Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rock Chick Continued

It's been a while I've wanted to share with you the thing I love the most; going to watch my favorite bands perform live!

It all started when I was 14, a huge fan of Depeche Mode and they were performing in Brest, a large student town near where I lived in France, Britanny. Unfortunately, mom would not let me go, a 14-year old with her 16-year old brother in a huge city alone with a crowd 30000 students did not seem to worry me at the time, but now that I am older I understand why my parents did not let us go.

Little did I know that it would only be a few more years till I realised my dream, and for my 17th birthday, March 2nd 1994, Depeche Mode was playing in Singapore, my brother was on his winter holiday break from uni and was over in Malaysia with us; My parents agreed to let us go to Singapore, by train 9 hour journey with nothing to eat, but the most awesome experience in the world. It was not our first time travelling without our parents but the train, the crashing at a friend of a friend's place in Singapore, seeing Depeche Mode play live in their Devotional Tour was the best present my parents could have given me.

1994 Mar - Depeche Mode - Devotional Tour - Singapore - with Julien and Frin
1995 Apr - The Cure - Paris - with Julien
1996 Oct - Cypress Hill - Paris
1997 Mar - Chemical Brothers - Paris - with Julien
1997 Apr - Carl Cox - Cardiff - with Alex
1997 Jun - Moby - Paris - with Alex

Then there was a long period where I was back in Malaysia, no gigs are allowed there, because it leads to what's the word, demeaning behaviour, drug, sex, alcohol, women wear skimpy clothes and men behave badly, so unless it is a very boring band, you cannot have a concert in Malaysia; surprisingly last year they allowed Pussy Cat Dolls and that caused an uproar in breach of righteousness because of the lewd dancing, surprise, surprise! Anyway, I eventually moved to England and Alex and I have been making up for lost time and catching up on the music scene...
Wearing my Strokes Tee-Shirt at the Reading Festival last August, nightfall, we're waiting for Muse to come on stage!
2006 Apr - Morrissey - London Palladium
2006 May - Radiohead - London Hammersmith
2006 Jun - The Genius and The Feeling - London City University - with Sarah and Alison
2006 Jul - The Strokes - O2 Wireless Festival London Hyde Park
2006 Jul - Belle & Sebastian - O2 Wireless Festival London Hyde Park
2006 Jul - The Like - O2 Wireless Festival London Hyde Park
2006 Jul - Gogol Bordelo - O2 Wireless Festival London Hyde Park
2006 Jul - The Raconteurs - O2 Wireless Festival London Hyde Park
2006 Jul - Divine Comedy - Somerset House London
2006 Aug - Muse - Carling Festival Reading
2006 Aug - Jet - Carling Festival Reading
2006 Aug - The Like - Carling Festival Reading
2006 Aug - Artic Monkeys - Carling Festival Reading
2006 Sep - Scissor Sisters - Trafalgar Square London
2006 Nov - Muse - Wembley Arena London
2007 Mar - Nine Inch Nails - Brixton Academy London
2007 Apr - James - Brixton Academy London

We also have plans for the rest of the year; starting with one tomorrow night:

2007 Jul - Interpol - London Astoria
2007 Aug - Interpol - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Arcade Fire - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Gogol Bordelo - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Hot Hot Heat - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Bloc Party - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Razorlight - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Ash - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Aug - Dinosaur Jr - Carling Festival Leeds
2007 Sep - The Police - Twickenham Rugby Stadium London
2007 Nov - Interpol - Green Wood London (3rd strike!!!)

Bands that I'd like to watch someday:

Radiohead (again)
The Magic Numbers
Snow Patrol
James (again)

We've promised ourselves that we'll never stop going to gigs, even when kids are in the picture, we'll bring them along as soon as they are old enough, so look forward for these days to come.

Rock Chick

Thank you very much to Jeannie for giving me this lovely pink ribbon.

I thought that surely I should get this just cos I am a rock girl, hence i'm rocking. But apparently it's because I'm nice even when I have a gripe. So people, here is the hard honest truth.

truth is that I feel annoyed and angry at a lot of things and people more often than I wish. And everytime, I think of these great girls in my life who never seem to get upset at anything or anyone; and so I feel guilty for having any negative feelings and I feel envious of these amazing girls who are cool and lovely and have nothing but nice words; and always come to the conclusion that if I am not happy with someone or something it must be my fault, and for me to sort out; that's why I try to remain nice even when I have a gripe. I don't know if being guided by guilt and looking up to perfection incarnate, make me a rockin' girl but I'll accept it because I am a rock chick anyway. :)

Jenny is my nominee for the Rockin' Girl Blogger; because she is hilarious and always has something fun to share with us and has a super cute kid to make us smile.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


An awful thing happened recently to my colleague, Dan. He was always a bit distant so I never got very close to him, but we chatted, he has two loves in his life, his two horses Wills and I forgot the name of the other.

When he joined there was rumours about his sexual orientation, but I certainly did not give a damn about that. He was a soft spoken, shy, kept to himself and when he joined us for lunch once, he did not participate to the converstation, but kept texting away to someone called Ian; he always went back home for lunch. I only ever caught him over a cup of coffee in the kitchen and checked on him every time I would go around his side of the office and he would tell me stories about his horses and the competition he attended, trained for. I thought, in time, he'll be a good friend to all of us.

Two days ago, he was training for a competition, and his horse misjudge a jump, he fell off his horse and the horse collapse over his body. Dan will probably never walk again and the doctors think he might be paralised from the neck down. Total paralysis. There is still hope that he will not be paralyzed from neck to waist, so please pray for him. He's truly a good guy. And it is just pure evil that the one thing he loves the most is the cause of spoiling the rest of his life.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Kissing Etiquette

Only a French person could come up with such a topic. As it happens, on Friday night I was out at All Bar One with Alison, her new man Hughel or Huwel (not sure how to spell his name, Ali told me but I was too drunk by the end of the evening to remember), her sister Nikki and boyfriend Kerri, their little sister Sarah and Alex.

Anyway, I arrive and kiss my friends on the cheeks, two kisses, one on each cheek for balance.

The etiquette is this:
In my home town we kiss three times (In the name of the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost), in Paris and Brittanny, people kiss only once and in the South of France where people take more time for the best things in life, we kiss four times. Although nowadays, most people kiss just once or twice for convenience.

Later Alex arrives and I land a soft quick kiss on his lips, that's what lovers do, that's what shows the difference between a friend and a lover.

When Huwel arrived he kissed Alison on the cheek!!!??? I was puzzled. I thought that maybe I got things wrong and they were not an item yet, but few minutes later he had his arm around her waist and his hand on her lap. Now that is all wrong, a man cannot put his hands on a woman's erogenous zones if he is not at the stage of placing his lips on hers. Apparently in England it is okay to kiss your lover on the cheek. I guess it makes sense in a country where kissing is not normal. My friends kiss me because I kiss them, because it's my culture, and let's face it, it's not the worst thing in the world to experience.

I was glad that my lesson was observed and they made up for it plenty and without any begging. I'm so proud of them. Now, French kissing on the other hand is reserved for lovers in private. It is of bad taste to show tongues and saliva to an audience, hence the outburst of 'get a room' when people have to witness a French kiss.

To summarize the etiquette for kissing:
Cheeks is for friends, one to four kiss is acceptable.
Lips is for lovers and children below the age of 5 if they are blood related.
Tongue is for lovers in private.
Enjoy irresponsibly.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What do you read?

Reaching the end of Freakonomics is a paragraph on the importance of reading, or at least how having books in the house is influential on a child’s development. There is no particular logic other than parents who show an interest in books value education and will induce this to their children. This prompted me a nice souvenir…

There were always books in the house; both my mom and dad were avid readers. My dad was into science fiction (Asimov, Herbert, Tolkien, Bradley) and my mom was into everything else (famous classics, English or French, Pulitzer prize-winners, non fiction and anything taking place in Asia, her favourites are Somerset Maugham and Hortense Dufourd who she has become friends with).

My brother started reading books at an unusual young age, by the age of 9, he had read the entire collection of Jules Verne and read The Lord of the Ring when he was 10. I had a lot of baby books which I never tired of reading. As a little girl, I suffered from insomnia; I would wake up from a nightmare at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning and not to wake up the rest of the house, I would cover my bedside table lamp with a handkerchief, choose one of my books, my favourite was the Ugly Duckling or another one about a rabbit; I burnt uncountable numbers of handkerchiefs falling back asleep with a book in my hands.

I remember the summer when I started reading real books, I was 10, and still thoroughly enjoyed my children’s books, short stories and the standard Disney versions of classic stories. We were in Labastide de Virac. There isn’t much to do there, it’s an old house, we go for walks, picnics down by the river, long lunches, naps and dinner parties. So reading is pretty much the only form of entertainment the rest of the day or when it rains. We get there and my dad buys half a dozen of books for each himself, mom and Julien, it’s like a tradition, that summer he bought 5 books for me, Club Seven they were called, detective/adventure type where seven teenage friends solve mysteries.

I did not want to read, I did not want to do anything, I was bored and grumpy and my mom scolded me because I knew darn well that when we come here, we read. Sulking, I locked myself in the car with the window down just enough to let some air in, and my mom dropped all five books through the slit. I sulked for about 15 minutes before I felt really bored and picked one of the books, I never stopped reading since.

Okay, I’m exaggerating, I read loads until a book I don’t like comes along, then instead of closing it and starting another, I will have a long period without reading at all, until the next book craving. My favorite of all time is Terry Pratchett, he takes me miles away from reality.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Last....

... Time you laughed?
5 minutes ago. Today was the birthday of two of my colleagues, and I made a photo montage of their heads over people's bodies and I thought it was funny, I was very pleased with my creativity and choice of bodies and montage of the heads over the body. Anyhow, I put Hannah's face over the body of Jordan, a famous showgirl with big boobs and tiny waste and when I showed the result to Alex, straight away he knew it was Jordan's body so I was stunned: "how did you know?" and he said he recognised the hair!!!! The liar, he obviously recognised the boobs (her most famous asset); and it made me laugh wholeheartedly.

... Time you cried?
Have already answered that one in an earlier tag.

... Time you danced?
In Vienna with my colleagues, it was our last night after a three-day conference, and I had received an honour for outstanding contribution to the company in 2006. I was drained, so Martin gave me some pills that gave me a kick and we went to an underground nightclub playing House Music and we danced until the club closed at 4am.

... Time you said "I miss you"?
Can't remember. I miss my brother and nephews everyday. But I don't think I've ever told them. So, Julien when you read this: I miss you. There I said it.

... Time you couldn't sleep?
The night before flying to Vienna, I was too excited at seeing all my colleagues again, especially Dani and Alison from the South African office, they are so much fun and real sweethearts. When they are around it's like a 24-hour party everyday.

... Time you were hungover?
In Vienna, again, a couple hours after coming out the night club, I woke up with a major hang over. I was still drunk from the few hours earlier when I was still downing gin tonics, but what was worse, was that all of us were half sick, half asleep in the airport lounge, and I was drinking a tomato juice and so was my boss and he put his drink next to mine, I picked it up thinking it was my drink and it was a Bloody Mary!!! hahaha, it was awful, I thought I was going to be sick drinking more alcohol when I barely recovered from the night before.

... Time you were romantic?
Never? Surely that can't be right. Well, it was not romantic but it had the intention, on Tuesday night when I bought fresh ingredients to cook Alex his favorite dish, linguine a la marinara (seafood pasta with a creamy sauce). But I guess the real romantic time we had was in Barcelona when Alex took me to El Gato, a lovely restaurant in the main high street of the city.

... Time you felt guilty?
Oh! I rarely do, but that day was a double bill of guilt. It was in Malaysia and I caused upset to the two little loves of my life Nicolas and Jacques. I abandonned them, and Nicolas cried his eyes out in silence and I did not even know! While Jacques was wearing a stupid belt I bought him and no one could undo the belt at school so they had to cut the belt when he needed the loo, no harm was done, but it could have and it would have been my fault!

... Time you indulged?
Oooh, that's almost a daily activity considering that everything I eat brings me so much joy. But truly, being constantly careful about what (or how much) I eat, the last time I indulged was at Oriental City in North London last month with Alex and our friends Seow Ling and Nils. The Malaysian food was so authentic, I had a Char Koay Teow (fried noodles) and a Beef Rendang (curry) and chicken satays. Hmmmm.

... Time you went wild shopping?
It was after my colleague's birthday party in Oxford last April; on the way back home, we stopped by Bicester a factory outlet town and emptied the Ted Baker store, I bought two skirts and three tops and one small black dress.

... Time you had a regret?
I try to live my life to never have regrets. so when I do have one, then I turn it around quickly so that it becomes a good experience no matter what.

... Time you exercised?
On Tuesday. I swear that I pay this membership just to feel guilty for not exercising and reluctantly drag my sorry fat arse down the gym. I did squats, lunges, a few fitness machines with scary names like the Abductor and rowing for 3 kilometers against time, and dragged my two lazy legs on the treadmill while watching a silly soap - thank goodness for technology that allows you to be lazy even at the gym.

... Time you felt outraged by news?
I was quite annoyed with the overly mediacised news for the poor Madeleine Mc Cann's kidnap. But the latest was Paris Hilton being released from jail after just 3 days. That pissed me right off, if you're rich and famous, you don't have to stay in jail?! I bet every single prisoners would rather be under house arrest, get to watch TV, access the internet, use the phone, have buddies over, eat nice food delivered to your door, have your family visit you; that's pretty much the life of a handicap person. It made my day that the judge called her back to court and placed her back in jail.

... Time you went to the movies?
It was for Hot Fuzz, a funny action film with the team of 'Shaun of the Dead', the only zombie film I've ever been able to watch. I enjoyed it, it was a good laugh, very slapstick and silly but thrilling as well. It's the kind of movie, you feel like a teenager when you come out of the theatre. ;)

A tag inspired by some questions from an interview and elaborated around the theme of the last time. Now I tag: Tweetey, Marianne, Hammer, Jeannie, Vancouver Mermaid and Zombie Slayer. I won't tag Kitem because she's off to Barcelona for a few days with friends and then off to the family holiday home on the other side of France, where taking long naps, long walks and long meals are the only things you do. Copy paste this below for your convenience:
... Time you laughed?
... Time you cried?
... Time you danced?
... Time you said "I miss you"?
... Time you couldn't sleep?
... Time you had a hungover?
... Time you were romantic?
... Time you felt guilty?
... Time you indulged?
... Time you went wild shopping?
... Time you had a regret?
... Time you exercised?
... Time you felt outraged?
... Time you went to the movies?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Shrek revisited

Now that we've seen PCs Vs Shreks, I think I've worried a lot of husbands starting with my own. Look when I refer to men as Shreks I do NOT mean farting, burping, green slobs. That is very far from my thoughts. No, when I see Shrek (and the Shreks of this world), I see:
- Someone honest
- Someone who will not take himself too seriously
- Someone who does not take life too seriously
- Someone who is fun because of the two above
- Someone who will make the best out of anything
- Someone who will be grateful for what he gets
- Someone down to earth and in tune with real life

And you can be a Shrek and still be handsome and successful and hard working and who deserves all the great things that come your way.

Anyway, hubby said he'd rather be a Patrick Bateman than a Shrek.


Hahaha, that is so funny, he is a Patrick Bateman already, minus the American and minus the Psycho. Thank God for that. He does have his Patrick Bateman days, and I tease him a lot about it, but in secret I appreciate that, he makes a tremendous effort to look good, he is always impeccably dressed and has very high standards of fashion; He recently changed his hair cut and has never ceased exercising excessively to maintain his fitness and lean profile. He's a bit vain, but I enjoy the results.

I'm sure there are nice PCs out there, but I like my Shrek better. It's fun and cool most of the time. Shame it doesn't include eternal sparks, but that's true for any relationships.

How to kill your husband

You might notice this book in my recently acquired items, and I thought I'd say a bit more about it before you think I plan to get rid of my lovely husband.

Here I was in the airport, waiting for our delayed flight to bring up a new departure time, I was roaming WHSmith, when this bright pink cover-book caught my eye, I approached the shelf and kneeled down to reach this well hidden book. The title, How to Kill Your Husband (and other useful household tips) made me giggle and I felt instantly the blood rushing to my cheeks in embarrassment that people may think I need a crash course on how to kill my dear husband. I placed the book back in its hidden spot and after walking away, quickly walked back, grabbed the book, handed over the money over the counter and hid the book in my bag. (Nah, my weird behaviour did not arouse any more suspicion than that).

The book was not as funny as I thought it would be. It however did make me very angry at the male gender. It opened my eyes on how submissive we are, on how men can manipulate situations and circumstances until their women look like awful nags while they still look like the good guy, may it be in the eyes of the parents, the children, the neighbours, their peers. So much anger, so little time. I did not particularly want to kill my husband after reading this book but I did want to kill any of the husbands mentioned in the book.

The first one, a PC, a dedicated house wife, sleeps around with every pretty young thing except his wife; but says that it helps their relationship; and threatens his wife with divorce when she meets another man.
The second one, another PC, convinces his wife to never have kids, only to empregnate a younger woman and move in with her.
The third one, a Shrek, doesn't help one bit, lets his wife run around like a headless chicken, and finally leaves her for a woman who doesn't nag but he helps her!!!

I finished that book a few weeks ago and it took me a while to recover from this much hatered. I know it is just a book and does not reflect the entire male population, but I get involved very easily.

What I realised from this book, that upset me:
1) We let men have the upper hand all the time, because of their over-sized egos.
2) We let men get away with being slobs, because they don't care living in a pig sty and think that if we want to live in a pleasant environment then it's out problem.
3) If you have children, never rely on your partner to ever help, you gave birth you're responsible.
4) Because they know deep inside that they are frauds, they have to constantly put women down to make them feel better, stronger, smarter.

I constantly praise hubby how cool and smart he is, (yes, Darling you are), sometimes I wonder how much I need to fool myself, staying focussed on his qualities? But then again, if being a fool is the key to my happiness, I must be smarter than I think.

To the men reading this post. I know, like Hammer raising his kids and Zombie Slayer seemingly down to earth r my hubby, that you help and love your wives in your own ways but promise me to never disrespect your wife, never make a fool out of her, because she's a whole lot smarter than you will ever give her credit for. I think men can never appreciate women enough and the men who do... well you've seen my previous post.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Prince Charming vs Shrek

It's based on a true story. I mean the producers of Shrek knew what they were talking about when they created this story. This goes back a long time ago, but I'm inspired to share this topic now.

I never believed in Prince Charming. I mean Alex is close to perfect (cool, smart, a good pool of gene to have babies with) but let's face it, he's no prince charming (no sense of romance, no iceberg melting sweet talking, no witty analogies that make a girl blush). I once met someone that I thought might be Prince Charming, but was quickly brought back to my senses from this grand illusion of infatuation.

I never truly understood what infatuation was until I befell victim of the disease. And yes, it is a disease. I spent hours wondering: why is infatuation so bad, when it feels so good? Surely, when it feels this strong, it must be Love with a capital L? Surely that feeling of infatuation, that makes your chest tight, your heart rush, your tension rise, your head spin, your mouth dry must be Love? (see an earlier post on Living it up: Ha ha! That's what love is.) But nah, that's all rubbish... Infatuation is the cancer of love.

So why don't I believe in Prince Charming?
It's simple. I only once met someone that I thought for a very split second he might it, and I've listened to girls relating their stories to "he must be it" and I've come to the conclusion that Prince Charmings (PC) are simply men who know how to make a girl feel like a woman, who knows the right words to say and when to say them, and it's an awesome feeling for a woman, and it's almost a free ticket to sex for the PC. Hence, the PC is going to use this unique weapon to make as many women as possible feel good about themselves and get himself, in return for his efforts, a free one-night-stand or a few before moving to the next girl in desperate need to feel loved. Therefore, PCs turn into Players, vain, full of themselves, manipulative and lying cheating bastards.

On the other hand, here's a guy that girls won't notice at first. He's nonchalant, he's kinda cool and kinda doesn't care, he's not bad looking but doesn't bother grooming his hair and wears oversized tee-shirts, he's been hurt by a princess that was demanding, scatty and with totally unreasonable expectations and he's wary of women in general because of that. He doesn't sweet talk, and he doesn't even start to understand the concept of romance, but he makes a girl feel safe, because she won't be cheated, what she sees is what she gets. She can have more fun with Shrek, because he won't judge her and she doesn't feel like she has to be up to the delusional standards of PCs, so the interaction is truer and more relaxed. She can be herself everyday and she can be happy.

Therefore, in my irrefutable logic:
A relationship with PC can only lead to destruction, paranoia and ultimately sadness
A relationship with Shrek will be simple, no-nonsense, no bullshit, pure and ultimately, here lies your happy ever after.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hampton Court Palace

Saturday 2nd June
It's Mamie Ese Birthday today. She's 79, but she still looks and lives like a 60-something. She's an awesome grandma and I love her very much. It's also a special day for Tweetey who celebrates her first Wedding Anniversary. And it's a special day here because the sun is out again after a fortnight of rain and cold.
We took the boat down the river Thames to Hampton Court, it's a 35 minutes boat ride on the lovely river and we went past some gorgeous, modern, large, or quaint houses on both sides of the river, with their boats moored by their gardens, dreaming of one day being able to afford one of these.
Hampton Court is famous for its palace and gardens. Next month starts the Hampton Court Flower Show, I might go and check it out. Kitem you're welcome to come over a few days to join me. We started strolling by the rose garden and went into the maze, the maze was not as much fun as the ne in Blenheim palace but it was fun enough.
I likes how the trees at the back of the palace are groomed. Here Uncle and Auntie in front of the bell-shaped forest.
Alex and his parents in front of the palace.
Me under the vineyard and in front of some private garden of the palace we could not access.