Friday, December 23, 2005

Bells & Belles

Christmas is here again. Cotton wool on plastic trees and Asian Santa Clauses are once again the mainstay of shopping malls. Nevertheless I love it, in all its failed glory and oxymoron. Would you believe I have 19 presents to buy? As with every festival, I find myself split in all directions and this time lugging ZW with me too. Thank God I'd placated my friends until new year, so the focus is mainly on the family at Xmas.

That is to say that I am grateful to be split in all these directions. Beats being alone.

As for New Year's Eve, I am looking forward to a quiet celebration with closest friends, or my Chosen Family as they say in America, Land of New Inventions. Last thing I want is to wake up on New Year's Day with a massive hangover and wishing I wasn't awake.

2006 promises to be a great year for tigers and I'm looking forward to it. Some may say that this year has been a bad one for me but I think quite the opposite. No, circumstances have not been ideal but I think Clarity has dawned on me again, in a way that it hasn't for a long long time. I often feel like I have emerged from a great fog. Awakening yes, and thankful for it. Action and Self-Control is coming to me in degrees and it is in this aspect hat I hope to see further development next year. I have no doubt it will be eventful.

Lilian Too says I will have many suitors next year but I will brush them off despite them being good guys because I am apparently in serach for something more exciting. I hope I find it! is always nice to be chased and to be involved in the games that come with it but when the water boils down in the pan, what do you want to be stuck with? A burnt crust or a good stock? you can see, I am in holiday mode and not capable of even writing a simple entry so I will end on this note:

I have been on a mission to make peace with my foes - too harsh a term - 'people I turn my face away from' as they say in Chinese (meen chor chor) - KL is too small to keep avoiding people. Since my separation, I have had a irrepressible need to make peace with everyone and dissolve as much bad karma as possible. This has been met with varying degrees of success, but overall speaking, its been a cleansing experience. One such person and I are friends now - good friends and its been a pleasure how easy it has been for us to fall into buddyhood, a place we are both extremely comfortable in. Yesterday, as well as a couple of times before, he paid me a compliment that has been long needed. He said that I am now far sexier than I have ever been before even though I am 10kgs heavier. There is something about me that hints at more and that is way more appealing than a thin girl in a tight dress. In fact, I qualify as a MILF. Now that really takes the hat!

And funny that, it had to come from him. Someone who I tossed aside once upon a time (sorry if you know who you are - but nocody ever reads this blog anyway) who has ironically come to mean very much to me. Chosen family, bro!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Growl of an Asian Tiger

Should you have the time, pick up a copy of Wei Hui's Shanghai Baby. Whilst it is tempting, don't lump her with other Chinese writers; there is nothing Wild Swanish about Shanghai Baby and if you are an urban female, anywhere in the world, I think you will find many parallels.

It's a relief to find such a read (actually it is a relief to read) by a female Chinese author. She doesn't write with that expected tone of destitude and tragedy that seem to define many female Chinese authors. Even the bittersweet Joy Luck Club had its fair share of frail heroines. After a load of stories set against a backdrop of Chinese history, this urban tale about sex, drugs, deceit and discovery is refreshing...and best of all, the parallels are so close, you can almost smell it.

I am not that well read in terms of female Asian authors (or any author for that matter) but I steer clear of Indian writers. I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. Books that have been hailed as the next best thing have caught me yawning and looking for the next best thing on the shelf. I had just about given up on the Chinese but the tale and tone of Shanghai Baby nailed it for me. I am further impressed that it managed to hold its shape despite a translation.

As for female English writers, I was browsing the well-stocked bookshelves at Changi airport and was most disappointed at the number of chick-lit a.k.a Trash on the market these days. The plots are neither captivating nor mildly exciting. But what really put me off, despite their rather fun titles, is what I will term Metro-lit. Yes, men writing about men, chick-lit style.

The idea of men over-analysing situations and behaviour (outside the confines of work), plotting with their best friends to get the girl of their dreams and other such abnormal male behavior, is so beyond the call of nature that it throws me off completely. I find that it intrudes into my girl-space and is a sorry excuse for gay men to pass of as straight men.

I refuse to redefine my girl behaviour to accomodate The New Age Man because there is no such thing. The New Age Man is an exaggeration of what was there all along. So don't come and do the chick thing on paper 'cos it sounds downright gay. If you are gay - fine - write your gay lit but don't pretend to be straight and tell us stories about sensitive urban guys who trawl Manhatten clubs in search of rainbows. It's deceitful.

That aside, so I ended up with Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole and The Weapons Of Mass Destruction. So far it has not been an exciting read. Obviously, I wouldn't be blogging otherwise. I actually even did some filing today.

It pisses me off that Adrian has turned out the way he has (ie. Complete Loser) and his life has failed to amuse me. It is a disappointment because I had so enjoyed reading abouthis youth. (On what I think about wanting to read happy endings, see the next post.)

Actually, anything that reminds me of the reality that is now England and the English really puts me off. I cannot believe that it can still call itself a Developed Nation when Blockbuster Video and Turkey Twisters can still sustain themselves in this day and age.

Candy floss and what a mess it makes!

Does misery create good literature?

We will soon discover if I write better down and out or up and about.

What a break! So much has is better.

Is it possible to be down and not really know it? Having a look through my pre-break posts, it appears I lived a pastel-coloured, candy-coated existence...right, I wouldn't even call it a life. More like living in pink candy floss...all entangled and messy but so pretty and sweet! Someone mentioned a "Disneyland Life" the other day - quite within the context of something else, but I think it apt applied here.

"The Gans are off again"...


What was I on?

Hubbit and Bubbit??

In an attempt to paint my life rosy to disguise the rot that was really inside, I turned my life into a cartoon fit for air on Disney Playhouse. Wasn't Candyland just grand?

And the wonder of it all is not so much my talent for foolery but the unexpected discovery of people's need to believe in happy endings.

Which is why romantic comedies will always sell and people like Judith Gould still come out with books. I don't think I was a particularly good actor, merely that others wanted to see the good and the happy so much that they chose to forgive the glarings slip-ups in the script and gaping holes in the plot.

Come on guys, how could you not have known?!

Haha...I'm happy enough to laugh these days. Not the "thin smile of tacit approval" that someone wrote of me in a testimonial but a great big hulking laugh that booms and shrieks and lets off fireworks!