites marching to the sounds and bustle of our city.

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A lone kap chai

After several hours, the boyfriend and me ended up with 3 items - a T-shirt for me that reads "Fucking Cute!", a giant bag of cotton candy and a skull-head ashtray for the house.

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Grape flavoured cotton candy.

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Smokers love an ashtray with a deep crater.

I got the ashtray for RM 19.90 at one of those little shops at Sungai Wang. I don't exactly remember what it's called, but it carries a whole range of wicked stuff. From Halloween masks to little cans of tricks and funny little knick knacks.

We hurried home to deflower The Head.

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A sinister and evil skull head, juxtaposed against the innocence of boxes of Nestle cereal.

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Aaah.. *takes a deep drag*

The Head very sporting leh! Whatever we gave it, it took it without complain!

Then it caught my eye!

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Then I started pigging out on purple coloured cotton candy, which resulted in this..

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Mommy will be so mad at me! All the colouring!

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Our teeth turned purple. So we had to smile with our lips closed.

The best part about this weekend?

My housemates are away on holiday for a whole 3 weeks! And this is my first weekend having the house to myself!

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Kicking back after a looooong day....

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; )

Posted by Doreen at 9:12 am