Sunday, October 29, 2006

When you buy a lived-in house, you get ghosts in the package

Alone in bed
With dark shadows for company
And the whisper of the fan's blade
....close by

I heard it without warning then
Cutting through my sleep.
From out of nowhere,
A human voice, I am sure of it...
It said just one word:


I jerked awake
Heart pumping madly
Fumbling for the light switches
Bolting to the windows to open it wide
And let out whatever or whoever
It is that shouldn't
be in my room

Was it my imagination running away
From me in my sleep?
Or a trapped spirit anxious to keep invisibile noises at bay
while I fitfully slumber?

* We bought our now, 20+ year old house from the 2nd owner. I told my husband, then, that I have slight reservations about buying a house that had been lived in because you never know who had died in it, or gotten murdered or what unhappy secrets or incidents have happened there prior to us buying it over. But buy it we did, because it was everything else that we had wanted with it's spacious interiors and long, airy windows.

And because I have always had weird experiences with hearing supernatural things that should otherwise not be heard, I sometimes do feel uneasy at home when I'm alone. Which is why we ended up having 5 cats, apart from the reason that we love them to bits, cats also do "guard" the home against evil spirits. So anyway, 3 nights ago, I was sleeping in my home, alone, with the cats outside of my bedroom when this incident happened around 12 plus at night. A definite voice that seemed to come a breath away from me. I was already feeling slightly jittery because I had been hearing all kinds of funny sounds of things scraping against each other, so my sleep was hardly easy, I kept waking up every few minutes.
And then that "shush" voice happened. It was loud enough to sound like an admonishment, like the sound a mother makes to her children to turn down the TV. That was the final straw. i just couldnt sleep again after that until the husband came home.

PS: If you have cat/s at home and if you happen to see them growling madly and staring transfixed at seemingly nothing on the wall (as my cats sometimes do), it means that they are either hallucinating or they are actually seeing some presence which the human eye cannot see. Best thing to do then is to leave them alone and dont forget to say your prayers! :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Deepavali Celebration at Suze

Got my baju kurung (malay traditional dress) at Joo Chiat Complex before heading off for breaking of fast cum Deepavali dinner at Suze & Ganesh's home. Of cos dinner at their place comes with the Indian buffet spread of chicken curry, dried mutton curry, fried birds-eye chilies, prawns, fried wings, sauteed long beans and yellow rice. Typical Suzi spread which would kill an average housewife to prepare but not Suzi The Great. I brought my SEPET movie vcd which we watched. All in all, a very nice Deepavali :)

The nite before, the Husband and I hopped down to McDonalds at 4am for an early breakfast. This is becoming our typical ritual for the Ramadan month on days that I can't be bothered to cook, which is becoming a pretty frequent event..haha.
I spotted a cute chinese hunk eating 2 tables away and pointed him out to the Husband who said:

"I dont understand why you think these single-eyelid chinese boys are so cute. They look like freaks to me. Double eyelids are better; especially when it rains... you get double protection from the rain falling into your eyes!"

Me: Hello, haven't you heard of umbrellas???

Husband: Which brings me to my next point! I'm sure if you research, you'll find out its the chinese who invented umbrellas. I'm telling you it's because of their slit-eyes.

...I wonder sometimes at the logic that goes on behind my husband's brain. i suspect it malfunctions sometimes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cupcakes galore!

My sis asked if I could make her 80 cupcakes for coming hari raya. I said I'll try and set out to make my 1st cupcake experiment, with the indispensable help from the husband of cos. The good boy helped to frost the icing, bake the cupcake and wash up. I so love the idea of husbands!
Photos of chocolate-lava or choc-fondant cupcakes below:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Forget about gourmet, let's talk about real food.

Today, my tastebuds felt lost to me. I'm not sure if it's the effect of the Ramadan fasting month that's making my stomach feel unusually demanding and jittery, but things I ate today just didnt leave much impression, just feels like dry dust in my mouth. Even the usually honeyed taste of chiku fruit was a disappointment, idiotic me didnt know how to pick the ripe ones, so I ended up with a fruit that left a thick sappy-rubber taste instead.

I went through a mental list of stuff that usually does the trick:
Spaghetti with a hearty beef sauce
Juicy medium-rare slab of beef
Clear chicken broth with fresh rice noodles
Congee with crispy fried anchovies

But nope...these images failed to tempt the hunger, it just sharpens and frustrates it even more.

I thought of calling up my dad to ask him what HE would cook up when he finds himself in this hungry-jaded state, and then suddenly I remembered. How could I forget our favourite dish? Plain steamed rice with kampong(village) salad of fresh thai-basil and cucumber slices, salted fish and a small bowl of potent sambal belacan (chilli and shrimp paste). A humble meal but enough to leave us both with childish grins on our faces as we ate away silently, pondering and enjoying immensely the intense burst of cool-crispy, salty and hot flavours in each bite. The fresh basil with it's intense fragrances and woody taste mixed with the meat of the salted fish and just a tiny pinch of my dad's fiery sambal belacan is enough to awaken the most jaded tastebuds and leave me enticed by how such simple food can produce the most flavoursome taste.
So now you know what I'll be having tomorrow :)

PS: But I also have a fall-back plan in case the market doesn't bring in thai-basil tomorrow and that will be to cook petai with sambal. Petai, otherwise known as stink-bean is, as it's name frankly implies pungently bitter. It's an acquired taste, and as with other relationships which takes some time for you to realize it's actually love, you never will get over or be cured of it once it's won you over. I dont care what people say, petai IS the new caviar!

(This beautiful photo of malay salad otherwise known as 'ulam' reproduced with thanks to photoblogger Ezra Iskandar Limm |

Monday, October 16, 2006

Words I love

"It's only words... unless they're true." - David Mamet

"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness." - Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Nature of Despair (draft)

An abandoned space,
Offering no warmth, there is only-

The taint of spilled beer
On the lipless walls,

The pollution of over-hasty excrement
Hanging in the air,

The promise of release in the drained syringes
lying exhausted on the floor.

A space so silent
You can almost hear
The whisper of your sanity sliding
out the space underneath the door,
Leaving behind madness,
And it's hungry gaping grin.

A cold clenches the lungs with angry fists. You can’t
.....breathe. And all that is squeezed out of you in the end
Are sharp tears thick and portentous as a newborn baby’s choked cries
As it enters our world.

5.13am and I just finished this one.
Floundering in bed restless and unable to find sleep, I was suddenly gripped by the unexplainable need to write a poem, thus the unravelling of this: 'The Nature of Despair'.

On the subject of nature, mine has always been to feel things too strongly, at times painfully so.
I can't explain why I feel there's so much sadness in this world. Maybe that's why I loved Stephen King's book 'The Gunslinger' so much because of it's premise that there are identical and parallel worlds to this one, with identical characters, but different outcomes to each lives. Some worlds are infinitely happier than others.

If there is a certainty that there exists a happier world out there, it may make unhappiness much easier to bear, the thought that there is clear and untainted beauty elsewhere as recompense. Oh yeah, I forgot there's heaven :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Unbearable Lightness of Being....a few grams lighter!

They fell all around me
Desolate wisps of hair
Thick black and sad as night. Serves it right!

I’ve too many things
In my head
And of late, it’s an extra burden
To lug around

No, It’s not enough to just let it lie
There, hair is not like
Ears in it's quiet reticence.

Hair is an attention seeking animal.
It demands washing and is forever starved
Sucking endless tubes of conditioning,
oiling -
Then in growing thick and fat
It leerily shoves it's unwanted presence
into your face

Until one day
You wake up and realize
You’re living for The Hair!

It’s too much
To expect of one woman!
Sweep it away, I will not cry for it’s passing.


The hairdresser glared at my hair.
She tut-tutted.
My hair is obviously a personal affront to her. I refused to feel ashamed of my obvious neglect.
There comes a point when you just give up. Especially when the hair, as in my case, is so resistant to being controlled.
She clucked in disgust at one point, and said,

"So much hair? And so curly?! Tsk!!!"

I was tempted to retort back but decided the best course of action is to stay silent. It's not smart to diss a restaurant chef nor a hairdresser.