Friday, December 26, 2008

It's happened...

One of the questions I've always asked people is, "What if your family or mates don't like your partner, would you want to know?" The typical answer is a shrug followed by, "Yeah, I guess... but if I'm with someone I love, it wouldn't matter".

What's that quote from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"?
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."

I think it does matter. I think if my family and friends don't like the person I'm with, there's *got* to be something wrong with that person. I think of who my closest family and friends are. I think about what good people they are. How open-minded most of them are. How caring we are towards each other. How much we respect each other. For my family and friends not to like someone, there's a dang well good reason for it. That person's most likely a dick :P

99% of the time, I get along well enough with a close one's partner. I've just hit that 1% snag. It's been unbearable. I know I don't have to spend time with this person's partner, but it can't be helped. I know I don't have to speak to this person's partner, but it can't be avoided. To be honest, it's bringing out the worst in me :( My tongue seems to have a mind of its own. Everytime his name is brought up in random conversation (and it happens A LOT), quick as a flash I retort with a biting remark. Then I feel like shit for being hurtful to someone close to me. At the same time, I feel like I've been goaded into it. Just stop saying his name and I'll be fine! :P

The guy's a twat :P A genuine twat. I can honestly say this, because I've spent enough time talking to him and being around him.

Should I say something outright? Should I keep quiet? Some things, I don't think people are ready to hear. People just don't want to be told because you know what? Put yourself in their shoes - would you rather face the future alone, or be with someone you love regardless of how twatty that person is?

Judgment tells me to just be quiet.

Here's what I want from you - If I ask you what your impression of my date is (and I will), always tell me the truth. I know I might be upset, I know I might not listen at the time, but I still want to know. I won't hate you for it.
If I wanted the, "As long as you're happy" line, I'd ask my Mum :P

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Ooh, my squiddly spooch!"

I woke up early on Sunday with some sharp pains in my abdomen. "Food poisoning?" I wonder. Nope, B and Diskies were still in good health and we ate the same food the night before. "Well, can't be bloody appendicitis since I don't have an appendix anymore". I rolled over and went back to sleep. "No Step & Tone class for me today". I woke up soon after with the same stabbing stomach cramps.

Ruh roh. This can't be good. Maybe it's that time of the month when I'm reminded how lovely it is to be a woman :P Erm, nope, not that either.

When I woke up with the same cramps this morning, I started to get *real* worried. A quick search on the internets tells me about Acute Pancreatitis.

"Acute pancreatitis causes abdominal pain. It usually settles in a few days but sometimes it becomes severe and very serious. Gallstones or drinking a lot of alcohol are the usual causes."

So I drew up a Drinking Diary for the past couple of weeks:
Saturday 13/12/2008: Half bottle umeshu, 2 vodkas

Friday 12/12/2008: Half bottle white wine, 1 glass dessert wine
Tuesday 09/12/2008: Couple glasses white wine, 3 bloody marys
Monday 08/12/2008: 4 bloody marys
Sunday 07/12/2008: 1 bloody mary
Saturday 06/12/2008:
Numerous vodkas, numerous shots. Enough for me to do this.

Friday 05/12/2008: 1 pre-dinner bloody mary, half bottle of red, sake, 2 caprioskas, 2 vodkas
Thursday 04/12/2008: 3 beers
Tuesday 02/12/2008: 1 pre-dinner cocktail, 1 (or 2?) dinner bloody mary, 1 post-dinner cocktail
Sunday 30/11/2008: 1 caipirinha, couple glasses sangria
Saturday 29/11/2008: Some dinner vino, some Pimms, some vodkas
Friday 28/11/2008: 1 beer, numerous cocktails.


Those random stabbing pains I'm feeling are right - I _am_ drinking too much :( I'm sure it doesn't sound like much to some, especially since it's the holiday season. But... I think back to the days when I use to go drinking, and those were my grad days and I only got pissed on Fridays!

Right now, I feel like I have a swollen squiddly spooch inside of me. Every so often, it tries to do a painful inverted somersault. If I could stroke it, I would. Time to give it a rest...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Big Picture

Normally, I'm a fan of the World Press Photo exhibitions. This year, I was kinda disappointed. Something about it, wasn't as sensational or moving as previous years. My new fix for journalism photography is The Big Picture hosted by It's got *amazing* pictures of events around the world. Here's a sample:

"Muslim pilgrims perform the "Tawaf" ritual around the Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque before leaving the holy Saudi city at the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage on December 10, 2008. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)"

"A woman walks through floodwaters on Piazza San Marco during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venezia. (ANDREA PATTARO/AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images)"

"People standing on the roadside shower flower petals as the body of Hemant Karkare, the chief of Mumbai's Anti-Terrorist Squad is taken for cremation in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)"

"An Indian commando runs into Taj Hotel prior to a gun battle in Mumbai November 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Arko Datta)"

PS: The coolest thing about the Hajj to Mecca, is that there's an algorithm for crowd control implemented to prevent the notorious stampedes and deaths which happen :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Talking about r'ships

Miss K: "Aren't they all troublesome?"
Me: "*I'm* not troublesome!"
Miss K: "Not you! All the guys!"


Well, yeah, now that you've mentioned it, they all are ;) They better be worth it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's in a name?

The funny thing about my name is that it constantly gets a mysterious "L" placed in it. Especially in emails. In fact, I was just called "Shileen". That's a new one, since most of the time I get "Shirleen". Where _is_ that "L" coming from? It's nowhere near the "R" or "E" keys. It's on the other side of the keyboard! My first name isn't long or complicated enough already, so let's throw in another random letter?

The thing I can't figure out though, is that if someone can get my email address right, how on earth did they get my name wrong in the first line of the email?!?

It's a pet annoyance of mine, since on business emails my eyeballs automatically flick up to check what I've typed out against the email address. Definitely don't want to be calling someone senior a "Doody" when they're a "Dody"... I kinda expect people to do the same, especially if they're wanting answers from me :P

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The true meaning of Globalisation

It's been exactly a year (Thanksgiving 2007!) since I'd seen Becky:

It's been... almost 3 years (Jan 2006!) since I'd seen Alwinee.

All of us live in different cities. From Rondon, to Moo York, to Shangers. It made me realise how lucky I am to have the type of friends who love to travel the globe :) Distance doesn't mean anything. Time doesn't mean anything. Wherever we are in the world, we'll find each other, and we'll pick up where we left off. It was always like that over the years when T came back to Sydnery for a visit :) It was like that everytime I came back to Sydnery for a visit, and all the crew took me under their wing.

Which explains the "business lunch" I had with Becky. Oysters, scallops, photography exhibitions, topped off with a 3-restaurant-feast *grin*

Erm, also the "business lunch" I had with Alwinee. 4 hours of Gaucho steak and a bottle of wine; 2 hours of shopping and cocktails; 2 hours at a Tennis Club club ;)

Monday, December 08, 2008


12 days. I will be gone from The Corporation.

The biggest disappointment I've had this year, is when the coolest of coolest bosses I've ever had, was mysteriously made to "disappear" from The Corporation. There were excuses given. Personal family issues. Yet, everyone knew it wasn't about his family. Yet, nobody at the executive level gave a reason. A believable one anyway.

I met up with him tonight. I canned whatever plans I had to meet up with him. He looked like a man who'd been hurt. 20 years he'd been with The Corporation. Rumour has it, he's been forced to take a 6 month sabbatical and he was to leave his team. Rumour has it, he'd stepped on someone's toes. Unfortunately for him, those toes are dang well high up on the ladder.

I won't work for The Corporation which crushes the right people who were in the right places. This man made decisions. This man wasn't scared to say what needed to be said. This man delivered.

He paid for it.

Is there a lesson to be learnt? I don't know. All I know is that it fcking crushed me when I found out that the one person I had looked up to in a long time, was made to disappear :(

Sunday, December 07, 2008

You're terrible, Muriel

I shouldn't have driven
You shouldn't have driven - but we got there
Had a good time, so we left the car
And the cabby was from a war-zone
We were glad he was driving us home
I was gladder of some movement
You took it on, you took it on board
I said, "Thank you, thank you, for loving me at my worst"

3am... I *think* I had said my goodbyes to Alwinee. I got in the cab. Halfway home, I roll down the window in the black cab and stick my head out. I get really, REALLY messy. But hey, whatever steak and vodka that comes out of me, comes out outside of the cab, eh? :) I can't stop. I feel a comforting pat on my back. We get out at home. The cabbie insists we wash the cab door. I run upstairs for the bucket. B grabs it from me and demands I go to bed. I swallow some Nurofen and pass out, leaving T, B & Diskies with the mess...

If this isn't love it's very close
Can you hear the world is waking up?
Can we be crazy for a few more years?
Have I got them in me?

*grin* Someone remind me next time that I can't hold my vodka down?!?

(Anna Banana sent me "The Best of The Whitlams" CD this week :) Don't be surprised if I start telling you to blow up the pokies *grin*)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Holy crap

I'm scaring the bejeezus out of myself by watching "Touching the Void" :(

Did I really sign up for ice-climbing? (o_O)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What's it all mean?!?

I chuckled when I overheard the people next to me bitch about someone high up getting a 25K squiddie bonus this year. They're bitching because 25K squiddies is a BIG bonus for this year. Aaah, the Golden Times have passed by indeed. I use to wonder and gasp when I was told bonuses for bankers were DOUBLE their salary! Back in the day, with the squiddie to Aussie exchange rate, you could earn half a million per year *easy* with that kind of deal!

So I asked someone I knew who wouldn't mind disclosing, "What's the biggest bonus you ever got working in The City?"

The answer: "The highest bonus I got in London was 150k gbp. That's nothing in the city, I know people get multiples of that, even millions."

I hate the term "credit crunch". It's such a ridicurous term!! So I enforce it *grin*
"Sorry, no training this year. There's a credit crunch."
"Sorry, no 24/7 helpdesk this year. There's a credit crunch."
"Sorry, can't fix those reports now. Lack of resources atm. There's a credit crunch."

What's it all mean? Sub-prime mortgages? Shorting? CDOs? Lehmans going bankrupt? None of it meant anything. Then I read this article last night. Easy money, it's the dream - Only too many people wanted it. Those people
sold out everyone, including themselves in the end. The smart ones who could see through the "dream" survived. They're the ones I respect. They questioned what was going on, but nobody wanted to pay attention. They called out bluffs, and nobody believed. So they made money by figuring out a way to profitably short the companies that gave out subprime mortgages, as well as the rating agents who didn't do their job.

Maybe I chuckled because I think the finance world is evil for loaning money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. To me, that's evil shit.

So. How has the dreaded crunch affected me?

It's going to be harder for me to find a new contract because of all the redundancies happening left, right and center in Rondon atm. Apart from that, I haven't noticed a change. I'm still out and spending. However, saving has always been tough for me since I closed my Dollarmite account ;) How lucky do you think I am though, to have a job that I hate so much? It pays well. Fck that shit, I've had enough and I'm resigning in 18 days. Regardless of the uncertainty I face, I'd rather not spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, sitting at my desk in misery and hating. Credit crunch be damned!

Err, but feel free to support me in this time of financial crisis ;)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jorn Utzon

There are some things in Sydnery that I will always go back to. I'll always find the time to sit in the sun, infront of the Opera House. I love looking at it. Sydnery wouldn't be Sydnery without this iconic building. It's so unique. I've seen it a million times, but everytime, I can't help but pull out my camera to take another shot.

Thank you Jorn, for giving us such a beautiful gift. Thank you for all the sunny times I sat and stared in wonder as I sipped my cocktail and read my books :) Sorry our government treated you like shit *sigh*

I am ninja!

You are ninja too ;) Thank roo Milli-San, I hearts it (>_<) Hehehe..

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I stare at my iPhone. "Just five more mins, then get out of here", I think to myself. At 1:57am my iPhone flashes to life with a message from Diskies, "How's cargo? I'm gonna head home..." Quick as a flash, I message back, "Meeee too. See you bus stop?"

After an evening of dumplings, lobster noodles, roast duck, cocktails - I just wanted to go home. It was close to midnight. I didn't want to trek all the way from West Rondon to East Rondon. I knew it was going to be hell to get back. Yet I was egged on by everyone else who was either:

*lol* Don't get me wrong, I'm always up for a good time. But I was sooooo close to home! A 10 squid cab ride away! A four min walk from Baker Street tube away! But no, the others insisted I had to party on.

So, I caught the last tube to Old Street. I got lost and was guided by two Germans to Cargo. I looked in despair at the massive queue outside. I bucked up and politely asked the security guy, "Excuse me, can I ask? Are you letting people in?" The security guard took pity on me and let me in without having to queue up. Aaah, the power of a cute smile ;) That was my happy moment of the night.

In the end, it didn't matter. I couldn't find my friends. Yup, I was on my own and officially sobered up by the chill outside. *Sigh* At least the music was decent. So I line up for my beer, I dance a little, then I wish I had followed my gut instincts and just gone home.

Never go against your gut. It's not about age. It's about knowing yourself well.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What makes Obama cool?

* The hope Obama gives to America and the rest of the world every week :) Heck, I'm subscribed to his youtube channel, and I don't even follow politics (let alone American politics).

* Because Obama cares about what the nation wants. He's actually asking Americans to suggest ways to improve and to vote for the top ideas. That's cool :)

Happy Turkey Day!

AARRR, me matey!

The other evening, the geeks at the dinner table started talking about the "faux pas" of admitting to work colleagues, "I download". They were getting dirty looks, and treated like low-life convicts who should be shipped off to an island infested with poisonous snakes and spiders which feast on birds *grin* Well, not quite, but the gist of the story was, don't admit it because the activity is frowned upon by the public and by artists. You dirty downloader, you.

Eh? Really? I talk about downloading all the time. I explain to anyone who wants to know what torrents are. I give recommendations on what to watch. I tell people immediately when I've seen a great movie. I don't get the dirty looks.

Here's why I think downloading has been "good
for everyone":
* I would never see the film otherwise. Torrents make obscure, cult classics, foreign, arthouse films easily available.
* Downloading doesn't stop people from buying. I remember reading about the outcome of a study done in Japan. Regardless of the high rate of downloads, music sales still went UP. People are still BUYING music.
* I still buy DVDs, CDs and MP3s. Freaking hell, it all adds to the mess underneath my bed. I hate buying shit because it takes up space I don't have, but I still do it. MP3s less so because of all the DRM it comes wrapped in. Saying that, I just bought The Whitlams' album on iTunes last week cause I couldn't find "Thank you (for loving me at my worse)" easily. (Yeah, I know, I can't believe I'm listening to The Whitlams either)
* I still buy good software. My copy of OS X is an original. It's underneath my bed with the rest of my crap.
* I still buy movie tickets. In fact, I chuckled when I read this TechDirt article. Dark Knight, despite being the "most pirated film of 2008", is also likely to be the "biggest grossing film of the year". The bit that got me chuckling though, was this line in TechDirt:
" such a scenario, you could even make the argument that the more people saw the movie in download format, the more willing they would be to go pay to see the IMAX version, to get the full experience".

Because that is *exactly* what happened with me. I was about 5 mins into the movie on my MBP, when I hit pause, and thought, "Fck it, I gotta go see this at IMAX!". Cost me £12.50, the only session I could get was 11:30pm, and I got home around 2am - still, I'm glad I watched Dark Knight at IMAX.

That evening at dinner, I was hit with the comment, "That's just you". Implying, I am one of the rare who downloads and still buys. This proves it - It's not just me. Granted, not everyone splashes the cash after downloading, but enough people do it to still make a huge positive impact on the industry.

Downloading is a distribution model that's frowned upon because people don't see the potential of the technology behind it, and don't know how to make money off it. Because that's what it comes down to. Do you think record or movie companies would be so pissy if they were getting a cut? If artists were willing to go out on a limb and ask their fans to "pay what you think it's worth" for an album download, do you think they're going to go broke, or make more money?

Ask Radiohead, because that's exactly what they did with their last album. Ask Underworld who have been broadcasting their gigs live for awhile now. Ask NIN who offered fans a free download of their latest album (as soon as I found this out, I alerted a NIN-fan friend of mine), and different price packages for the limited edition release. Ask Lily Allen who started out by posting demos on MySpace.

I'm not saying that downloading isn't stealing. I'm saying downloading opens up a brand new world, to a brand new audience. So don't be such a hater about it *grin* For all the noise you hear about downloading media being bad, to my knowledge no kittens have been punished yet :P You just never hear about the good.

To be honest, these days when I download music, it comes free anyway. Courtesy of DJs who have caught on to podcasting :) Those podcasts are responsible for making me leave the country to attend their gigs. Tell me how this isn't helping the artist?

Btw, here's Monty Python's take on things :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I can't quit my day job

I came across this article the other day, and it got me thinking - I should really start making more effort to do something I enjoy for a job. I'm extremely miserable at my desk for an extremely long part of the day. Those days add up. What a waste! In fact, the past few days, I've been sitting at my desk organising a trip to Amsterdam... AGAIN. If I have anymore time on my hands, I'm going to organise a new tattoo. This is not good.

So I looked for career advice in the form of Shuai :)

11:48 L-S: I guess to be methodical you can go about this in two ways:
1. You can look at your CV and think about what jobs you could do and hope something you like comes up.
2. You can think about what you enjoy doing and work backwards to what that job might be.
11:49 me: I'm trying for option 2.
but it's hard when, all i enjoy doing is:
1. eating
11:50 2. clubbing
3. travelling
4. looking at good looking guys lol
so if there was a job out there which required me to fly around and entertain good looking guys, i'd be perfect for it :)
11:52 L-S: Haha :) I think there'd be high demand for that kind of job!!

Anyone know where I can get a job like that? ;)

If you see me idling out on gmail, can you please tell me to fix my CV?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Internets down

For most of tonight, internets was down. That's right, NO SURFING. *Egads* No RSS feeds? No online shopping?!? So what does a girl like me do to chillax?!?

Sadly, I found myself watching my torrents and hovering over Firefox in the dock :P (Thank gawd torrents were still working :D )

Then I watched In Bruges. It is so dark, and it is soo hilarious :) Please watch. New respect for Colin Farrell as an actor. It also showcases how
uniquely delicious British films can be when you're so used to Hollywood :) Two thumbs up!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I don't work on my birthday, that's just how it rolls *grin* It avoids all the awkwardness and fussiness at work that I hate.

So, what do I do on my traditional birthday off? If I was in Sydnery, I'd head to my hairdresser for my annual haircut, then head to the beach to reflect on the past year. Here in Rondon, I still get the haircut, only this year it was early because I had to chop off my hair to fit into my hat. So SURPRISE! No more hair :P Except for a fringe, cause last time, that's the one thing I hated about getting a short haircut :P

Before anyone brings it up, "
YEEES, I know I kissed some girls at my party. NOOO, I'm not a lesbian yet and this haircut doesn't prove anything".

What's with the pony? Everytime someone at work asks me what I want, I reply with, "A pony". Guess what someone got me for my birthday *grin*
It's a *really* nice pony actually.

Onwards! Due to hemispherical variances and lack of beaches in Rondon, I spend birthdays reflecting in art galleries and museums instead. This year I went to see Annie Leibovitz at the National Portrait Gallery. You've probably seen her work before, just never realised it. She's the one that took Demi Moore naked when pregnant. She's also the one that took John Lennon's last ever photo, he was shot five hours later. She's also taken portraits of the Queen! Her exhibition is intensely personal though, with portraits of her parents aging, and her lover fading from cancer. I say go see it, but I like Annie's type of art. I just don't know how she gets the shots that she does.

I think I've spent the last year asking my elders, "What do you do when you turn 30?" The camps are clearly divided. It's either:
* All downhill from here; or
* You'll love it because you know yourself better.

I was trying to be optimistic... UNTIL my dang body broke down on my FIRST DAY of being 30! I have a racking cough, a sneeze that has probably popped my eardrums, nostrils that need to be plugged up, and green phlegm.

Yup yup, "all downhill from here" it is :P

I don't really want to end on a sad note *grin* So I'll just say, that being 29 has been wonderful :) My friends have been totally awesome in living it up with me. We've been eating (my favourite hobby) lots. We've been partying hard (my second favourite hobby *grin*). We've been flying to destinations we've always dreamt of. I was 29, living in the middle of Rondon, and healthy ;)

Now where's cuppa and my cardi? :P

Monday, November 17, 2008

30 years, 30 snogs

DG: "I meant to tell you, you pashed my gf last night!"
Me: "Did I?!? Are you sure?"
DG: "Yes! No tongue, but if you were a guy, I would've punched you."
Me: "Oooh, I remember now. HEY, she kissed me back!" :P

Blame T, it was her idea *grin* Some liked it, others - maybe not so much *lol* The trick is, to clasp one hand firmly on the victim's cheek and hold on tight as you go in for the *SMOOCHIE* Very hard to escape! :P

Happy Birthday Diskies :)
Thanks T&B for looking after me :) Thanks to everyone who came and made my Hat Party dream come true for my 30th! *lol* All the pix are up here. Oh, and Trailer Happiness is a coolass bar :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slowly but surely

Do you know what it's like when you know you can't remember?

I open a browser, I'm distracted for 5 seconds by a question from a colleague. I glance back at the browser and think, "What was I suppose to look up?!?"

Do you know what it's like to know to take B12 vitamins to improve your memory... Only to forget that you're suppose to take it at all? :P

Short term memory is what I long for, long term memory is the one I wish to let go of...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fat Duck

Sorry for misleading you. I didn't mean to imply my flatties had bought me a female escort for my birthday *lol* The quote is from a just-got-laid Zapp Brannigan from Futurama. Well, yeah, I _did_ feel that happy that night ;)

What B, T and D did was whisk me away to Bray for a molecular gastronomy experience at FAT DUCK :D One of my dream restaurants!!! It was an AMAZING experience.

B, T&D - I really am speechless. I don't know how to thank you guys for such an awesome experience :D *MUUUUAH* Yaaaaay! :D

Enough words! I give you pictures (if you can't see the slideshow, go to the post)! Plus a video of my eggs being scrambled in nitrogen :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008


...I have made it with a woman. Inform the men."

How do I feel right now? Ecstatic :)

I only wish I had my MBP right now so I could show you what B, T and D surprised me with this evening.

I hearts you guys endlessly (^_^) xxxooo

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Just to fck with me, the F5 key is the logout shortcut in Lotus Notes. IBM is a prick for going against Windoze convention of F5 being the refresh function. Guess who keeps logging out everytime I check for urgent mail? Gets me _everytime_ (>_<)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

So ronery :(

This evening I dropped off my MBP at the Apple store. My heart-strings tugged as I left it at the store. As usual, I had to beg for this appointment last weekend, and then deal with an Appletard tonight. It's funny, try saying something "anti-Apple" at the "Genius" Bar and just watch how defensive the Appletards get *grin*

Me: "It's unbelievable that I've spent so much money on this machine and when I talk to other Mac users, we all have the same problems. It's always the battery, fans or harddrive."
Appletard: "I find most Mac users who complain don't know what they're talking about."

I don't bother to mention that I'm in IT and so is everyone one else I talk to about Mac problems.

Awhile ago, my left fan made the most evilest of clunking noises. It almost sounded like it was grinding walnuts in there. When the noise stopped, I knew it had died. Hence, I'm getting both left and right fans replaced. The right one is just in case :P When I was trying to burn some stuff for backup last night, guess what? My optical drive died. Slowly, my beautiful machine is falling apart on me. So far, it's had the battery, logic board and power adapter replaced. The new fans and optical drive will make my machine an official Frankenstein :(

How much is all this costing me?
Drive: £146
Fan left: £9
Fan right: £9
Hardware repair: £40
Tax: £35.71
Grand Poobah Total: £239.71

DAMN YOU APPLE!! Squiddie-grubbing monsters!

Me: "Hey, what's this here about a £100 diagnostics fee? Do I have to pay more?"
Appletard: "Oh, don't worry about that. It's in case we open it up and find out that you've caused the damage. Like spilt water on it. If that's the case and you don't want it fixed, then we still charge you a £100 for wasting our time."

I wish I could charge people at work £100 everytime they wasted my time :P

Pretzel yoga!

I bite back a squeal at my first Ashtanga yoga class. Holy moly, with each arm splayed through a leg, my Michelin Man tummy rolls are visible in the multiples. The instructor pushes my head down to meet the floor. *Nnnggh* I swear I hear my kneecaps quietly snap away from the rest of my body. As the instructor demonstrates some cross-legged lift-off posture, I fall over on my ass. I watch in awe as she bends another student's legs over his head. Ooooh, _that's_ how you do it (uh huh).

Madonna does this?!? I thought celebs only did easy peasy stuff! I think the instructor actually snickered when I told her I had done Bikram yoga before...

I'm wondering how on earth people become so pretzel-like. Am I going to get more flexible? Or just snap like a toothpick?!? I worry about breaking my neck as the instructor flips my legs over my head, making me do a backward roll.

I picked this pretzel picture cause it's a little bit on the tubby side. As I struggled to wrap my left arm around my left knee to bend back again to reach my right hand located behind my back, I can't help but think, "If only I had less fatty bits to reach around, I could do this!"

I need to lose the excess pretzel weight :P Actually, I'm hoping this will improve my core strength for ice-climbing!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


With 14 days left till my Hat Party, I've been trying to get my outfit together.
* Hat? CHECK :) It arrived ages ago!
* Eyewear? CHECK B) Got it from Camden Markets a couple of weeks ago.
* Dress? Errr.... Hrm... Sorta CHEck.

I walked into Top Shop on Friday evening and tried on SIX outfits. I walked out with TWO dresses, both in the same style but in different colours *lol* I took the dresses home and tried them out with my hat. I liked the colours, I sorta liked the design... but I couldn't decide if I looked more "Trampy" than "Vampy"! *lol* I took that as a bad sign. If there's doubt, it's definitely more not than hot :)

The thing I love about shopping in Rondon, is that with a receipt, you can return anything for a full refund within 28 days! Bewdy! So this morning, I hiked back to Top Shop and got my money back for the two dresses :) I spent the rest of the day trodding along in the rain, trying on outfits, meeting up with a friend for lunch, coffee and sex toy shopping (different story altogether!), and then trying on more dresses. You'd be surprised how many dresses require more boobies than I have to fit properly!

Good news :) I did find one. I love it. I've tried it on with my hat and eyewear.

Now I just look plain "Wacky" *lol*

It'll do :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Mussels, Leffe, Art and?

Want to know the real reason I was in Bruxelles? Come on, it's not that hard to guess ;) With not much arm twisting from B, we had our tix all booked and ready to go for Armin Only over a month ago! To me, it strangely felt like a karaoke night, as I belted out all the cheesy trance choons I listen to everyday :) Poor B, I think I only had about a 20% hit rate on the lyrics *lol* I honestly don't know how I'd make it through the work day without my music. It was such good fun at Armin Only. Front row and centre at an Armin gig with my fave dance buddy? I couldn't ask for anything more... The smile never left my face all night :)

"I keep dreaming, that I have it all..."

Bring out the fluro!!

With that, Reenie clubbing season is over for 2008. As much as I'd love to keep partying on, the chill has set in, and I'm feeeeling it. The puffy jacket is out. The scarfie is out. As tempted as I am to head to the Essential festival in Jaarbeurs, one word - *BRRRRRRR*...

Bring on the Summer season!!! :D

PS: B, this one's for you - Eller van Buuren's lekker kontje ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arty farty Bruxelles

To be honest, I was surprised. This was my second time to Brussels, and I had expected the same experience as the first - a weekend of mussels and Leffe brune. Not so much chocolate, cause I wasn't with any chocoholics ;) So let's get the mussels and Leffe out of the way first.

Empty pots!

I have to say, that Brussels is now one of my top cities, just cause it was soo much fun walking around finding murals of my childhood memories :)

Asterix anyone? Goscinny & Uderzo!

Asterix is amazing. Really entertaining stories for the youngen, but I only learnt to appreciate the characters when I was older. There's:
:: Asterix: A footnote, symbolised by *. The STAR of the comic! Eh? Eh?
:: Obelix: A menhir (obelisk) deliverer by profession. Not allowed to have any potion since he fell into the potion cauldron as a baby, hence his strength.
:: Dogmatix: The doggy sidekick.
:: Getafix: The druid which deals out the magic potion *grin*
:: Unhygienix: *lol* My fave, he's the fishmonger :)
:: Cacofonix: The bard that always ends up gagged under the tree at the end of the story.
:: Vitalstatistix: The chief of the clan!

How could you not love a comic book filled with character puns? :) For more character info, here's the wiki.
Here's Tintin, the Captain and Snowy!

Here's Lucky Luke:

(I don't actually remember reading Lucky Luke comix,
but I must've because the drawings are so familiar)

Here's B carrying a brick *lol*

The only mural we missed, was the Smurfs :( I'm sure it's there somewhere. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Smurfs even :) So next time you're in Brussels, eat your mussels, drink your Leffe, then do the mural walking tour!

Bad horoscope

The brilliant thing about working in HR, is that I come across a few psychoanalyst along the way *grin* _Of_course_ I'm going to ask them about the first impression I make *lol* It's almost like getting my palm read :) This reader came highly recommended ;) So I asked, "From what you know, what do you think of me?"

"You're someone who likes a laugh in life. But I can see you as very passionate about certain things in life. You're very honest with yourself, and to others."

Hrm... "But you can say that about anyone!"

Psychoanalyst: "There are certain things you can say about everyone, but there are also certain things that are true to specific personalities."
Me: "You're just saying what I want to hear!"
Psychoanalyst: "So I ask the same question back, what did you think about me?"
Me: "Err, you're obviously very spiritual." (That's the best I could muster up. I ain't a psychoanalyst :P)

CH - I know what you're thinking, so don't even go there! *finger snaps*

Monday, October 27, 2008

Teach me something

I was offered a chance to be an experimental guinea pig coachee today. Coaches for executives were being vetted for The Corporation. The oriental in me went, "Eh? FREE executive coaching? OK!" :D So I jumped at it. Sort of. I jumped because a friend wanted to pull out and needed me to fill in. My brief - come up with a real-life work issue. That was easy. I've got a big FAT juicy one. Organisational bullying at a senior level. Orifice politics. How do you deal with it?

The mediators gave me a 5 minute spiel about confidentiality, stressing nothing discussed would leave the room. Confidentiality? *Pish posh* Least of my worries. I was as open as a contractor without a corporate ladder to climb could be.
I handed it all over to the Coach on a silver platter... Only to have the Coach keep asking me, "How could you have handled it in a different way?"

Errr, I don't know, that's why you're suppose to be coaching me. Obviously, the methods I tried didn't work. So how do I deal with bullying people who are aggressive and high up on the chain?

And it kept going on round-and-round. Instead of answers, I just got more pointless questions.

Eventually the strain was too hard on my eyeballs and they started rolling around too everytime the Coach asked me a question :P So I started to take the piss.

Wannabe-Coach: "So who else do you think you could've spoken to about the abusive manager?"
I name the Chief Executive of The Corporation and chuckle.
Wannabe-Coach: "Who's that?"
I *sigh*. A good in-joke wasted.

With time running out on the 45 min session, this is how the Coach ended.
Wannabe-Coach: "You basically have three options. You can quit. You can knuckle down, ignore it, and just do the work. You can try and make a change in a company that doesn't want change. They're all bad. You've picked the least bad one out of the three. Are you ok with that?"

What sort of numbskull coaching is that?!?

Me: "NO. Why should I be ok with having to pick the least evil of three evils?!? It's not a solution. I refuse to accept that there isn't a better resolution."

This Coach told me he has a background in psychoanalysis. Here's one of the things wiki says about psychoanalysis, it's "a systematized set of theories about human behaviour". What I would've expected a psychoanalyst to do, is provide me with some background on the profile of an aggressive bully, and the best methods of communication which work effectively with these sorts of personalities!


What I didn't expect was to leave the session feeling more depressed about having to pick the "best" out of a bunch of shtty options.

The session ended, and the mediator took some time to give me some advice. He gave me exactly the sort of information and handy tip I was looking for. When a senior butthole yells at you, hold both your hands up, palms facing the butthole. Say, "Stop". If that person keeps yelling, close your eyes, and calmly repeat, "Stop". Next, ask the person, "What are you trying to achieve with this conversation?"

Reign in the conversation, let the other person think they still have control, move the conversation forward :)

Simple. Hopefully, I never have to try it, but I'm actually looking forward to it now *grin*

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Girly talk around the cooler

Today, I made the mistake of getting involved in a girly chat with err... girls :P The green-eyed monster came out, as I listened to the girls regale each other with stories about their "bastard" Exes. The ones who bought them everything they wanted when they were dating. It started when one girl couldn't decide what to do with gold and diamond earrings a bastard Ex had given her. From there it developed...

One girl took the bastard Ex back to the shop and insisted he exchange his lousy gift with something she wanted that was a few hundy squids more expensive. Diamonds are a girl's best friend - Bling bling!

One girl insisted her bf buy her an entire set of jewellery, as it wasn't often she came across a bracelet which fit her petite wrist. And, "No, that's not part of my Christmas present, don't you try that game on me", she said as her head waggled with *attitude*.

One girl just points out what she wants and says, "Yes, get it for me". Hence, she has no qualms about keeping the gifts from bastard Exes.

Another girl just donates her designer handbag gifts from bastard Exes to family members.

When it's my turn for a story, I quip up with, "Wow, I should stop dating homeless guys" *lol*

These guys weren't bastards, they were just stupid :P

There is no way I can write this entry without sounding... bitter? *grin* But, I'm assuming you want to hear it anyway, right? ;) To me, it's not about the price tag. I've always been able to afford anything I've wanted. I will admit though, having never had it from any guy I've dated, I would looove to be spoilt and gifted with luxury items. Just once... I imagine myself whisked to a fancy boutique hotel for an all-planned, all-inclusive, pampering weekend away, somewhere romantic!

I love that dream bubble.

To me, it's about the One who loves me most, knowing me best. So it use to suck heaps when the guy I use to love most, never got it right. Do you know how hard it is to smile and think, "It's the thought that counts", when deep inside you feel your soul crushing because he got it soooo wrong? To the point I wished he would stop buying me gifts for my birthday or whatever because it was just a reminder of how little he knew me...

Anyways, it's funny, cause when I think about it now, after the relationship ended, there was nothing of value I could throw away. Jewellery? Nada. Clothes? Nope. Anything designer? *twiddle thumbs* Doo do doo dooo. As if!! :) On the other hand, I'd like to see him burn that AUD$800 pair of Evisu jeans I got him :P His ass doesn't deserve designer.

There's a side of me that just wants to slap the girls for being soo thoughtless and manipulative.

Then there's the other side of me, which says, "Hey, they're the ones that have got it right". They get what they want. There's nothing wrong with that. It just makes me sad that there are stupid rich guys out there and I haven't dated any of them *lol*

For the record, I'm a great gift giver ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

People watching in Soho

From one of my favourite restaurants :) Love it. If you're nice to me, I'll take you there...

(PS: SM&JH - I'm wearing your scarfie :D )

In trouble

An email popped into my mailbox yesterday... "Just to let you know, dates have been confirmed for our Winter courses. Check it out, thought you might be interested."

Intro to Ice-Climbing? Chamonix? Ice axes? CRAMPONS?!?

ZOMG! I splash the cash for the deposit and book my flight to Geneva before the easyjet sale ends.

Today, 15 mins before a concall is set to begin, I bolt through the underground mall to Starrybux for a Mocha Frapp Light (only 110 calories in a Tall :p).

Bugger. I was puffed! It wasn't very far. Ruh roh... Climb up a mountain?!? In cold weather?!? What was I thinking?!?!

I have 2 months to get fit. *sigh* Time to start up the gym again...

Burning Man (the bill)

Today, I finally settled the bill. So, what's the approx damage per person?

Ticket for Burning Man = £168.00
Flights LHR -> SFO return = £692.70
RV hire = £292.42
Petrol = £42.38
Safeway groceries = £62.81
Misc stuff for RV & trip = £49.01
Biiiicycle, biiiicycle (BMX!) = £30.00

Headlamps = £9.82
RV cleaning/washing = £11.90
Misc glow-in-the-dark gear = £7.09

Grand Poobah Total of... *DRUM ROLL*... £1366.13!!

Worth every penny :) Honestly, I had such an amazing time, and saw so much stuff. It's done and I'll never regret it. I look back, and I still can't believe it. Can't put a price on that feeling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Remember my citation ticket? The one I was smacked down with in August? *Exactly* a month ago, after loads of googling and various emails back and forth, I finally got a number to speak to a human bean from Conta Costra Courts. Yeah, exactly - Conta-whatta? Not so easy to track down where my El Cerrito citation ends up.

The human bean told me that there was a backlog, I wasn't in the system yet, call back in a month. This was in September.

TODAY, with my court date being 7 days away, I started to get a little anxious. So I called back again. Guess what?

Dylan: "I'm sorry, but you're still not in the system."
Me: "What?!? But my court date's on the 28th!"
Dylan: "Don't worry, this happens to everyone. Everyone calls up about this. We've just got a lot of paperwork."
Me: "Am I going to get thrown into jail by Customs the next time I enter the US?"
Dylan: "Yes, we're going to lock you up straight away!"

We both burst out laughing over the phone. I tell the guy the citation's for jaywalking.

Dylan: "I bet you, you were crossing infront of the BART station."
Me: "OMG! YES! I *knew* that cop was waiting for me!!!"
Dylan: "Don't worry, just call us back in a month. I hope it's not this bad in the UK."
Me: "You know what? We don't get citations for jaywalking in the UK!"

Bastard coppa! I *knew* it!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Le fantastique!

We thought we had been blessed with a table at The Fat Duck, but when that fell through, we picked Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester instead. Well, la dee da! I have to say, that The Dorchester (hangout of Kate Moss), really _is_ the swishest hotel I've ever been to. This is luxury defined. The restaurant, was decked out in elegance. For the first time, I felt it would've been wrong of me to whip out my camera to take some food pr0n *grin*

Better still, I was surrounded by shexy French accents allllll night :D *swoon*

The evening started out well. We were very well behaved as we sipped our champagne aperitifs. My entree of "Soft-boiled organic EGG, crayfish and wild mushrooms, Nantua sauce" was sooooo good... The sauce... oooomg, it was sooo tasty!
*drool* Err, I just looked it up, and Nantua sauce is made out of sauteed LIVE crayfish (o_O) Oops, that was a bit evil of me.

As the half bottle of white wine started flowing, we got more and more giggly. I'm sure people were looking at us *grin*

My main of "Fillet of BEEF and seared FOIE GRAS Rossini, "sacristain" potatoes, "Periqueux" sauce", was sadly, a bit on the ordinary side. The foie gras rossini was delicious, the beef however, was average. Good beef, but nothing special. I think I've figured it out, avoid ordering beef at French restaurants. There's just nothing very exciting the French can do to a fillet of beef.

As the half bottle of red wine reached its end, we were in stitches. I can't remember what we were laughing about, but I'm sure it was dang funny *grin* As the Sommelier comes over with my dessert wine, I'm still giggly. He starts showing us the bottle and explaining the wine to us. His accent was so dreamy, I asked him to repeat the name of the wine for us *lol* The wines he recommended for us that night were all excellent, I was impressed.

Ok, so I snuck a photo on my iPhone. Here's our yummy "ROSE and RASPBERRY pleasure":

At the end of the night, I sidled up to the Restaurant Director.
Me: "Bonsoir Monsieur!"
RD: "Bonsoir! Ça va?"
Me: (Sh*t, "bueno" is Spanish! What's French?!?) "Err, bien?"
RD: "Good! How can I help you?"
Me: "Could you do me a favour please? I would love a souvenir. Is it possible for me to get a signed menu from the Chef and a list of the wines we had tonight?"
RD: "Of course!"

The Restaurant Director comes back with a signed menu for me.
RD: "Would you like to see the kitchen and meet the Chef?"
Me: "That would be nice..." :D

We were shown to a very SPOTLESS kitchen and introduced to the Executive Chef for a chat :) I offerred to marry the Pastry Chef, unfortunately he was already married with a toddler. I should've made a move on the Saucier or Sommelier instead! As we leave the restaurant, we're handed a complimentary package of orange cakes. Nice touch.

Overall, I think I paid for the experience of dining at The Dorchester more than for the food itself. It's hard to explain, but I don't think it's possible to find this standard of service and atmosphere anywhere else. Comparative to all the other restaurants I've been to anyway. Or maybe it's just because I had great company that night :) I can't believe we got trashed at a very fancy adult restaurant! I feel like a rebel ;)

I must stop kissing girls

... because they always look like this :P

Partying till 5am with short Italianos:

Neptune's Grotto:

Puppy sensing evil sea urchin spines in my toe:

Topping up on my tan:

Group shot! Aaah, what a great holiday!!


There's a mural on a random house wall around Newtown area... I remember zooming past it on the train every morning as I trekked from Blacktown to the City, making my way either to Uni or work. I didn't think much about it, apart from that I thought it was pretty cool of someone to stick it up there. I loved looking at it everytime I made the commute.

Last week, a mate sent me a BBC article entitled, "The other man on the podium". Who was the third man on the podium for the black power salute? I looked a little closer at the colour picture of the third man:

Holy moly! There's a kangaroo on his jacket! How cool, he's an Aussie! :) Peter Norman was the 200m silver medalist at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

The smile on my face soon disappeared as I read more about what happened to Peter Norman after that day. On the podium, Peter Norman wore a badge from the Olympic Project for Human Rights, an organisation against racism. He did it to support fellow medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos in their cause. From that moment on, Australia turned its back on Peter Norman. Even though Peter Norman qualified to make the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, he wasn't chosen to represent Australia. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he was the only Australian Olympian excluded from the VIP lap of honour. The Americans showed better manners and invited Peter Norman to be part of their camp. They at least, didn't forget.

Until last week, I had never heard of Peter Norman. I'm ashamed.
This guy's a hero. I'm ashamed that my country had a chance to make things right at the 2000 Olympics, and instead went out of its way to make things worse.

I wish he was still alive so I could write him a letter.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Last minute Rondon

One of the things that I've learnt to love about Rondon, is that you can do *anything* pretty much last minute :) Which was how my entire Friday panned out.

Bored at work? No worries, hop on the DLR and head to Greenwich for a hog roast roll and coffee in the sun *grin* Ok, it took a little bit more than an hour, but... yeah :P

Looking for something to do on a Friday night? No worries, jump online and book a couple of tickets to "Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra" show at the Royal Albert Hall. Very funny. Also, very surprised that Bill Bailey is so
musically talented!

Post-show, now what? No worries, let's jump in a cab and head to a pub *grin* A Guinness with the boys later, we're on the move again.

To the Embassy!

There's a line. There are girls in short mini-dresses and spiky sky-high heels. That's ok, we know someone. No lines for us ;) You know what annoys me though? You get in, and the place is empty. The oriental in me goes, "HTF do you do business? There's a line outside for no reason, and you could be making a lot more at the bar".

Rondon is pretentious. Sometimes, for no reason. It's about networking. Whatever, I head for the dancefloor. I've learnt to make friends with the bartenders :) My new trick, "Make me a cocktail, and make it girly!" *grin* I watch the boys do their majik on the girls. I'm impressed!

3am, let's go! Chinatown it is. Mui choy kau yoke, Chap wee (combination) hor fun, and yat pun siew aap *grin* Not that tasty, but at that time of morning, I'm not expecting much.

Finally, 4am Saturday, I'm in bed.

Ooh, before Bill Bailey, I visited the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. Every year, an artist builds a temporary building. This year it was Frank Gehry. So here tis:

Rondon... I love its spontaneity.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Little fcker

*That* is the one that made me gasp, "HOLY JESUS CHRIST!" when it came out:

That's my pinkie next to it for comparison.

You know what happens when you're in a family of medical people? You get scare tactics when you ask for advice.

Nurse Mum: "I hope you are using proper antibiotic cream, buy hydrogen peroxide dilute it and soak... Well if it gets infected you are in big trouble."

Dr Liew: "I told you to get it looked at. You need to make sure it does not get infected. It can be nasty! End up with an amputated leg – hobbling around a party with an artificial leg is a real bummer. Imagine all the dances you have to give up!"

I started to think that turning up at my 30th birthday party with a missing right toe to show (or not show) for as an achievement would be pretty lame (Get it? Lame? Har har!). So after applying a mysterious brown icky goo gel I bought from an Italian pharmacy, I took a hot bath and decided to have another go at splinter hunting last night.

Imagine my surprise when I suddenly found my right toe skin as pliable as hell! Tweezing and needling became a breeze! I even manage to squirt a splinter out without any needle assistance! I dang well freaked myself out though, "EEEYYYAAAAH!" Things that nasty definitely don't belong in the human body. So by 2am I was rid of em :)

If you ever need sea urchin spines removed, come to me baby. I have the goods. Echinoid gel (turpentine, ichthammol), hydrogen peroxide, cotton buds, needles and tweezers :)

If you're wondering about the icky echinoid goo, the main ingredient ichthammol "prevents the process by which skin cells become hard, thickened and scaly due to the deposition of the protein keratin within them (keratinisation)"...
w00t w00t!