Friday, July 31, 2009


Yucky-poo. Or, to be exact, yucky-pee.

The sofa in my new place smells as though someone mistook it for a different sort of, uh, resting facility.

Am very displeased. The realtor has been alerted.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In transit

As a child, I used to be fascinated with the idea of in-flight transit. Depending on which airport my family stopped over in en route to/from a family holiday, it could mean anything from an overnight stay in a closet-sized hotel room (the kind that you need to exit backwards, because there's no room to turn around), to six hours in the transit lounge (which is probably where some of us developed the ability to sleep anywhere, in any position), to 45 minutes spent mostly in a mad sprint for a departure gate that mysteriously turned out to be in another terminal building. Hence the mad sprint.

I haven't made an stopovers in recent years, which is why I am finding my present situation ironic. Not between countries or cities, but between apartments. The old unit has been vacated, cleared of nearly a year's worth of good living. Which, for these two girls from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, involved many books (mostly mine), many soft toys (both), many DVDs (mostly hers) and many, many food items from far and wide (I'll say both). Owing to the slightly creative timing of my search for a new place to live, there was a three-day gap between leaving the old place and signing over the new one.

And so I am thankful for my cousin, who's kindly putting me up -- and my stuff, which includes the many books, many soft toys (mine and the ones left in my care, to save them from a fate worse than death: Western Australian flea markets!), and other bits and pieces. It's amazing how many boxes you can fill with a small bedroom's worth of stuff. Fortunately, there's room for us all.

With the signing of the six-month lease on the new place, I'm hoping that my life will cease its nomadic pattern of the past 19 months. At the moment I'm looking at change almost in the same way I view the chili lemongrass spare ribs we ended up having for dinner, after dropping the WA-bound former housemate off at the airport. Michelle's intended last good meal in Sydney evolved into... Michelle's imaginary last good meal in Sydney. But we enjoyed it nevertheless, and thought of her fondly while chomping on the juicy spare ribs encased in crumbly savoury lemongrass bits. How is change like pork? Before I tell you, I warn you first: I'm very sleep-deprived and this will almost certainly come out sounding trite or banal or stupid. Maybe even all three.

They're both great, and they both promote growth (spare ribs: protein and fat in a carbohydrate coating. Macronutrients, check!)... but at the moment I'm feeling as if I've had a little too much of both.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

At the moment

I am coughing and wheezing, not very slightly.
I am experiencing pain in my right shoulder, a 20-year-old bother that began with bad posture at the piano. Lesson: Posture is underrated.
I am decidedly not puzzled by a paradox I heard recently, and bewildered by my lack of puzzlement.
I am superlatively happy and thankful for my housemate and good friend's success with the final film project of her Master's in Film and Digital Image.
I am looking forward to finishing my own Master's, in one semester's time.
I am wondering what happens after that, and gratefully aware that there is not a smidgen of fear or trepidation in that wondering, only curiosity... and a healthy amount of adrenaline-fuelled impatience. Probably should work on reducing that last one; one can only function on so much adrenaline.
I am watching a lot of House and various light-hearted films. Thanks to all of that, for my next birthday I would like a panda that is proficient in martial arts and can serve up a mean la mian; failing which, I will gladly take Gene Kelly's tap-dancing talent or the ability to write like the House team. In a pinch, I will be happy with a chorus line of penguins that will also wait tables and sing happy songs.
I am reading the heart- and gut-wrenching childhood memoir of Dave Pelzer.
I am still basking in the warm glow of eating a long-missed childhood favourite dish.
I am renewing my resolve to be a better keyboardist. It might help if I actually practiced and did exercises, instead of tinkling around with Disney theme songs.
I am giving thanks for the many good people I have in proximity. Multiple-sandwich-supplying people; loving, caring, praying people; ginger-tea-brewing housemate types who try to help me get out of a cough before it takes hold.
I am missing the people I love who are miles away from me, a shared late-night roti pisang and Milo ais with plenty of joy-filled chatter on the side.
I am fighting the urge to be a spoilt brat who guzzles the good stuff without a second thought, while complaining loudly of the temporary small annoyances.
I am curious about why it is so difficult to find candied winter melon in Chatswood.
I am questioning the wisdom and rationale behind pet ownership during life's transitory stages.
I am contemplating giving myself an extension to Wednesday to try my grandmother's sweet potato cake recipe. It's those elusive candied winter melons that are standing in my way, bless their hearts. Gah.
I am very slowly writing an article about an amazing woman who brings new meaning to the word "living".
I am blogging when I should really be in bed.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sweet and something else

I like the way great discoveries are often made in small, accidental ways. Like how you can set out to bake cupcakes, partly because there are a couple of birthdays falling around the same time and partly because it feels good to work the ol' arm muscles beating cake batter.

And then, a few days later, the housemate might also set out to bake cupcakes for reasons really known only to her.

And there follow a few days of no baking, and then one day you both think, well now -- what would happen if we whipped up a mixture each, and put a little of the sweet-salty peanut butter mixture and a little of the hedonistically rich chocolate mixture into each cup?

And the result, well, is best tasted but since licking the screen will do you no good, I'll just say it's the perfect balance of sweet and crumbly and surprisingly crunchy, when the peanut butter comes through.

And they are an exercise in precise planning because you keep on trying to take a bite that is exactly half chocolate and half peanut butter, so that you can roll them around on your tongue and let the contrast turn to cohesion.

In a life that has given me quite a few peanuts when I'd asked for chocolate chips (and the Freudians among you may make of that phrase whatever you wish), it's good to pull up a chair and enjoy the spoils of a small kitchen victory.
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