Thursday, September 28, 2006


Noticed this on a friend's blog. Sent goose bumps up my right arm. I often wonder if lyrics are lost in songs and melody - they seem so much cleaner on paper or read out loud to yourself. Anyway, this one is beautiful and surmises the uncompromising creatures of the world that we all are today.

To have every man but to love only one
To wake with the moon and sleep with the sun
To be a sinner and saint, a lover and friend
To know a beginning but never an end
To fly in the ocean and swim in the skies
Believer in truth, defendant of lies
To know the purest love, the deepest pain
To be lost and found, again and again and again
To know the power of wealth and poverty
To taste every moment and try everything
To be hailed as a hero and branded a fool
Believe in the sacred and break every rule
To give into pleasure with no boundaries
Living in chaos and harmony
To feel the touch of a man, a woman's caress
To know the limits of torture and tenderness
These are the dreams of an impossible princess

by K.Minogue/S.Anderson/D.Seaman

Monday, September 25, 2006


I finally took my climbing shoes outdoors to smear some limestone on Sunday.

I knew it would be good.

I didn't think it would be fantastic.

But, it was fantabulous!!!!!!!!!! If only there was such a word...

A bunch of hard core climbers took pity on the top rope climber that I am and permitted me to to tag along and use their equipment. Would you believe I actually went outdoor climbing without a belay device?! Time I get one methinks...

I was treated to a 5 minutre trek through hard core jungle (well, hard core for me urban person) and I say 'treat' beacuse I have been longing to get into some green for the longest time. My only comment is that I could still hear the sound of traffic from the Kuantan highway up on the wall - but I guess that's the small price you pay for fab walls within the vicinity of KL.

Nyamuk in Batu Cabes is aptly named because the mosquitos are the size of horses and come charging at you as you step off the grass of the kampung behind you and the enter the beckoning lushness. We practically smoked the place to death with mini fires, mosquito coils, insect repellant and insect spray and managed to stave them off for a while. The climbing was really really fulfilling. I started off with Orange Juice before nearly getting stuck up on In Guns We Trust (forgot to come out of a crack and realised that I had overshot the skinny exit - so had to retrace a few steps). Then the rain came down and we were forced to trek back on slippery mud.

Over fried chicken and chapati in downtown Bolton Industrial Park, the sun came out again and we decided 2 hours wasn't enough. We made it to Damai for the rest of the afternoon and I had the best fun up on AciAci Buka Pintu and another with a boulder start that I can't remember the name of.

I'm still suffering from a major high and its hardto focus on work when your mind is still outdoors. I'm so proud - I managed a 6b rating without red pointing but then again I did that top rope so its more like a 5c - 6a. I am so proud of myself for not freaking out at all - not even for a second despite the 30m high walls and very disconcerting red ants and bird shit on my hands.

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.

Can't wait to climb on Wednesday, even if it is indoors.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Justice Prevails

To be sung to the tune of Nirvana’s Lithium:

“I’m so happy
‘Cos today my man’s in th’house
Lookin’ good
‘N kicking Dilana in the mouth
Friday morning
What Evs down and Ice Man fried
To head the band
‘Till forever comes and goe-sssss……

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeaaaaaaaaaah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!”

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A First

Hahah! Inspired by TLee and his gang of rockers every Weds and Thurs (and after today no more for a year - boohoo), I've written my first poem/verse of sorts - ever! It's fun!

My One Regret

I’ve traveled beyond the endless seas
Flown with a dozen airlines
Shaved ice off brand new skis
With a ton of air miles they call mine

I’ve sunk into caves under the waves
Found holes to hide in the skies
Stood up for myself eyes ablaze
And cried for a million good byes

Life has been kind
Life has been wise

But I still cannot forget
The smile you left behind
The key to my acquittal
You dared me to find

I’ve walked on moonlit nights
Feathered pages of volumes old
Giggled with Google and other sites
Apologized for the lies told

I’ve sung Canto and popped
Flushed toxins from inside out
But the memories they do not stop
Of a time when we loved out loud

Life has been kind
Life has been wise

But I still cannot forget
The smile you left behind
The key to my acquittal
You dared me to find

Time ticks its usual reminder
Memories fade and turn sepia
But each day the truth grows stronger
I await redemption but for how much longer?

Life has been kind
Life has been wise

But I still cannot forget
The smile you left behind
The key to my acquittal
You dared me to find

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Eye of the Storm

You know, there is so much to be said about breaks. I say breaks and not holidays because often, holidays aren't - I have been on holidays and returned even more stressed out than when I left - and breaks are. A respite from everyday, that is, a reminder of life and its meaning. Because as I mentioned before, we are all born knowing deep down.

In the last few weeks, I have travelled quite a bit - twice to Bangkok and Hua Hin. And though they have been for work, one was more like an awakening and the other, the absolute in retail therapy.

Hi, my name is Candice and I am a shopper. I admit I never fully realised the benefits of shopping until now. Snigger and pigeon-hole me all you want. There is something about raking a city's malls with a fine-tooth comb that at once exhausts the physical self but nourishes the soul. Indeed, snigger and piegon-hole me all you want.

The deep meaningful conversations I had with myself as I combed Chatuchak market were a classic. The noise and din of salesmen yelling, the burn of the sun on my freshly-tattooed shoulder, the suffocating heat underneath the makeshift plastic roofing were like the necessary conduits to hear my inner voice. Meditative peace amid the chaos?

"Oooh, love that top, let's take a closer look."

"Are you kidding me? You'd look like a housewife. Not being seen with you in that!"

"You know housewives are a misunderstood species - given alot of bad press."

"You don't say. If only people truly felt what it was like".

"The repressed few. Well, not few. A good slice of the population these days. Who fights for their rights?'

"God I expect. In salvation. Housewives go to heaven where they become men and screw women around."

" they come back to earth then..."

Conversations like that....either the beginning of my descent into madness or elevation to enlightenment. Same thing, in essence, no?

Anyway, there is a book that I am writing as a Work In Progress. It's called Caffe Conversations. I once showed bits of it to an ex who brushed it off as cockswallop. It smarted at the time, but I giggle now at the memory. Ah well, not everyone can be a fan.

You see, I am a lover of conversations. When I chance upon a good one (with or without myself), my heart races, my eyes dilate and I am yours truly 100%. Conversations are like nights out on the town in KL. You keep having them, but none are memorable until suddenly when you least plan it or least expect it, a mother of one hits you. Like having the best fun in a really uncool bar or pulling when wearing stone-washed jeans for example.

And strangely enough, I've had the best conversations mostly in cafes or places of drink (ie. pubs). Some under the influence of alcohol; inevitably, one's throat gets dry from all that talking, but mostly sober.

So this little book is a compilation of conversations - the ones that blew my mind. The ones that I can still recall, word for word, to this day. The ones that are a bit like the little vinyasas in life, that bridge one chapter to another. Perhaps the faded manuscript shall be discovered when I die by mourning grandchildren, at the bottom of my underwear drawer, moth-balled amid tents of granny knickers. A bit like the ribboned love letters in the attic but not as romantic.

It's always good to dream. 'Cos without realising it, we make them happen. Every inch of our actions, every lift of an arm, every step in the direction, every decision made is sub consciously an effort to steer ourselves towards the heavens. Make concrete that cloud in the sky.

I know you may question my sobriety at this point. For goodness, sake, it's 10am on a Wednesday morning. I have a 4-year old to pick up from school in 2 hours. Sometimes I too forget I am a mother. I haven't consumed a drop of alcohol in 2 months, not inhaled a puff in one and not taken a bite of meat in 2 weeks. Things have never been clearer.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Switched On

My friend Edwin and I have lately fallen into a mode of mutual respect. I admire his amazing sense of composition and technical know-how in the photographs he displays on KLDP - which pampers his ego; and he talks of my writing as if my sentences were constructed of gems strung together - which pampers mine. So for the moment, our Tiger stripes are in sync and there is harmony between us.

With childhood friends, familiarity tends to breed a blind spot over appreciation. There is much beauty and talent I see in each one of my inner circle friends but I cannot remember the last time I told them so. It's as time-enduring friendship is a tacit approval of who you are and everything you will ever do - which in a way, I guess it is. Well, this time, I throw a spanner into the works. I simply must give Edwin kudos for travelling down a less trodden career path. In this town of assembly line lawyers, doctors and investment bankers, try telling people you are an actor and not receive a gushed "Why on earth?!"

Without an actor friend, I doubt if I would be so exposed to the little known shoplot otherwise known as Malaysian Theatre, in this shoppping mall-infatuated city.

Excuse me while I go off on a tangent and vent - KL, the city I live in, is sucked into the powerful vortex of Consumerism - an apparently inescapable fate of this modern age. It is a town where children are brought believing they are allergic to the sun like their snowy-skinned, SK-2-brandishing mothers and prefer to live from one weekend to the next from home to car to shopping mall to car to home. They can name you the latest Dreamworks movies faster than they can islands in the sun. Life may have become more global but certainly less about getting out. It's all Smart this and IT that and less about touch, feel, sense, taste and smell of what's real and yet intangible.

Of course, I once happily surfed the waves of this deluge of designer brands, hot hot trends and the art of being seen in the right outfit. Ahh, yes, I do still gets shivers at the mere mention of a sale, but these days, I also realise that shivers are possible inside a local theatre.

I have almost always gone to the theatre merely in suport of a friend, never for the love of the art. You see, I was (maybe still am) a bit of a blockbuster buff - art house movies, little indie productions and two-bit, low-budget theatre with minimal props have never staved my appetite for big=beautiful.

But to answer your question Edwin, "Yes, The Second Link did indeed restore some faith in Malaysian theatre". But more importantly, it created a new chapter in my book of beliefs - a faith in Malaysian writers. My, do we have a talented pool. I am awed, sincerely amazed and very, very humbled.

After listening to what we pass of as advertisements on TV and God-have-mercy, the ones on the radio, and reading the used-to-death phrase "loved ones" - so much so that it sounds cornier than a corn field, I had closed the door on anything English, Made in Malaysia.

The Second Link reminded me of a sepia-toned era when people were henteel in thought and manner, when Prime Ministers confessed to having soft spots for whiskey and tiger hunting. Back to an age of innocence and face value, before the flag of surpression was waved in the name of national good.

I thank the writers who captured the spirit of Malaysians then, which without their scribbling pens jotting down every innate detail, those who had once tasted it would never be reminded in such technicolour and for those of us who never lived it, never been given the gift of imagining.

I thank the writers who expressed with such honesty the Chinese passion for pork; and for capturing in such heart-wrenching beauty, the grief of a mother who lost a son in the racial riots of 1969 - a story with such clear parallels in my family, that although I was not born then, caused me to feel the pain that was so real to my grandmother. I thank the writers who like magicians who effortlessly pulled out an endless stream of literal gags from their luggage of letters.

I can only ever aspire to be in the same league.

For someone like me who envisioned myself as a bit of a literary artist, The Second Link fed me a bite of humble pie. I apologise for ever lumping Malaysian writers together under the same spool as human waste, for I learn that there are writers and then there are writers. And not all are of the same make.