Saturday, December 30, 2006

Godot's Goddess

If the way to a man's heart is thru his stomach, the same goes for women, especially this womyn. People ask: "Do u cook?" And I quipped: "What's that word? It's not in my vocabulary." Well, not any more, not since my late mum lived with us, and the kids are grown, and I simply got demotivated. For someone who had to learn from scratch after she got married, I graduated from simple asam rebus and sambal belacan to baking and icing NI's birthday cake and demonstrating to my down-liners on the multiple uses of the Queen's cookware to prepare steamed chicken rice, pudding tapai, seri muka, etc.
Man, we even tried our hands at our very own 'Lontong&Soto' place in Cheras, but we couldn't cope with work, kids and cafe! Honestly, though, given a choice between slaving over the stove or being served, I would surely opt for the latter. Unless a TV station offers me to host a Malaysian version of Nigella Bites, then I wouldn't mind cooking for the cameras at all!
In the meantime, courtesy of NI, I got my share of fine dining, the most recent being at the Avanti Italian-American Ristorante, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, where we were feted to Chef Stefano Maccagno's signature dishes. Dinner kicked off with a strawberry-mango smoothie, followed by terrine and oyster-laici, squid-ink ravioli, roast lamb, and rounded up with mango tiramisu and chocolaty cappucino. While we dined, a band of "singing chefs and waiters" serenaded us with numbers from Eric Clapton, the Carpenters and Ole Sole Mio.
Chef Stefano is not just a gifted chef, but a truly self-made sensitive new-age guy who started working at 13, collecting and cleaning glasses at a pub in his native Piedmont. He left home at 17 to join the National Service, and never looked back. Married to a local woman, they have a 14 year old daughter.
His approach to haute cuisine is experimental and delightful, which resulted in fresh flavours and colorful presentation.
Buon Appetito!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mantras for Monkeys*

Don't Break The Elastic!!
In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every her breasts..
They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest
woman, with so much wisdom in her words!
Maya Angelou said this:
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."
"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."
"I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."
"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a
"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."
"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."
"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."
"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."
"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."
"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
And NOW, for some corny/canny cliches:
"That TRUTH is indeed stranger than FICTION"
"That CLOTHES do not maketh a MAN"
"That NERO is not a figment of the IMAGINATION"
"That TRUTH is a THREAT, and LIES are SAFE"
"That Aberrations are NORMS, and VICE Versa"
"That it's a MAN's WORLD, or is it?"
"That what Goes around, Comes around" (KARMA Chameleon or MERRY-Go-Round?)
"That Women Tend to Fight Over BOOBY PRIZES, unless their BOOBs R PRICELESS" (Oops ... Tata!)
*For IZ, and all those born in the Year of the Monkey.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Year of Living Precariously, or Vicariously?

Tis the season to be Jolly, tralalalala lalalala ...
This year's holiday season was subdued compared to last year's, sweet dear friends' budgetary constraints had reduced annual invitations to XMas eve and lunch to zilch!
Anyway, watched the trials and tribulations of the "Temptations" on the Hallmark Channel with IZ while binging on Domino's yummy thincrusts. Decided to take a long walk to burn off the calories the next morning but load them on again at the Kemaman Kopi Tiam S14 and Salero Minang, Amcorp. Got a lovely long dress and fur-trimmed cardigan at Brit India and watched a hopelessly romantic movie, 'Serendipity'.
For some one who reads her daily horoscope and never turns down an offer to read her palms, fate and destiny will forever fascinate me. So do fantasy and romance, unlike real life and people, that are not much different from those darn holiday 'muzac', 'moosick' or 'mewsick' that you find yourself singing along to, since you can't tune them out!
As IZ said to me, over kopi putih, "It's tough to be a MATRIX Warrior". U know, "the language speaks us", we are constantly "clawed into the mainstream" - Capitalism, Consumer Culture, the Malaysian/Selangorian Dream, the Metanarrative, what have u. Flower Power, Communes and Counter Culture are SO PASSE - unless those Green, Conservation and Slow Food Activists have their s/way!
With this year saying adieu, wonder what next year has in store? More pleasant, or more unpleasant, surprises? Whatever, gotta take care of your self first before you can take care of others.
Happy New Year, bonne année, aam saiid/sana saiida, manigong bagong taon!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Age Bond

"The name's Bond - James Bond."
Taratara, tarara ...
Or has the script now been rewritten?
"The Name's M - Dial M for Mean Machine, Money Penny, or .... Mummy?"
Man, wish I was born a Man, wish I was born M!
M got to give orders to Bond, M got to be Angels' Charlie to 007, M got to bed a hunk while giving orders to Bond!
Kudos to Judi Dench as M, Daniel Craig as Bond, Eva Green as Vesper Lynd, Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, other actors in the cast and the creators of the New Version of Bond Movie - Casino Royale/21.
It was indeed well worth RM8 and precious 'leisuretime' being in the company of the Delightful Dench, Cute Craig, Gorgeous Green and Mean Mikkelsen.
After years of Bond Bashing, I finally succumbed to the charms of the first blonde, blue-eyed Brit super spy, like .... Vesper to Bond!
Of cos, there's still some residual Hero-Villain, Virgin-Whore, First World-Third World dichotomy, but Craig's Bond is no longer stuck in the 60s' transmission. He takes orders from a Womyn, he's willing to give up his 'day job' to be a 'house husband' to Vesper (V for Vendetta? And P for Purr?), and after going thru an evolution from a cold-blooded killer to a 'gentleman spy', he's almost a Dalai Lama!
Bond (B for Ballistic Bullets?) is not the only character to have undergone transformation. The Bond Girl has undergone a much-needed reinvention as well - Vesper "is also no mere bimbo; she is a mature woman -- a professional and every bit Bond's mental equivalent."
"After beating Le Chiffre at a high stake cards game, Bond finds himself tied naked to a chair, facing toture" or, in his own words, "having his balls scratched".
"What ultimately results from this turn of events is something the misogynistic, sexual conquistador Bond never thought he'd fall victim to: love.
"Unable to use the golden gun in his pants for quite awhile, the recuperating Bond genuinely and deeply falls in love with Vesper and they plan on a new life together. She has stripped him of his emotional armor. But before you can never say never again, Bond realizes the bad guys are not quite done with him yet. By the end, Bond is becoming the icy, lethal secret agent -- "the blunt instrument" that Fleming envisioned -- that men want to be and women want to be with.
"The action sequences -- several of which, like the opening parkour set-piece, must be seen to be believed -- are breathtaking and return Bond to his down and dirty roots. There hasn't been a truly vicious brawl in the Bond films since Sean Connery and Robert Shaw duked it out in From Russia With Love. Now Casino Royale shows the new Bond can kill barehanded as efficiently as he can with a Walther PPK or a tricked-out Aston Martin.
"As solidly crafted as the story and direction are, it is the performances that ultimately make Casino Royale work so well. Craig is a revelation as 007, making the role his own without losing any of the traits that have made James Bond such an icon.
"Craig gives a nuanced, fully realized portrayal. He is not just standing around in a tux, smirking and tossing off one-liners while judo-chopping some dime-a-dozen henchmen. Craig's 007 is a finely tuned machine who is absolutely believable as someone who could clear a room, and as a cold, hardened man who has buried his heart as far away from harm as possible. Fleming would be proud.
"Likewise, Green -- who won the role after a long, highly publicized casting search -- may have just become the Bond leading lady to beat. She may not have the catchy moniker of Pussy Galore, the curves of Honey Ryder or the distinction of being Mrs. James Bond like Tracy di Vicenzo had, but Vesper is the only woman that the onscreen 007 has met thus far that you'd believe could have such a profound and lasting impact on him. That she never scampers around semi-nude only adds to the gravitas that makes her character so attractive.
"The rest of the cast are top-notch as well. After surviving King Arthur, Mikkelsen finally gets his stateside breakthrough here as Le Chiffre. He is ice, ice baby and, refreshingly, a villain whose motives and methods are real and that much more frightening. Jeffrey Wright makes for a great Felix Leiter, Bond's CIA "cousin;" fans will be chomping at the bit to see these two reunited in future sequels. Caterina Murino is sexy yet understated as Solange, Bond's first romantic conquest. Isaach De Bankolé (last seen in Miami Vice) is frightening as Le Chiffre's client Obanno, while Giancarlo Giannini brings a wry wit and world-weariness to his role as Bond's contact, Mathis.
"The heart of Casino Royale -- both the novel and the film -- is the love story between Bond and Vesper. Thankfully, the filmmakers have pulled it off with class and heart. But the point of Fleming's story was always about how Bond -- after suffering at the hands of Le Chiffre and then facing even greater pain later -- realizes his place in the world and that he must go after the threat behind the threat. In other words, James Bond literally and figuratively gets his balls back, and that testicular fortitude is exactly what this 44-year-old franchise has needed for many years now."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Possessed and Institutionalized

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
– Albert Einstein*
*About Albert Einstein
The brilliant physicist Albert Einstein became an international icon for his groundbreaking theory of relativity. He was born in Germany in 1879 and began his seminal work while at the Swiss Patent Office. He later fled the Nazi regime, moving to the United States to teach at Princeton. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize. He declined Israel's invitation to become its president, saying he lacked the necessary people skills. He died in 1955.
And a special dedication to all the lost souls who are "possessed" and "institutionalized" in asylums of their own making.
As the saying goes, "You've made your bed, now lie in it!"
Have fun 'lying'. Or is it 'laying'? Whatever!
When I go down the street
The people watch me shiver and shake
I'm a prisoner of a demon
I think my head's about to break
It stays with me wherever I go
I can't break away from its hold
This must be my punishment
For selling my soul
Too much pressure, my pulse is rising
My heart is pounding, my head really hurts
I can't take it, all this pressure
From all these things inside of me
Everywhere I look I see them
Everywhere I go they're at
What did I do to deserve this
Why won't they just leave my body
Are they people or are they spirits
Do they belong to the human race
Why do they want me so bad
Why won't they come out of their hiding place
i can't see them, but I know they're here
i can feel it in my veins
All this pressure on my body
Is causing all my strength to drain
Am I crazy, or am I insane
Or have I already lost my mind
Is it real, or is it fake
Or am I in a permanent bind
Am I in power or am I a slave
Who in hell is in control
Am I still living, or am I dead
Do I still have a soul
I know I can't keep going this way
I have to give my mind some leisure
If I keep on going like this
I never again will taste pleasure
If they will not break the oath
I will have to disband
I have lost all control
this thing has now taken command
Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn't work out the way I wanted to.
I get real frustrated and I try hard to do it and I take my time and it doesn't work out the way I wanted to.
It's like I concentrate real hard and it doesn't work out
Everything I do and everything I try never turns out
It's like I need time to figure these things out
But there's always someone there going
Hey Mike:
You know we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems lately.
You know, maybe you should get away and maybe you should talk about it, maybe you'll feel a lot better
And I go:
No it's okay, you know I'll figure it out, just leave me alone I'll figure it out. You know I'll just work by myself.
And they go:
Well you know if you want to talk about it I'll be here you know and you'll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it.
And I go:
No I don't want to I'm okay, I'll figure it out myself and they just keep bugging me and they just keep bugging me and it builds up inside and it builds up inside.
So you're gonna be institutionalized
You'll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
You won't have any say
They'll brainwash you until you see their way.
I'm not crazy - institutionalized
You're the one who's crazy - institutionalized
You're driving me crazy - institutionalized
They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself
I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall thinking about everything
But then again I was thinking about nothing
And then my mom came in and I didn't even know she was there she called my name
And I didn't even hear it, and then she started screaming: MIKE! MIKE!
And I go:
What, what's the matter
And she goes:
What's the matter with you?
I go:
There's nothing-wrong mom.
And she goes:
Don't tell me that, you're on drugs!
And I go:
No mom I'm not on drugs I'm okay, I was just thinking you know, why don't you get me a pepsi.
And she goes:
NO you're on drugs!
I go:
Mom I'm okay, I'm just thinking.
She goes:
No you're not thinking, you're on drugs! Normal people don't act that way!
I go:
Mom just give me a Pepsi please
All I want is a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me
All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me.
Just a Pepsi.
They give you a white shirt with long sleeves
Tied around you're back, you're treated like thieves
Drug you up because they're lazy
It's too much work to help a crazy
I'm not crazy - institutionalized
You're the one who's crazy - institutionalized
You're driving me crazy - institutionalized
They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself
I was sitting in my room and my mom and my dad came in and they pulled up a chair and they sat down, they go:
Mike, we need to talk to you
And I go:
Okay what's the matter
They go:
Me and your mom have been noticing lately that you've been having a lot of problems,
You've been going off for no reason and we're afraid you're gonna hurt somebody,
We're afraid you're gonna hurt yourself.
So we decided that it would be in your interest if we put you somewhere
Where you could get the help that you need.
And I go:
Wait, what do you mean, what are you talking about, we decided!?
My best interest?! How can you know what's my best interest is?
How can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'm crazy?
When I went to your schools, I went to your churches,
I went to your institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I'm crazy.
They say they're gonna fix my brain
Alleviate my suffering and my pain
But by the time they fix my head
Mentally I'll be dead
I'm not crazy - institutionalized
You're the one who's crazy - institutionalized
You're driving me crazy - institutionalized
They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself
It doesn't matter I'll probably get hit by a car anyway.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


A forwarded email to brighten my day and week:
When I stand up for myself and my beliefs, they call me a bitch.
When I stand up for those I love, they call me a bitch.
When I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my own way, they call me a bitch.
Being a bitch means I won't compromise what's in my heart.
It means I live my life MY WAY.
It means I won't allow anyone to step on me.
When I refuse to tolerate injustice and speak against it, I am defined as a bitch.
The same thing happens when I take time for myself instead of being everyone's maid, or when I act a little selfish.
It means I have the courage and strength to allow myself to be who I truly am and won't become anyone else's idea of what they think I "should" be.
I am outspoken, opinionated and determined. I want what I want and there is nothing wrong with that!
So try to stomp on me, try to douse my inner flame, try to squash every ounce of beauty I hold within me.
You won't succeed. And if that makes me a bitch , so be it.
I embrace the title and am proud to bear it.
B - Babe
I - In
T - Total
C - Control of
H - Herself
B = Beautiful
I = Intelligent
T = Talented
C = Charming
H = Hell of a Woman
B = Beautiful
I = Individual
T = That
C = Can
H = Handle anything
Send this to 5 women to put a smile on their faces!!! and You MEN, if you can't do something right, get a woman to do it and get a life .

Friday, December 08, 2006


Wow, how time flies when one is having FUN! So much FUN that I couldn't even find time to blog on my BDAY. However, getting an e-mail of a burka-donning female's passport from a teo siew chin aka LOLITAMYFUNG prompted me to declare that there's more to me than just an aspiring Sufi, as revealed from my last posting in November.
And in response to LOLITAMYFUNG's msg, not subscribing to a Phantom Dad-Protege arrangement does NOT make me an Ultra Conservative Muslim; on the contrary, I consider myself a feminist, who believes that men and women are created equal and, thus, find a Pay Master-Sex Slave relations abhorring, demeaning and degrading to both the Man and the Woman involved. And below is a special dedication to all the Sugar Daddies and Lolitas of the world:
In Abhorrence Dementia
I admire the spiritual force of evil
A pure supreme instinction in survival
Never underestimate the powers of hatred
When the blackness overwhelming
With a hostile image against all living
The splendid visions of malignant breeding
The dominions on Earth shall return to the beast
As the darkside awaits the capture and feast
With dark surrounding illusions
Possesion in passion, simplicity is intuitive
Native forces of violent misery
The soil in a man`s heart is stonier
In stench of rot and sour ground
The obedient fall into cruelty
Where all arts of life shall be undone
A madness wells up in me
As I swallow the pain
Where unbounded evil reign
In this case, One's source of FUN(G) is indeed another person's source of Income - WHATEVER!
Moving on to more palatable topics, GOD has indeed been kind to me by sending such wonderful kindred spirits in the form of new friends, such as Serena Timms, who just opened a new Mediterranean restaurant, aptly named Charisma, in Kelana Jaya. Serena is an "epitome of faith", a true believer in the Lord's Will - she moved from London to KL and took a leap of faith into F&B "in God's stead and at God's Behest". And to complement her belief in fine dining and eco-gastronomy, her brother Mr Yap is an expert in alternative herbal treatment, which I eagerly embarked on last Saturday, and already starting to feel its benefits!
Actually, I was introduced to Serena by my colleague Selva when we were having Thanksgiving dinner at the Celestial Steak House, run by an absolutely beautiful couple, Gary and Lydia, also in KJ. The Tex-Mex stuffed turkey with its thick cranberry sauce and the pecan pie were simply yummy and worth every single sen we had to fork out! We then had Charisma's special iced mocha to accompany our lively conversation into the nite.
In any case, my BDay celebration was another round of feasting - delicious oxtail soup, chicken wings, calimari rings, fish and chips and La Crepe Cake at the Food Foundry, robust mushroom steak with thick gravy and apple pie ala mode at Decanter, and more oxtail stew, seafood platter and ice cream at Decanter again!
To top it all, we watched Motorcycle Diaries and Bowling for Columbine dvds til the wee hours of the morning, and the surprisingly tender and touching movie, Cinta, at MidValley TGV.
Memorable quotes from Cinta:
"Awak ni seorang yang sangat negatif la"
"When there's a will, there's a way!"
"Isteri bukannya hakmilik, tetapi anugerah..."
Gotta sign out and go for tea, Pottu varan!