Monday, April 24, 2006

A Heel-less Heaven

Sorry to disappoint but there is no news. Not of ARA anyway.

Not that Edw and I are sitting on the edge of our seats or anything. But like I said, we are "hingeing"... with every new job scheduled, every new commitment made, we wonder at the possibility that it may not be fulfilled. Who knows?

Meanwhile, as the wait continues, the tricks continue to play on our minds - well, mine anyway. Do I want to bring it up again? Am I making too big a fuss? Do I want it that much? Is the future of my life's happiness hanging on a reality show? Shit, I don't think we're in, dammit we are sooooo in it's unreal.

Whatever. Yes, it is unreal.

Meanwhile, my food bingeing continues, as a response to stress, anxiety and a hotch-potch of mixed feelings yet to be identified. It's been a curious weekend.

A weekend of having to face the dreaded ex. A weekend of discovering broken promises. A weekend of curt questions and evasive answers. A weekend of revisiting my parent's divorce, in my mother's words.

Without going into too much detail, in essence, the issue is this: where do you draw the line between protecting a child from the same bad experiences you faced as one, and dictating the life of someone that is out of bounds to you now? If you are confused, imagine how I feel. There is a constant tension of wanting to let go of the past but not being able to do so completely for fear of upsetting the mental and emotional health of the little tot asleep next to me in bed.

The weekend ended with an interrupted night's sleep. Of waking up with a stuffed nose, to the sound of a downpour, to listening out for sounds of a leaky roof, to sleeping with my mouth wide open and drying it out, to waking from a disturbing dream of reconciling with an ex-fling! The clutter is growing again up there and I feel an incredible need to spring clean it by scaling the walls of Camp 5 - its all literally driving me up the wall!

Nevertheless, I continue to feel optimistic and in a funny way, happy. Alone and unbound by emotions and consideration for another, I am for the first time, truly happily single and unprepared at this stage, to give up my liberty for another half.

I roll around the bed happily by myself, watch MTV without shame, eat whenever and whatever I want, dress for me, my time is for me to choose, and all the things in between. I love the power of my own strength. I love having a new relationship to work on - the one with myself - where a spade is called a spade - and having TOTAL CONTROL over it. I also haven't indulged in my previous favourite past time - crying - I haven't cried for almost a year except for a little sniffle last week at the thought of leaving ZW to shoot ARA - if ever that happens!

In an odd kind of way, I am slowly learning the art of detachment. Of facing the stark reality that no matter how many children you have, how close you are to your family and how many mates you have around you, how many people report to you, how happy your 50-year old marriage is, you die alone. In the same form you came into this world (albeit with a few battle scars in the form of wrinkles, shrivelled breasts and the like), you will exit it. You may be buried in a coffin filled with Manolos but your soul travels beyond its confines sole-less - to a heaven or a hell of barefeet.

It's a reality that many of us take a lifetime to face. And I'm glad, for me anyway, that I am taking the first few baby-steps of approach.

I have lately been surprising my ditzy self with bulb-lighting revelations that can only be a result of divine intervention. I am thinking I must celebrate with a visit to Top Shop which currently has the most gorgeous spring summer collection that I have seen in a long while! If heaven (or hell) is indeed heel-less, more reason why I should wear them to death while I can right?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


It's Wednesday night and I just realised that I have not posted an entry about the ARA auditions. Well, actually there is not much to say because Edwin and I signed a very thick confidentiality agreement that day. One thing I can say is that the experience has left me mentally exhausted. After two nights of over 8 hours sleep each, I am only today, feeling a little human again. I don't how my nerves will survive the race at this rate with all its accompanying excitement and anxiety.

To be honest, I am in two minds about the whole thing. Assuming we get selected of course. One part of me is sitting up straight going "What were you thinking?? You can't just disappear for weeks and leave all your responsibilities unattended?!" The other part of me wants to whack the responsible part to a pulp. As in "Hello what kind of idiot have you become to pass up such an opportunity?! Stop being so damned boring and live a little!"

So you see, I am a little stressed out with this possible forked road looming ahead. We should know by the weekend. Comfortable dead lines could suddenly become uncomfortable. Money would suddenly need to appear from nowhere to pay bills ahead of time. Bosses may start to look at me differently. And the biggest dread of all? A son may forget who his mother is.

Big, BIG sigh...we shall wait and see.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Long Live

Listening to Runrig's Loch Lomond (a relatively known Scottish band that enjoyed big success in the late '80s and continue to do so now), when suddenly, a deep feeling of something hit me squarely in the chest. I thought maybe I ought to cry to get rid of it but no tears came and it proved to be fruitless except to stupidly distort my face in an expression of half smile and half cry. You know that distant look of pleasurable pain that people wear when they recall forgotten memories.
It was a feeling that I had not felt in a while and it took a few moments to analyse it; meanwhile Runrig carried on pelting about the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

"You take the high road and I'll take the low road/and I'll be in Scotland before you/where me and my true love will never meet again/on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond"

I appreciate Scotland and its bonnie banks as much as the regular tourist does. In fact, as I write this, I am suddenly stuck with the realisation that I have never even seen the shores of Loch Lomond - the vast expanse of water I recalled as I listened to the song are the bonnie banks of Loch Ness instead, home of the famed marine monster.

Loch Lomond moved on to some Gaelic song that I didn't understand but nevertheless succeeded in transporting me on a virtual time machine back to the late '80s when I was a wee lass in England. There is such an ethereal and romantic quality to their music, so familiar that I could almost feel the shiver of coming autumn.

Yes, it takes a Scottish band to exhume my English life. You see, one of my best friends at school, Moira Buchanan (Scottish nonetheless), introduced me to Runrig (notice all Scots just LOVE their homeland - her eyes used to well up in tears just at the mere mention of haggis). Anyway, Runrig became long forgotten until they sprung to mind again one day when I was straining my brain for songs to download. After a decade of showy, gimmicky, synthesizer-infused American music, Runrig's simple honest guitar rifts really brought it all back for me.

The feeling was nostalgia. I miss England! Especially so during the anthemic choruses.

For seven of my formative years, it was where I lived. With 10 months of the year spent there, watching the seasons come and go as I slipped from teenager to twenty-something, England came to be pretty much, home.

I miss school dinners (believe it or not!), my polyester school uniform that used to sizzle with static on cold winter days, sitting on old radiators to warm my forever-cold fingers, climbing out of windows and sneaking through holes in fences, smoking on snow-covered baclonies, playing lacrosse on ridiculously cold frost-covered fields (" want me to put on a short skirt and run around out there??!") and later at university, rowing on the River Wear at 6am with ice covered oars.

I miss the dank smell of my college bar, the smell of Persil on a ex-boyfriend's pink and green indie shirt. Sweaty frenzied 80s bops, boisterous rugby songs, Tainted Love on the dance floor, braving 9am lectures in pyjamas and a jumper with accompanying hangover, spitting black olive pits into the river, mooning my butt at passing tourists from the shore, cold cold wintry winds, hot hot summer days.

Buying cheap Cab Sauv in a box, light nights in the summer, watching Neighbours with a roomful of people, singing hymns in chapel, nipping down to 'town' on Saturdays for Salt N Vinegar crisps, the trek from High Street Kensington through Hyde Park to get to the beef brisket noodles in New Kam Tong on Bayswater, salt beef sandwiches from Selfridges, really good taramasalata, the sudden gust of musty underground air of an approaching train, lying on the pavement on Kings Road watching the well-heeled strut by, catching Les Miserables from discounted upper circle seats of the Queen's Theater - so steep that if you sneezed you may land next to one of the cast members.

I miss the English and their obsession with tea and ale and how they keep their filthy Doc Martens on when lying in bed. How they make witty jokes to show off their intellect. How, in my time, baseball caps and coloured jeans were all the rah rah rage in the small northern univeristy of Durham.

England, London in particular has changed. It's less conservative, less grunge, less posh. It's all metro and uber and Euro. My contemporaries are probably balding, stuck in important jobs in the city and have swapped partying in Ibiza for vacations in Florida with the kids. Life as it was back then can never ever be re-enacted. Episodes and stories have become random newspaper pages caught by the wind, allowing you fleeting glimpses now and then of a life past but never the reliving of the complete saga. I will never stand on the edge of Malham Tarn, inhale the cold autumn air, gasp at a passing deer in the silvery moonlight with James' Sit Down topping the charts and snog the will out of the unforgettably cute public school boy next to me.

Old age is making me melodramatic.

I have no doubt that one day I will look back at the present and feel a pang of nostalgia hit me the same way listening to Runrig has. I don't wish for life to return to the way it was. After all, life is a moving train that stops at many stations but you can never get off for long. It's a one way journey that is bittersweet when looked back upon. I only wished I had embraced it more back then. I had merely lived it without truly savouring it.

Thank goodness for memories. And bands like Runrig.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


A new game probably invented by Apple so people will find a use for their iPods but fun for a laugh. Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song titles that come up to answer each question. NO CHEATING!

Here's what I came up with when I did it. Not sure which was more mind-boggling - trying to extract meaning from the shallow or trying to figure out how a cool person like me ended up with such a weird taste in music...

How does the world see me?
Yellow by Coldplay – yes I guess that one was obvious!

Will i have a happy life?
Shake Your Willies Out by The Wiggles – I guess that’s a yes?!

What do people really think of me?
Riders of the Storm by The Doors – Storm Rider as in survivor?!

Do people secretly lust after me?
Making Love Out Of Nothing At All by Air Supply – haha! Story of my life..

How can I make myself happy?
A Whole New World (OST Aladdin) - ah, to travel!

What should i do with my life?
I Think I Love You by Constantine Maroulis - ??? Join American Idol?!

What is some good advice for me?
Through The Barricades by Spandau Ballet - er sounds serious...

What do i think my current theme song is?
Electric Blue by The Cranberries

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
White Lines by Duranduran - I'm no junkie!

What song will play at my funeral?
Pure Shores by All Saints

What type of men/women do you like?
Everything I Own by Bread - haha yes, I like everything they own!

What is my day going to be like?
Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams - somebody puhlease come pick me up!

why am i here?
I Want To Break Free by Queen - too true

what will people remember me for?
I Want To Be Inside Your Heaven by Carrie Underwood - huh?

what song will i get stuck in my head tomorrow?
I Want To Be Inside Your Heaven by Bo Bice - huh??! please noooo - I can't stand the song - I don't even know what it's doing in my iPod!

are there people outside waiting to take me away?
Disco 2000 by Pulp - yayy...are we going to a parteee?

what will this year be all about?
Here I am by Air Supply - er...I think I have too many Air Supply songs

Monday, April 10, 2006

Terminal Junkie

I have a dirty little secret to share.

Apart from occasionally bingeing on mayonnaise and fried onion sandwiches, I am also a Spider Solitaire addict.

Yes, my name is Candice and I am a Spider Solitaire addict.

And I mean addict to the core. As in, people at the office think I am working, but I am not. The frown on my face is from the stress of the Big Fat King sitting on top of my Ace. I may have stories that were due in yesterday but my palms are sweating from not having the will to close the fucking window!

I play Spider Solitaire at least 10 times a day and since progressing to the most difficult level of 4 decks, I have yet to win anything in a while. And the more I don't win, the harder it is to tear myself away. I am at it like a cow to grass, just feeding off the screen, in the same position day in and late into the night (cause of my insomnia). Alsways buying time - 5 minutes more, when the minute hand reaches 45 or when I win next...

If someone msn-s me in the middle of a game, I feign too much work to chat. Or if the phone rings, I ignore it. I get ratty of I don't have my daily ration. I just want to be left alone in my own Solitaire Confinement.

It's a horrible horrible little addiction. I am ashamed for its not even an intelligent game.

Once upon time, before I was a Spider Solitare addict, I was a Mahjong Quest addict. But then I couldn't enjoy the addiction because I kept worrying that the ITS department would discover that I had illegally downloaded the game, so I switched to something legal - hence my current situation.

At the rate I am going, I will soon have to invest in glasses. Do you know that when I'm involved in a boring conversation with someone but am too polite to turn away, I often subconsiously engage in a game of Spider Solitaire over their faces. They think my glazed look is one of awe and interest, but actually, I am dragging and pasting all over their eyes, nose and mouth.

Am I a weirdo all by myself or do we all have dirty little LOSER secrets?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Why Exes Should Remain Exes And Other Amazing Revelations

I've had three hours sleep, lungs that are on the verge of collapse and a hangover the size of the African continent.

So much for the new gym-going, lettuce-munching, lean mean machine new me. This is the second time this week I have been plastered and the fifth day in a row that I have made lame excuses for the eating binge (I prefer emotional eating disorder). It took me 2 hours to get dressed last night - everything was too tight. Sabby tried to help but even her tops that can hold in her enormous boobs could not accomodate the oozing layers of my inner blubber.

Thank goodness I invested in those tailored woollen trousers - they made me glisten in sweat the whole night but at least they fit.

Last night was fun though. In celebration of the news that Edwin and I have been shortlisted for the Amazing Race Asia, I went out and had a big night. Started off with a very civilised visit to an art gallery where an artist friend was debuting a solo exhibition. Highlight: meeting Chong Siew Ying - artist of Monorail and Frangi fame. Lowlight: Too many exes in a small confined space and I felt waves of claustrophobia.

After usurping copious amounts of free wine, Sabby, Fat Shit, Long Lost Ex and I went to La Bodega in Bangsar for a gig. Good music. Good company (met up with Sabby's Kuching mates of Bling identity - see previous entry). Good champagne shots.

Moved on to Mambo Jambo with the addition of Beyonce Knowles where - would you believe it or not - we could not get in! What the...? We drowned our sorrows with lychee martinis on the terrace at 3am and Long Lost Ex and I embroiled ourselves in our habitual drunken Mambo row and he spent the rest of the evening sulking. Tell me, is it normal for exes to still fight?

I suspect not and am more convinced than ever that certain exes should remain in the store rooms of our lives. Filed away in the dusty memory cabinets far far back in our subconscious. You see, as part of my search for inner calm and happiness, I embarked on a mission to clear past bad karma. One of the many resolutions I made to myself was to ensure amicable closures with all my exes (not many so therefore a deceptively simple task). I think I have been quite successful with the exception of Long Lost Ex and Soon-To-Be-Ex - both of whom have personalities that stubbornly refuse to conform to my plan. I'm not sure what the problem is but I guess our collective emotional issues are just too entangled a mess to be sorted?

I don't know, and actually, I'm not too fussed. If it canot be sorted, best to just leave it alone. At least I have tried and my part is done. For me, that is sufficient bad karma tai chee-ed away from me.

Besides, I have my life to lead and the Amazing Race Asia audutions this month to think of. What am I going to wear??! You know, I'll be damned if Edwin and I don't make it to the race - how could they like us on our demo tape and not in real life right? I know we will make good TV in our matching hot pink track suit bottoms with Candy on the booty (available at La Senza if interested).

Kiasu? You bet! Here we come, the Race has begun!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Poorer

I've been meaning to give my two cents' worth on wealth for quite some time now but never had the opportunity. You would have thought that with the grave my finances have managed to dig for itself, I ought to be mourning my own funeral, but I figured since it will be a slow death, it may as well be as painless as possible.

And with that pihlosophy, I embarked on a completely Hedonistic holiday, that would have made any celebrity diva proud. I had mentioned before that this was an all expense paid trip to Pangkor Laut Estates? In case you didn't know (because I didn't), Pangkor Laut Estates is not the same as your regular Pangkor Laut. I could very well have gotten used to having my own personal villa, chef, butlers, driver, MPV, pool, jungle, dining room, etc, etc You mean there were other guests at the resort besides us? I hadn't noticed...

The first night was a blast. We decided to battle out our chor dai dee skills in the jacuzzi...penalty was of course downing the 1-litre vodka-spiked mango and pineapple juice cocktail that we concocted, followed by the barrel of sake that was warming in the jacuzzi with us. There was booze, bling and lotsa healthy KL vs. Kuching vs. Japan rivalry going on. After 8 hours of hip hop video bling and enough noise to bring the house down, we called it a night - I slept at 6am that morning. As for ZW? Let's just say that as an example of my new age mothering skills, he was still up at 2am watching his Mr Men DVD on the laptop next to the jacuzzi, listening to his Mum get pissed.

But he took revenge the next day by waking me at 8am to go to the beach. Despite the size of our estate, we sneaked out not wanting to wake the night creatures that were still deep in slumber. We joined the other guests on Emerald Bay and ZW squealed in delight at the open expanse of beach and water before it started pissing it down with rain and thunder and we ran back to our waiting MPV for shelter.

The next day was promising. After the American breakfast that chef whipped up for us, ZW and I ventured out again to an empty Emerald Bay at 9am and spent the morning almost believing we were in Barbados. (Note: good holiday reading is Plan B by Emily Barr about a man who leads two lives - one in London with his wife and kid and one in France with his mistress and kid - neither family aware of the existence of the other - not unfamiliar a plot but somehow gripping as I squirmed my feet n the sand at the bastard's tactics and rooted for the unsuspecting women who triumphed ultimately, as Good does over Evil.)

Back at Estate Eight, the booze up for breakfast, beer for lunch...bikinis, tits, bikinis, smokes, bling.....

It was a shame to leave - ZW had so much fun with his personal Japanese-Swiss nature guide giving him lessons in ant migration, snail trials and the use of tree roots as swings. We had a resident clown who provided jokes on tap, a Playboy Bunny to flash a bit of cleavage when a seedy mood required it, Beyonce Knowles to bling BLING it on and a French diva to add that je ne sais quoi quality to the whole show. Oh yes, and me, Mummy. What an entourage!

And now I am home in KL, sunburnt and back to the reality of chasing unpaid invoices. Driving around, the city seems glitzier as lit billboards and the flash of indicator lights blinded me temporarily. Back on the estate, the blanket of night was so undisturbed that it was frightening and awesome at the same time.

The holiday was a welome respite to my urban life. I got to look up and see sky without the interruption of a skyscraper. Enjoy a hot sunny day in the shade of foliage. To get mindlessly drunk and not worry that my son was being kidnapped by Indonesian robbers. ZW discovered the wonder of nature, the saltiness of the sea and that sand can get up his backside. And we did it all in tha lap of luxury. Thank God for wealthy friends!

I spent yesterday afternoon at the hairdresser - after severe exposure to the harsh cold of the Alps and the salt-baked sun of the islands, my ends had given up and not split in half, but in fours and fives. The blonde streakes are tired and despite having been rebonded, my hair had rebounded by adopting its natural frizzy state. Now I have freshly trimmed and multiple layered hair the colour of Kit Kat - yum!

And today, when I rock climb I shall imagine the ocean beneath me, sea spray on my heels and coastal wind rustling my hair and hang on very tight on my pedicured red toe nails should I plummet below and land on my belayer, Bee.