Monday, December 27, 2010

Prozac Sunrise

My walls are black, the way I like 'em
They don't pretend in a colourless world
and the ravens rise, no way to fight 'em
Breathe in the smoke as it uncurls

I can safely say I have not missed
the colours you stole when you went away
the blue from the sky, the red from my wrist
which have congealed and settled into shades of gray

I could paint a Prozachean sunrise
or write a tender verse about despair
inspiration flickers and then it dies
I write, I paint, I find, I do not care

But depression is art and I do it so well
I do it so it feels like hell.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas at the Cranks

Well, well, well...there's about 10 minutes more to go and Julie is slumped on the sofa watching Carrie. We've just taken the doggies for a late walk (storms prevented taking them at their normal time), Ivan is upstairs either sleeping or reading his Our Friends Jennings courtesy of moi, and Mum is either asleep or reading Sidney Sheldon's Morning, Noon and Night (also courtesy of moi).

It has been a slightly atypical Christmas in that we didn't scream and throw things at each other. Over dinner I said we should have a tee-shirt done for the whole family - a goofy family portrait with the words "We put the fun in dysFUNctional".

Mums glared at me:

"Do you realise you're insulting me?"

I still think it's a good idea.

Check it out:

Here's the Big M with her stash:

Here's the Shi Sho:

And the Chubster:

I have no decent shots of the D-man. He didn't change out of his sarong for the present-opening ceremony. Then he was grumpy because it was half 3 and lunch was still not ready (I tell you some people ah...).

Esther gave me chocolates. Here's Chubs helping himself and refusing to give any to Shi Sho, who's standing there and lecturing him about the true meaning of Christmas:

Here's the tree:

And all the presents:

I just finished reading the book about imaginary friends that Mary gave me for Christmas. Esther was here earlier, eating cake and telling me all about everything.

The D-Man and Unkley are now watching a Malayalam movie that Unkley brought. Dadda is emitting his mirthless laugh and saying that all of this is a fantasy thought up in the minds of the moviemakers. Not historically accurate. Unkley is leaning forward eagerly either engrossed in the movie or pretending to be.

We've eaten too much as usual. Jules says she is going to get fit next year and is trying to convince Chubs to get fit along with her.

As for me, I haven't decided on any New Year's Resolutions, as yet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bigger Than Phil

When we were little, Mick played a recording of The 2000 Year Old Man for Josh and me. Mel Brooks played the 2000 Year Old Man with an old-school Yiddish accent, and Carl Reiner interviewed him as the straight man.

INTERVIEWER: Did you believe in anything?

OLD MAN: Yes, a guy - Phil. Philip was the leader of our tribe.

INTERVIEWER: What made him the leader?

OLD MAN: Very big, very strong, big beard, big arms, he could just kill you. He could walk on you and you would die.

INTERVIEWER: You revered him?

OLD MAN: We prayed to him. Would you like to hear one of our prayers? "Oh Philip. Please don't take our eyes out and don't pinch us and don't hurt us....Amen."

INTERVIEWER: How long was his reign?

OLD MAN: Not too long. Because one day, Philip was hit by lightning. And we looked up and said..."There's something bigger than Phil."

Are You My Guru? Wendy Shanker

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And The Search for Happiness

Well well well. I trudged all the way to the LRT station yesterday (feeling very proud of myself) and took myself to the KLCC in search of bottles. My re-closeable wassail bottles had run out and I had some wassail leftover. Unbottled. One more, just one more.

Unfortunately, other people had the same thought so the bottles which had been abounding at Isetan were not there anymore. There, was however, a pretty Italian bottle with a cork. Probably for olive oil but who cares? I bought it and brought it home and lo and behold, the wassail looks great in it.

Trips on the LRT can be exciting and instructive. Naturally I always have a book but sometimes you are so crammed inside there that there is no chance of whipping out said book to read.

Don't you just hate the people who are overladen with umbrella, backpack and a hundred different plastic and paper bags? And don't you just hate it when these people sit down right next to you and stick their umbrella into you and are not even aware of it, despite the plethora of pained expressions that cross your face?

Well, the guy sitting next to me did too. I didn't realise my umbrella was sticking into him until he got up and walked off (possible to detrain) but maybe because he was really really annoyed...I plunked myself down beside him, packages and all, like a veritable bag lady, and rudely awakened him from what seemed to be deepest slumber.

I didn't notice the pained expressions. When I did notice it and remove the umbrella from where it was sticking into his leg, it was too late. His impression of Malaysians as pesky inconsiderate annoyances was already cemented.

And if I were not enough, it being the school holidays, there were scads of little children running around on the train as their parents looked on indulgently, bumping against him and stepping his toes.

Normally kids annoy me but since I was busy being part of the annoyance, and since I looked really peculiar with my straw hat and bags and bags, they had the wisdom to avoid me and step on the toes of the long-suffering fellow next to me. Also the long-suffering guy just opposite him who stayed on the train (and thus suffered) far longer.

Anyways, a trip to KLCC wouldn't be complete without a visit to Kinokuniya so of course I went, without looking for anything in particular and discovered this:

which I never heard off, but which I just finished and can only say, excellent, excellent, very very.

And this:

You'd think that all I did yesterday when I got back was read. But that's not true. I also watched two Christmas movies back to back. (See I told you I was productive!)

And I made chocolate chip cookies, butter shortbread, the cake part of the lemon curd cake, Texas Fudge cake (without the fudge). All in one night.

Believe me, that takes some doing.

And today I will be making two chocolate raspberry streusel bars.

Don't you just love the silly season?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fair's Fair

My phone shows there's a message and as I click on it I already know what it's going to say. The thing is, if you cancel on me once or twice, no worries. We're all busy people and life tends to get in the way of our plans.

But if you make it a habit what can I infer but that a meeting with me is of the lowest priority which will give way to anything (and I do mean anything) at the slightest moment's notice?

The slight irritation I felt began to thrum. The message asked if we could do this tomorrow?

Then I remembered. Tomorrow is Chubs's Christmas party. And after that, off to JB. So no, we can't do it tomorrow. Sorry.

And immediately I felt better.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if you make it a habit of canceling on me, I'll make it a habit of never making plans with you. I don't want to block off my time for someone who doesn't value it.

After all, fair's fair.

The Final Stretch

Among other things, I have sprayed Arnold with the distickinfectant again (it's been two days since his bath, so I figured it was time), called the police officer to find out the status of the case (she fixes her car, I fix mine), called the workshop to find out the status of the car (it's being cemented now, whatever that means), made out a shopping list of ingredients (I need to make four more cakes and two more kinds of cookies), washed and hung out my bedclothes, downloaded three MP3s (legally, I might add) and texted a friend to ask if we're meeting tonight. (She didn't answer but I notice people take longer and longer to answer texts).

After this I will have to take myself off to Innisfree, or rather, the LRT station, to make my way ultimately to KLCC to buy a recloseable bottle (I have leftover wassail to put it in) and then back again to get all the items on my shopping list from the nearby supply store. What I seem to need more than anything else is cakes and cakes of butter. Also raspberry jam. Also aluminum foil. Also whipping cream. No more eggs because I have enough to last me through this baking stint.

Arnold is turning up his nose at his food which means I need to go forage for him as well. He's looking like a sad, sorry little doggie after the spraying (I can't help it, it's the lesser of the two evils, the alternative being a tick-fest).

Dadda is out to post cards. I offered to post them for him but he said no, he wanted to take a walk. That was like two hours ago and he's still out. (How long does it take to post cards?) I need to call and ascertain he's OK before I go out again.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Lights

I've decided to start a stamp album (talk about archaic hobbies!). But the Christmas cards have started to trickle in and I love the stamps and can't bear to throw them away. So I'll go out there on one of my famous quests (only thing is my fellow quester in search of archaic objects, Mary Zachariah, is not here to don the armour, take up her sword and follow me).

But that's now what I came here to talk about. (I just thought I'd put that in as I decided right this minute - talk about on the minute news, hahahahaha)

Anyways, I decided yesterday that I would go look at the lights of Bukit Bintang and see why everyone was making such a fuss about Pavilion.

To do so, I had to take one LRT, change at Sentral, and then one Monorail. Note to the uninitiated: I had never taken said Monorail before and didn't even know where the station was.

But I am nothing if not a reporter and an expert on being lost (there's a difference between being an expert in getting lost and an expert in being lost - an expert in being lost usually finds her way). So I asked around and was led in the right general direction and crossing the street in Brickfields, my engladdened eyes did behold the station. It said Sentral though if you asked me, I would have said Brickfields because it was so not in Sentral. Anyway, whatever floats your boat, station namers...

So I settled in, got seats in both the LRT and the Monorail which was a feat considering that two thirds of the population decided to do just what I did and land up on Bukit Bintang.

Ah, but the streets were crowded. I saw the latest version of the Mat Rocks and it was difficult not to stop, stare and take down notes like any good anthropologist (except that I'm not one and these people fascinate me because, let's face it, they're fascinating). There were tourists, there were Malaysians of all shapes and sizes. There were stern-looking policeman who kept telling us we couldn't cross the street (we crossed anyway).

The Starhill stretch was not very impressive - I mean same old, same old.

But oh my, Pavilion was everything they said it was and more.

This was what it looked like on the outside:

And for a closer look:

And this was what it looked like on the inside:

And another view:

It took my breath away. Anyways after wandering around Pavilion and trying out a beautiful red Love on Earth dress which did not fit (though the colour looked great on me), I was hungry.

Looking for something to eat I got waylaid by a young boy selling perfume who sprinkled my wrist liberally with Tresor in Love (it was lovely and if I didn't have a dressing table covered in perfume I would buy it) and told me where the nearest ATM machine was. (You go downstairs...)

Anyways I decided to try out the beef pepper rice at Pepper Lunch. Paid for my meal, went and sat down, and waited. And waited. And waited. They were running around short-staffed and people just kept pouring in and buying meals. The smells were enough to kill but I had my book, so it was not too bad.

This is what it looked like:

When the supervisor finally arrived with my meal he apologised profusely that I had waited so long, showed me how to mix it up, how to pour the sauces (sweet and salty) and asked me where I was from. Apparently, I looked like an Indian tourist. But I fear his powers of deduction were sadly wanting here.

Firstly, I didn't have the Indian accent. I have a very Malaysian one (believe me, I had to sit near two Indians on the monorail back with very strong accents, one telling the other that he had dumped his girlfriend of four years because she was bugging him to stop drinking and also because in all those four years, she never put out...all this at the top of his voice to someone sitting just next to him) Secondly, I was ordering the beef pepper rice. Thirdly and most significantly, I was alone. How many Indian girls from India would you see sitting in a corner by themselves reading a book and waiting for a meal? I mean even in Malaysia that's weird, but in India?

So I finished my excellent overpriced meal and took me off for the journey home which was a lot more crowded than the journey there. When I got back to the Monorail it was crowded. So crowded that it was hard to believe it was already nearing 11.

I mean to say what? Didn't these people have anything better to do? For that matter, didn't I?

So trying not to push and shove I got pushed and shoved inside where I bagged a seat near aforementioned Indians who were telling each other the most private things at the top of their voices. It takes all sorts.

When I finally got off at the Paramount LRT, it was dark and lonely and I walked all the way home remembering the beautiful dress that didn't fit. Jerry had texted earlier to say it was the Backyard party tonight but without a car, or a gang to go with (like those delectable Mat Rocks who looked and acted about 12 all over Bukit Bintang), I just didn't feel like it.

Arnold greeted me enthusiastically when I got home and made me feel so loved. Whenever one of us is about to go out (and he knows we are because we do suspicious things like bathe, change our grotty clothes and maybe, and this is the worst, put on makeup) he either head-butts our knees in an attempt to make us change direction, or flops on the floor and look at us out of heartbroken eyes - you'd be surprised the amount of emotion that little drama queen doggie can put into one look)

I realise of course that none of this could be of the slightest interest to all y'all, but I like recording these things, pictures and all, so I can come back and look at them, say a few months hence, and smile to myself. I wish I had recorded a lot more pictures along the way before this.

Never mind.

I always have the blog posts.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bathing Arnold

Things I most like about bathing Arnold:

1. It's not too difficult; he is a relatively docile and obedient doggie;

2. The second shampooing which lathers up much more quickly;

3. The ticks that fall lifeless to the ground in the process (my pet shop guy did good - both in terms of the spray and the tick shampoo);

4. How clean and cute and respectable he looks after;

Things Arnold likes about bathing;

1. He gets to spend quality time with me and get very personalised attention;

2. The dead ticks dropping on the bathroom floor (I'm guessing here)

3. The good rub down he gets after;

4. The fact that his body is less itchy and he doesn't have to scratch so much;

5. All of the above, or nothing at all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As Days Go By

Arnold is lying next to me, asleep on the floor. He twitches in his sleep, so I put my hand on him to calm him down. When in deep sleep, he starts to whimper. Yesterday he disturbed Chubs's (who was sleeping on the sofa) sleep.

I look down on him and see bare patches on his fur. He looks much better than when we first found him on the neighbour's doorstep, but he won't win a beauty contest any time soon.

Who would want a dog so damaged?

Ivan declines to sleep over tonight, saying he is particularly tired because of this little black ball of fur. Then, he pauses and says the doggie must have gone through hell to cry like that in his sleep. I tell Chubs the condition he was in when we found him. He says, yes, that's enough to give him nightmares for life.

He's an old dog. He's tired. I wish I had my own place. I would keep him in a heartbeat. Maybe that will be what I have to work on next year. To get my own place so Arnold can have his own little corner (somewhere near me, of course). To get him back from Furry Friends and spoil him rotten.

I decided today I wouldn't run around. I would stay at home and keep him company. I only have him for a few days more, before I have to surrender him to the vet for the various nips and tucks, and then the farm. I had to go out in the morning to post the residue of a present (long story) and buy Arnold some food.

As Dadda was out too, he was a little concerned. (Arnold doesn't like being left alone). He was very happy to see me back so soon, (well, relatively soon, anyway) and watched carefully as I changed out of my "going out" clothes into my chapalang stay-at-homers, after feeding him.

Then he alternated between the kitchen and dining room, as I made my way from one to another, mixing up the Texas fudge cake.

(He's now in twitchy REM sleep)

I have no more deliveries to make. After all, if everything had gone according to plan, I would have been in JB by now. Maybe there's a reason for all this. If I had my car, Arnold would have been delivered up to the vet by now and I wouldn't get to spend these last few days with him.

Arnold was stretched out, now he's curled up. I think he's a little cold. I put my hand on his back and he sighs. His nose twitches. I think he's dreaming of interesting smells. He sleeps with his tongue sticking out. Just a tiny smidge.

His new red studded leather collar is already a little stained. Wonder how he managed to do that. Or where. The collar goes with him when he leaves for the farm. Maybe Sabrina will allow him to keep it.

One thing about Arnold, he never bothers cats. There was a kitten mewing piteously outside our house. Arnold pattered out and ignored her. Chasing cats doesn't seem to be in his ken.

He really is a very gentle dog. Old and gentle and damaged and ever so sweet.

I wish someone else, other than me, someone with land, someone who loved dogs and would take care of him, someone who just wanted him for him and not for what he could do for them, would take him and keep him and buy him a nice fluffy bed and chew toys and send him for doggie massage and grooming and play with him and just appreciate how sweet he is.

He just woke up (I think I'm bothering him) so I sang Hush O Baby, patted his butt and put him back to sleep again.

When I Don't Make Sense

I like me better when I don't make sense. I like me better when I explain nothing. Explication is tedious. Let me just dive into cake. Or wine. Or some ghost of an experience. Let me just gesture at shadows and hum little tunes.

Let me not be clear.

Let me sip wassail and wink at you and go on and on and on and on and on...

I saw you today.

Hiding at the bottom of my brandy glass. I swirled you around and drank you up.

You burned my throat.

Brandy, brimstone, brandy, brimstone...

There'll come a day when you're losing your way
and you won't know where you belong
they say that home is where the heart is
so follow your heart
and know that you can't go wrong...

These Are The Nights

Blogs are good. They allow us to record memories we can come back to when in vacant or pensive mood and relive the good ole days. These are the good old days. Went out last night with Nits to Reef for the first time and had a blast. Reef is kinda what Backyard used to be before the renovations. More intimate and homey. Nits said it was a neighbourhood pub. But that's what Backers used to be as well. A neighbourhood pub. Now it's acquired a layer of glitz and is betwixt and between. Don't worry Jerry, I still love it and will still keep on coming just as long as Mark plays on Mondays.

Anyways, here are some selections from the night:


Mark was playing of course. Why else would we be there?

I had apple cider and Nits had vodka lime. We were moderate and didn't tipple to inebriation. The result of which, I am stone cold unhungover today. I have stuff to do and the clouds are lowering and rain is slashing in sideways. Not the best of times to go out. Arnold is outside under his favourite car, a kitten is mewing pitifully (I tried to catch her to feed her, but she ran away, not recognising a friend...maybe I smelt of dog) and George has said (not you Georgie, the other George) I have a habit of collecting strays.

So what should I do?

Make another Texas Fudge, I guess.

The Christmas Basket Project/The Reason for the Season

A mix CD of Christmas carols;
A collection of specially-selected Christmas stories;
A bottle of wassail (traditional English Christmas drink given to carollers who came tramping in the snow to your doorstep to spread good cheer)
A cake (lemon curd, Texas fudge) or cookies (chocolate chip, butter shortbread)
A box of soy tarts, a burner and candles for the burner (flavours include chocolate turtle brownie, caramel apple, spiced orange, caramel mocha, apple brown betty) so you can permeate your house with the smells of Christmas)
Other things (according to person) to show I love you

It was an idle thought sometime in the middle of this year. Yes, I think it was after July, when I had completed the project from hell and was at leisure to think about something NICE I would like to do. And nothing can be nicer than Christmas (Amy Grant is singing 'It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year' now and agreeing with me).

So there I was idly jotting down what I would like to go into my baskets in a really nice notebook that a friend had given me when I was going through a particularly bad spot in the project (from Hell, in case you were wondering) and wanting to throw in the towel and just walk away.

The notebook said on its cover:

that you have what it takes to make your dreams a reality

knowing that you are in control of your life - that you have the ability within you to do anything

at every opportunity that comes by accepting challenges and learning along the way.

the beautiful person that you are - giving so much hope, love and joy to those around you.

I called it my happy notebook. It was only to record happy projects. Flipping through it, I see that I used it to design the birthday cards I was making (what to write inside, what to use for artwork outside), dreams, books I would like to have (the two I see there are In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin and Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf), my Christmas card list (it was fun, fun, fun writing out the Christmas cards scattered all over the bed, making checks on my list), a list of herbs I wanted to grow (chives, basil, dill, sage, thyme, oregano, parsley) in pots. I still haven't although I did buy the herb packets. I also see a recipe for aviyal (the famous Malayalee vegetable dish) with very precise instructions, from Mary's mother, from when I was in Sungai Petani in July.

I also see what I actually wanted to put in my Christmas basket. And realise I fell short, way short of everything I had originally planned. But never mind, there's always next year.

So I started picking the stories I wanted to include and inputting them into my laptop in a folder called very originally, Christmas stories. I started picking the carols I wanted to include in my CD. Some old favourites, some new (at least to Malaysians). And I started scouring eBay for the candles.

Having months and months to prepare (although towards the end it was all a rush and blur) I took my time. A little a day. Or nothing at all. Anyway it grew and grew.

I wondered sometimes at the reactions. I didn't give it much thought. It was something I wanted to do and I usually go overboard, but what is life if not for a little exaggeration?

I baked the cakes, slow-cooked the wassail, burned the CDs, made the covers, printed out the books, took them for binding, found the appropriate bottles for my wassail, bought the baskets from a uncle at a flower shop near the house who decided to become my good friend and recognise me as a "regular" customer. All of this was fine when I had my car. It became a little more complicated without it.

However, I pushed on, pushed on. My friends were surprised and delighted.

But there were two reactions in particular. An old friend (that I hadn't seen or talked to for a long time) and an aunt who is generally left to her own devices at Christmas teared up. It meant so much more to them than gaily-wrapped packages in a pretty basket. It brought some Christmas cheer to them. Which is what I had hoped as each thing I selected was supposed to infuse you with just a little spirit. (Of course the wassail, depending on how much rum I used, could infuse you with a lot more than a little).

Yesterday I delivered my last package. The person I delivered it to cut a piece of cake (lemon curd), sampled it, put in the CD to play as background and thumbed through the stories. She told me that it was wonderful to know that she had not been forgotten.

What can I say?

Peace on earth.

Goodwill to All.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Patchwork Quilt

Ah, it's tomorrow. The splitting headache has been slept off (I suspect it had a lot to do with being hungover), I have Ivan's car for one more day (yay!), I have one last basket to deliver today (called yesterday and made appointment to do so), one more cake (for friends that is) to bake, and well, all of my files from my old faulty hard disk (which crashed spectacularly and gave up its ghost two days ago) to transfer to the external hard drive (Dell wants its faulty hard drive back and it is merely on loan to me for the next two weeks).

Yesterday the police officer in charge of my case called to say I was at fault in the accident. That necessitated a trip to the station and an argument of gigantic proportions. He said he would "reconsider" and tell me his decision on Saturday. I am to call. Ivan said to call Godfrey and ask if he's free because it's always good to have a lawyer along at these things. Also, he was surprised that speeding in a housing area was not considered an offense.

Ho hum.

Anyways, in between freaking out about this and my hard disk (fixed now, blessedly fixed) I made a cake (Texas Fudge) for Julie's office, presented Alison with a basket (she met me in between a root canal, her son throwing up suddenly and rushing to some relative's house to sign some documents - hectic is too gentle a word for it), bought Mum's present and got something to deal with Arnold's ticks.

He had a few which we used to pick out manually and these have graduated...talking to the pet shop guy, he said, if you find one or two ticks on a dog, you can't just kill them and trust to fate. The doggies pick them up outside (Arnold, as we all know roams far and wide) and they have to be dealt with instantly.

Anyways, he sold me a spray (RM68? I mean to say what?) and a tick shampoo. However, I have strict orders to use the spray first, rub it deep into his fur all over his skin and leave it for two days to spread and do the good work. Then I can use the tick shampoo to give him a much-needed bath.

I forced the little doggie to stand there while I sprayed him within an inch of his life last night. Today, I can only say that he seems to be scratching less. I can't wait till I can bathe him and my baby is all clean again. I will drop him off at the vet at the end of this week to be spayed, vaccinated and dewormed. Only after this will he be accepted in the Furry Friends Farm. I will pick him up again after I get back to JB.

I hope to have dealt with the tick problem before that.

And, like James Taylor, I wish I had a river I could sail away on.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Day in Pictures

Life is a roller coaster, just gotta ride it.

A sample of pictures from yesterday:

A Christmas Basket

Still Sober

Drunk as skunks

A little bit o' Mark

A little bit o' fun

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Glorious Adventure or Nothing At All

I'm installing a DVD burner, Julie's Christmas present to me (after I finish using it I can give it back to her to wrap and put under tree) and listening to my new Celtic Woman Christmas album that I got at One U with Chubs today. Chubs, Jules and the D-Man have gone to church.

They remember, after all, the reason for the season, while I, heathen that I am, sit here installing software and making more presents and listening to semi-traditional carols. (They will probably be singing O Come Divine Messiah right about now, the hymn that always told me Advent was here and made me tingle with anticipation).

Oh well, see y'all in the funny papers.

After Celtic Woman I'll listen to Amy Grant. Then maybe Andy Griffith. And I'll wrap the presents I bought today.

Later for you.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Welcome to this side of chaos: in other words, my room. If I were to step out bed now I would come slap bang wallop into, let's see, a battery charger, my handbag, dirty laundry, four baskets tied together all anyhow, a box of goodies (to be sent), face cotton in a baking tin, assorted presents, Christmas cards, boxes containing a special gift specially ordered from the US of A, books (birthday present from my Uncle Solomon which I have yet to look at though they do look interesting), a wastepaper basket crammed to the hilt, wrapping paper, old copies of The Edge supplements, a water bottle with seriously stale water, my travelling bag (from JB which remains as yet not unpacked).

The good news is...I gave away my first Christmas basket today. And it went like a dream. Here. Take a look. (You didn't think I would keep showing you bruised cars and a bruiseder me, did you?)

I will not expound on the different things in the Christmas basket (since you may be one of those who's getting it and I don't want to spoil the surprise). Suffice to say, you know what I'll be doing for the next few days.

Today Chubs lent me his car so I was able to get around and run a 100 errands and actually make a date to see someone I hadn't seen in a long time. On Sunday. I'll let you know if it happens.

You see, here's the thing. I have to distribute all my presents before I make for JB. And there I'll be baking mostly, I think. Also rubbing my Big M down with ayurvedic oils which seem to be doing her good.

Please, please, please, please, please.

Monday, December 06, 2010

All Done

Shah Rukh Khan's "I'm the best" is playing in my head..

because I finished...all the stories for the year....YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Of course T hasn't responded to tell me if they're OK or if they need tweaking, but still.

Now a little light editing and then I can get up and dance with King Khan.


There is a growing sense of unreality about everything. I stare at the notes I have just transcribed from my last interview of the year and cannot make head or tail of it. How do I write the story?

I'm too tired to goreng. But it's like part of me has disengaged and is sitting back and watching everything. That part of me is tired, bored, weary, half asleep. It's saying, so long, and thank you for playing, I need to go somewhere now.

And the other part is saying, wait, wait, I have this story to finish and some other stuff to edit and the Christmas baskets to complete and cakes to bake and and and...

The other part sighs and says, ok, maybe I'll give you a couple of weeks. Do what you have to do.

But don't be all year about it.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Do Or Do Not

There is no try.

What can I say?

I did not.

Friday, December 03, 2010


If I was still on Facebook, my update today would be:

Painkillers are da bomb!

Settling In

I don't know if it's the reaction or if I was actually injured yesterday but the pain has begun in earnest. Everything on my right side aches. I find it difficult to turn my neck that way. And my shoulder is another thing altogether.

Of course the thing to do when you're in pain is tell my hysterical Dadda. Who has suggested everything from the clinic across to the hospital..."because I need to claim for personal injury." He was hustling, then I told him, I can't go anywhere till the mechanic comes.

Now apparently after calling the insurance company, it's not the mechanic who's coming but the tow truck. They are trucking my poor injured baby away and then goodbye to mobility and hello to having to get around in cabs once more.

Hey Wolfie I'm your worst nightmare! Your ass is mine!

(If that doesn't make sense don't worry, I never made sense before the accident, surely you don't expect me to make sense after?)

So the other party has apparently not made a police report and the 24 hour time limit we're given to do it, is up.

In other news, our dogs in JB had a massive disagreement which resulted in blood spattered on the pavement. More Maggot than Elliot's blood which means we will have to be doing something about them real soon. This is not the time to be without a car when I will ostensibly have to send Arnold to other quarters. He's lying beside me now, scratching. I have to bathe him, but am dreading it with my shoulder and side the way they are.

OK, on the Christmassy side...I must find my way into Bangsar to do a mess of errands. Before I take off with Chubs today for JB. Or maybe he'll go tomorrow. He's tired and I cut in on his work time severely yesterday. When I called him he was at home finishing what he was supposed to have finished two days ago.

I need a basket.

Twisted Metal, Shattered Dreams

I can't sleep. My neck and shoulders have seized up in pure fright and my stomach churns every time I close my eyes. Everything aches and terror drips like a broken washer, into my dreams.

I read something as innocuous as Lucia to drop off and then the moment I switch off the light I snap awake. I can't seem to get comfortable in my body. I keep expecting something to crash into me again.

I'm huddled in the corner on the look out for oncoming missiles.

The police station today: Chubs who had come here after a meeting in KL decided to take on role of good Samaritan. So he noticed that the old people who were forced to use the computers without guidance to file their reports were somewhat (more than) at a loss. I, busy filling out my own form, didn't.

When he pointed out one poor old woman who was really struggling, I gaily tripped over, asked her if she needed any help and proceeded to commandeer the mouse from her and fill out her report in no time at all. The result of which she was next in the queue after me.

And Chubs was just about to begin helping another old couple when I emerged from the questioning room, from whence he had been banished (drivers only, will the man in the black tee-shirt please wait outside?).

Tomorrow I'll call Ah Meng to come take the car and work his magic. Transform it from a thing of twisted metal and shattered dreams into a shiny dream of what once was.

Ya think?

Maybe I'll use this wakefulness to some good purpose.

Maybe I'll work till I fall asleep.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Crash, Boom, Bang

If you think this blog has been a little frivolous of late, don't worry, that's about to change. I have real news today.

I nearly died.

A car rammed into my side and my car spun out of control. Thankfully it did not spin out of control into the path of oncoming traffic, but bad enough. My passenger side is all smashed up.

If it had been the driver's side, you would not be reading this.

I'm still shaking.

Of course, you're all the last to know.

The moment my father found out (he was in the hospital calling me to pick him up) he was on the phone and within a few seconds, both my mobile and landline started ringing off the hook.

Mum went into shock, Chubs called and said he would come after his meeting in KL, Julie called, all calm and calming and gave me the number of a mechanic near the house for a second opinion. She's coming over at lunchtime.

Did I tell you I was still shaking? Mummy's on the phone to me now and she's still shaking too. She is cancelling her plans because she does not trust herself to drive out now.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wine, Women, Song and Cake

I had a birthday dinner with Nits last night. It was wonderful, wonderful, despite an initial contretemps where I was supposed to bring something and when almost there, realised I didn't have it, U-turned and went back to get it...while poor Nitsy Poo was starving in her car, waiting for me, thinking I was lost.

Despite all this...when we got there, everything was, in a word, perfect. The delicious wine and lemony 'tini, the pasta (we both couldn't finish, so we doggie-bagged and young Arnold, who has disappeared on his morning jaunt, will be the beneficiary). I hope he comes back soon. I don't like having him out.

Yesterday I met the most fascinating little kid, who helped me do my ingredients shopping. I had asked his advice about fondant, so he took me to the freezer, showed me the various sizes available, asked what I wanted it for...and then proceeded to grab the list out of my hand and whisk around the shop getting the different things (except for when he couldn't read my writing and had to come back and ask me what this or that was). He tried to get me to make florentinas (I think that's how it's spelled) but since my baking schedule is already on overdrive, I said maybe later. And then I asked for a baking tray and he showed me the various ones available (bear in mind this boy is only eight years old). I said, hmm...they seem rather flat...don't you have anything deeper? And he said, auntie, you mean cake tin, not baking tray. Oops! Anyway, he went into his spiel again, explaining the virtues of the various cake tins. I turned inquiring eyes on his mother. Did she teach him all this? No, she shook her head smiling. He just listens to us explaining things and picks it up. Apparently he's in the express class but still bored.

Anyway, after helping me to all the ingredients he could possibly find, suggesting a few alternatives that I may not have agreed with (such as rum essence for rum) he begged his mother to be able to tot it all up with the cash register. She refused nicely, getting him to do something else instead. So he got out the trolley, and packed everything on it and told me he would be following me to the car with everything. I said, no, no, I parked the car far away. So he said, yeah, so what does that mean, you're going to carry this all by yourself?

My little porter was all on the ready, so I said, no worries, I'll just drive the car round and load it. And that's what I did. The young man, his mother, his mother's maid all helped and we loaded everything up quick smart. So now I have got nearly all the ingredients necessary for my baking to begin.

I just need rum and aromatic bitters and I think I'll go scrounging around for that today. After my interview at 11. In Subang. After which I see the Prabhakaran (must remember to load my car with her presents).

I haven't even started on the story for the last interview. Instead, I've been dissipating, dissipating, dissipating, and soon I'll be baking.

Look at this:

Don't I have the most beautiful friends?