Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Let It Snow, let it snow, let it snow

Happy year-end all! Wishing you good tidings for the year ahead, may it be filled with happiness and fulfillment.

December is one of my favourite months in the year, apart from February which the month of my birthday, and June just because I like the sound of it. December is when people take time off work, dress in shorts, gush loudly about their holidays in the snow, bump into old friends in neighbourhood shopping malls, throw parties and are generous with the invitations, up the ante on charity work, make long distance calls and frankly, eat themselves silly. A time when young children cry at the realisation that snowflakes don't exist in Malaysia.

It's a time when people are relaxed, jolly, friendly and as genuinely caring as they are going to get in a town like KL. It's a time of nostalgia and hope, of spirit and energy. I think it's a time where people adopt a hidden grace and unlike the din of CNY where its actually expected of you to be big and brash, Christmas and New Year demands a certain refinement of character that suggests that all the well wishing may actually rub off on you after all.

Nonetheless, it's still an unbelievably hectic time of year. Of baking, shopping, eating and socialising. I really feel like I've slogged the whole year, where in actual fact, I've really just pushed myself in the last 3 weeks. My belly would make a moist char siu, my internal organs are groaning in unison from its squashed confinements, my eye are bags the size of the latest Samsonite model and my voice resembles a scratchy old record discovered in the attic.

The pressies have been good this year. I got a funky vanity case, M&S underwear, snacks and trinkets, Tom Parker Bowls' The Year Eating Dangerously, a carabiner, accessories, Pink Floyds's newly released The Wall DVD, a jar of home-made lemon curd and a tin of ginger biscuits. Yayy!

I am looking forward to welcoming the new year at home, with my son, watching the Star Wars special on telly. Maybe I'll throw another party. Hmmm...shall I, shall I??!

Friday, December 08, 2006

What is it about love?

That has us up in arms, entangled in questions, spun up in theories and rhetoric? How come it is that some people just have that je ne sais quois, that intangible magnetism, that draws romantic interest to them effortlessly, whilst others are so magnetically insipid they may as well as have dropped of the edge of Planet Love. And I'm not talking about looks or anything like that here. Whilst yes, it is probably correct to assume your regular celup VJ on telly openly gets more fanfare than the regular lian on the street, but then again, the regular lian on the street, may just well be the silent one to watch.

There exists a particular breed of female species of questionable origin (maybe they are aliens?) that appear in various forms. They range from superhot to super normal, some have blonde streaks, some have black roots, some prefer LV bags, others prefer knapsacks. But they all have one common denominator. They have an innate ability to draw men to them. In hordes.

No, these men don't flock, they throw themselves at these girls, not in search of something as banal as sex, but brandishing jewels, supplementary platinum cards, G3 phones and champagne roses - serving up their eternal love on gold platters alongside self-composed song lyrics and marriage proposals. And what have these girls done to be worthy recipients of so many suitors? Apparently, absolutely nothing.

"I was just crossing the road", claims one.

"All I did was smile", says another in defense.

Then there are the regulars (guess which category I fall into?), who are non-offensive, resonably intelligent, fun-loving and capable of a conversation or two. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Empty glass. No man, no woman. Nothing. Like the dry, dusty road in the middle of North Dakota that witnesses the pleasure of a passing car once in six months. Or is it a year?

Exactly how does this work? I just don't understand it. I've studied these chicks in action and I am sad to say, I am no closer to their secrets than before - is it in the wink, the subtle drop of the eyes, the manicured toes, the accidental brush of a shoulder? I just don't know.

A bunch of girly friends and I practiced our "come hither" looks last night which had us rolling on the floor, cackling like hyenas rather than smouldering like seductive goddesses. Maybe we should have spent our time painting our toe nails instead.

Whatever it is, kudos girlies with the pearlies. Perhaps one day, you will share. Meanwhile, the market is yours to conquer!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No Words

Yesterday, a friend walked into work, turned on his computer, opened his emails like we do day in, day out and discovered that his brother had passed away a week ago. It's not the best news to start the day off with, but then again, is there ever a good time for bad news?

I imagine he must have been in a daze, but he was surrounded by support, and the presence of a Tibetan monk, that whilst in no way makes the pain any lesser, is more than what most people have around them and I guess, makes that first day easier to deal with in the face of the many to come.

I watched my friend blink back the tears and carry on, step by step. I only imagine how difficult it must have been. And today is another day. Another day to carry the loss, and another day closer to healing.

Compassion welled up within me and my throat choked with emotion, yet I could find no words to say, no actions to impart that could make the pain go away.

Death confounds me. Over the years, I have come to realise that I don't know how to deal with it. Therefore, I have admired from a physical distance as my closest and dearest friends and family move through the motions of mourning the departed.

I would not say I am fortunate to be spared the experience so far, for whilst I do not wish death to come anytime soon or under tragic circumstances, I am aware that it is inevitable and so is dealing with it. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but it will somewhere down the line. I can only imagine the shock and pain and I truly doubt that I have it in me to see it through with grace.

I can only express my highest regard for people around me who have lost a mother, a father, a brother, a sister or a child. For they hold themselves up so well in the face of grief, and moved on in acceptance. It's strength in at its steeliest, bravery at its best and I have nothing but utmost admiration in return.

I just want to say to my friends and family who have lost, and you know who you are - that I am sorry I did not comfort you at a time it was most needed, for it's not that I do not care, it's just that I don't know how. I only know how to make people smile, but in the face of death, smiling just doesn't seem to be right. I have racked my mind for the most appropriate thing to say but it doesn't exist. Even sending my condolences or saying "I'm sorry" seems empty. Please take my silent presence as support for that's as much as I know how to give.