Corners of Jennirhiow's Mind
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
NaNoWriMo 2005Yes, I've joined the madness.. God help me....
What made me decide?
Perhaps it was the mad dream I had last night of this really dark-haired, dark-eyed, manly man of a man who was pursuing me all over the country. Perhaps it was the previous night when I dreamt of being sarcastically taunted by a new colleague in an office that weirdly resembles a factory-cum-staff room. Perhaps it was the horror of having dreamt (two nights ago) that I was being mugged on the backstreet, that eeriely resembled the street I got lost on yesterday morning when I went out for an interview!!
In the dizzying half-sleep, half-comatose state I woke in this morning, I logged on to get an email from a egroup talking about the NaNoWriMo.
And I decided that I might as well make full use of the stupid convoluted dreams I've been having lately! My weird dreams saga is happening again... for the past few days these odd dreams really don't mean a thing but I know they have been made up of pieces of things I know, do, hear and make up a hodgepooch of convoluted events that fairly had my heart thumping when I jerk awake.... complete with soundtrack in the background, in my head... it's weird.. but I haven't been listening to Damien Rice's song for about a week already (I had been making myself depressed!!) and his song was (yes, it had to be 'Delicate') was playing ever so vividly!! And it had to be the perfect accompaniement to that dream about that guy chasing after me... relentless.. sigh... *fanning face* ... a gurl should be so lucky to have someone so persistent... shouldn't she?
And maybe after I hit the 50,000 words (yes, I will!!) length, I'll look about for a publisher eh? Yay!!! Time to move my writer's butt man.. I've been procrastinating for too long... years!!! And since I'm not working, time should not be the excuse for me for not finishing 50,000 words! Watch me!
Will update more on the writing and the genre I'll be writing about and the sleepless nights regularly!
Saturday, October 22, 2005
InsomniaI haven't been sleeping well. My sleeping mode seems to have altered overnight. From one that allowed me to sleep deeply from (even) 3am to 11am, and feeling rested, to a sleep that is constantly disturbed, with me waking at the slightest door opening and shutting, heavy footsteps that never used to wake me from my slumber, and waking up 2 hours well before my 7-hour time frame.
It would only be a matter of time before I get a migraine one of these days. I’m only grateful that this neighbourhood is quite peaceful, well away from the main road, and so I’m not bothered at all with raving cars and cranky engines.
I can’t imagine why my cousin doesn’t find this neighbourhood a good location.
My cousin was saying this last night after a birthday dinner and drinking session at his fren’s place:
“Our 3-bedroom house (in the Dandenong area) costs 220k and so does the 2-bedroom townhouse (in Clayton) costs around the same, perhaps slightly more like 230k or 240k. But when you think about how inaccessible our area is (only 1 bus route to the nearest train station, but come weekends you can’t go out via public transport) with no train station, bus station or shopping marts nearby (you have to drive out), it is much better, more worth it to buy a place that has all those things, even if it costs slightly more. Something which my parents didn’t think about.”
True, this area isn’t near the train station or bus depot, we have to drive or take 1 bus out. Weekends are more problematic, hence you need a car. But at least the bus does go to the train station – albeit it is Zone 3 and would cost you more to get a ticket to the city, but that’s Ozzie for you!
True, this area isn’t walking distance to a shopping centre (it is if you walk 30 minutes out to Waverly Gardens) and it isn’t a hub with a lot more amenities than Clayton or Glen Waverly. But I believe my relatives chose it because they liked the peaceful neighbourhood and also because once you have a car, what’s your problem? Every household has at least 1 car.
There are certain areas that will succumb to… I don’t know what you call it… de-value?. Commercial areas like Clayton will certainly be enjoying real estate value for many years, especially with its large international portfolio. If I were a real estate agent, I’d be rubbing my hands in glee. Rich daddies’ children studying in Monash. Ooo… My pupils will turn into money dollar signs. Period. That’s the way it is.
While I understand where my cousin is coming from – that he wants to stay in a more upbeat area, with a lot more amenities and convenience, and close to his teaching place – I don’ envy him trying to buy a house in that area. It’s gonna cost. It’s definitely gonna be a good area to maintain years down the road for selling-out later if he and his wife decides to move somewhere else, but right now, I’m just glad I’m living in this area.
The neighbourhood is more suburbia, with (seemingly!) good people, no druggies, no hooligans, no horn trigger-happy maniacs, just a few kids who like to gather outside to practice at skateboarding (just outside my house!), a few kids who like to call out ‘Hey!’ to me when I walk out to return videos, beautiful flowers in the gardens I walk pass, a family of cat and kittens who tumble playfully in the garden and mommycat deign to allow me to pet her precious(s), nice people who smiles at you even when you unwittingly (ok, stupidly) stand in front of their gates thinking they were going the next house instead!
All in all, I like this area. But I really must get a camera and take pictures of all those gorgeous flowers (there’s this garden with white roses the size of a boxer’s fist! Ooo!!) and the neighbourhood houses ( I love houses – wish I could go in and see!!).
Ok, back to my sleeping problem. I think it started when my cousin asked me this:
“Are you sure you don’t want to get a car now? Because the only time you go out is with my parents and me and the occasional you taking the bus out but you still need someone to pick you up from the train station. You say you want to get a car only when you get a job. What if you only get one in 6 months’ time, so meanwhile you’ll gonna stay stuck in the house? Can you hack it, this kind of living for that long? Think about it carefully.”
Still thinking and apparently not sleeping too.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Thinking of writingA writer often looks about for inspiration to write… it could come in the form of overheard conversations (shameless eavesdropping!), or supermarket aisle exchanges (gossips), dreams (weird ones that make me wake too early!), and listening to old people.
My aunt has tons of stories that are really quaint and real. It’s pretty much the same kind of stories that my mom had told me now and then. And it always made me think that it should be written down, by they themselves, me or someone who has the skill to make it as exciting and interesting as they told it and as I heard it.
Today my aunt told me more about her time as a newly graduated teacher in training and the little adventures that she had… it really made me think seriously that it should all be written for posterity… I wished I had written down what little my mom had told me now… I might have been able to combine it with my aunts…. And maybe added in some from my other aunt… I’ll call it The Yong Sisters!!! Hahahahahaa…. Who knows, might make a movie out of it later!!! Yeah, millennia later!! *chortle*
But I seriously am thinking about it. About writing. My writing. It’s time I buckled down and worked on it. I’ve always had the excuse that work took too much energy and time. But now that I’m unemployed and living a relatively leisurely life… it shouldn’t be an excuse anymore now should it? Especially since I have a laptop in my room which I’ve already used to start on a new story that moped around my head after a truly weird dream… I should shackle myself down and begin a plan of action…
Also got a little push of inspiration from having just made the acquaintance of someone in Paris who’s finishing a book on Oscar Wilde. It’s time I’m the one who’s going to finish that book on…. Sigmund Freud!!! Bloody hell!!! Alrighty, it might not be Freud, but I am intriguied with the idea of writing an academic book/journal/paper on someone…. I have some playing in my head right now (“Pick me! No, pick me!! Me, me, me!! – a la Digi top-up ad!!! Lol…..) But we’ll see how it goes. Too ambitious is my problem and I never finish anything that I start!
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Pleasantly Sloshed!I’ve had an amazing day, even though I came back with a headache that started towards the end, and also pleasantly sloshed. I wonder if people ever get sloshed if they drink beer in the afternoon nonstop…
I came home after getting sloshed with, get this, vodka lemon with bitters, 4 of ‘em, the fourth of which was bought by a really nice man, no, not that kind of man, I’ll explain later. I feel great that I ventured out on my own. Mind you it wasn’t great to be in a strange, STRANGE place all on your own. It is always good to go out with a fren. But I dun hv any here so I can’t cry over non-existent milk, can I? But when in doubt, always ask some questions and always say hi to the equally on-their-own person at the bar.
Since I had asked the bartender where the owners were and when they would be around, he came by later to specifically tell me that they had arrived and so I thought, who the hell am I to go accosting innocent people who just want to save a small part of the world in their simple way, and I thought, hey, it bears praise anyway, which was part of why I went anyway? So I took myself upstairs and introduced myself and commended the couple on their selfless endeavour and we talked about charity, work, food and etc. I made 4 new friends plus a couple of kids (gorgeous gurls of 4 and 2, and another one on the way apparently!! Woo-hoo!).
They are all actors. Talk about a pool of talent! And really nice, friendly and earthy. I liked the way the father replied to my question about what he wanted his daughter to be when she grows up.
Vodka lemon with bitters is the way to go!!! I had a vodka lime the first drink and when I ordered a second one, the guy heard wrongly and gave me the lemon bitters. Which was really good… really nasty shit… but good shit….
The other 2 were a couple too. Lovely guys. In fact one of the guys bought me the fourth lemon bitters – yum. That was when I knew I was well on the way to getting sloshed. The other guy was a besotted godfather! He was so sweet with the kids. And their dog is so cute!!! They call her ‘Tomato’!!! I only wished I had Cookie’s photo to show them.
Besotted godfather is in the middle of rehearsing for a show starting in Nov and we exchanged numbers so that I can go watch it. It’s at night and in the city and I’ll be having some transportation problems, but that’s okay. At least I get out of the house and go see a play and possibly meet more people!! That’s all that matters. Getting exposed to new things. Meeting people of different cultures who may or may not be doing things the same as you know of back home. Behaviour might be more or less similar but I can tell you that their mentality is what makes it different and unique. And I hope to see what it is that makes them tick.
Let me go and send this guy who I invited to go to this place with me last night but didn’t reply down Guilt Lane… It’s a friend of a friend and I was hoping to meet him. So now he’s online and I’m going to make him feel baaadddddd…………………! Hahahhahahaaaaa…………
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Hearts burn easilyA wave of sudden melancholy overwhelms me. Was it a coincidence that I was nursing a lovely glass of wine? Red wine at that… Was it coincidence that there was a gorgeous moon up above my head, blazing its glorious light on all? Waxing moon at the end of its journey… Was it a coincidence I was hooked on a particular song for the past few days that sang of yearning, loss and delicateness? Damien Rice at his best…
It’s all of that and more, I know. The memory of a friend who gushed at Rice’s brilliance, for its echoing loss of a break-up. Of maybes and whys. I let the words hammer my heart; about the giving and taking, about sorrow that is sometimes borrowed and shared, about saying things that were once true but now hollow and empty in sound – false.
The wine that goes to the head and makes one want to rail at a silent moon as She makes her journey nonchalantly across the endless skies. Did She bump into any stars on her ruthless path of self-adoration and quest for blind worshipers? Without so much as a ‘by your leave’?
Bothered She could not be as She strolls to her sacred place. Care not She that hearts broke and remained fragmented even after Time passes. Could She not have whispered a simple of peace upon those souls, that only wanted grace, in any form, touch, or song?
The wine that burns down the throat, tears the eyes remind me vividly of fragility, how easily one can be crushed at any given time… Borrowed words, love or Time could not strengthen that passage that all must endure. Nor could you ask for more than that.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Ass-bitingI knew that buying KFC for dinner in spite of knowing that my uncle is making dinner would come bite me on the ass somehow.
And it did. This morning, or rather this afternoon, as he and I and my cousin were in the kitchen. I think he really wanted to get a message across to this son as well, but knowing his father, his son escaped before he could so much as say, “Your momma is an ass-licker.”
Anyway, it was like this. I had made that stupid dessert-gone-wrong pear meringue last night. I made four, each one would have one. When it was done, I found that my aunt had gone to sleep. When I gave one to my uncle he said that he had already brushed his teeth (at 8.30pm) and that he didn’t like sweet stuff (yeah, so why were you sucking on bubble tea pearls last week?). My cousin was on the phone with his wife, so I never got around to giving it to him. So this morning the remaining 3 pears were sitting in the pantry, mournful. Well, maybe not, I’m just commiserating. So this is the ‘conversation’ with my uncle.
Uncle: You know, I’m sorry that I didn’t eat your pear last night…
Me: No, no, it’s fine. I’m ok.
U: No, it’s just that you didn’t tell anyone that you were going to make dessert…
Me: Yeah, I know. That will teach me. Should have made 2 for trial run first, now it’s wasted.
U: Yeah, and also I don’t eat sweet stuff…
M: It’s ok. I understand.
U: I know you’re disappointed…
M: Not really…
U: No, it’s perfectly alright to be disappointed. Everyone would be disappointed if you made something and nobody ate it…
M: I’m okay. Really.
U: … I would be disappointed too. Like last night when I made dinner and you and your cousin came back with food…
U: I mean, you knew I was cooking and no doubt you ate some last night but it was so little. You know what I mean?
See… I knew this would bite me on the ass, but didn’t know when and that it would bite so hard. At the back of my mind I knew that my uncle was cooking, but when my cousin so logically said,
“I’m bored. Aren’t you bored?Let’s go rent some movies, have a DVD night. We’ll buy KFC back and then what my father cooked can be kept for tomorrow.”
I just nodded agreeably. Partly because he really wanted KFC and, I think, was trying to goad me into doing something not aligned with his parents’ way of life. I consoled myself into thinking he was a forceful personality and since I didn’t want to appear meek and submissive to my relatives’ thinking, I let him convince me. Which is no excuse. I could have just politely say that I do not feel like KFC and that his dad was making dinner, how about next time? Instead I let him bulldoze me and here I am, getting my ass bitten, all alone, when he should also be getting bitten!
But he didn’t. Which the story of his life. He has come to a stage where he doesn’t give a damn about what his parents say, think or do. Even if it means disappointing his father purposely (I’m sure he was aware that his father would frown on the KFC) he doesn’t care. I care.
I should have been firmer. I should have said no, I’m not interested, keeping my own views of course that the main reason is I didn’t want to disappoint my uncle, not that I was afraid or anything. But NO. I didn’t want to appear weak in front of my cousin. He would have just said one word if I had declined the KFC.
I discovered something that I didn’t like about my cousin and a couple of his other frens. They liked to label people, who didn’t see or do the way they do, as boring.
That’s the problem with me, I suppose. I didn’t want to appear boring in front of other people. I didn’t want to appear weak in front of people. I didn’t want to appear uninteresting to other people. And for all that I appear nonchalant to other people’s views, I am sensitive to what other people say, to a certain extent. It doesn’t matter if my real reasons are due to financial difficulties, or to real disinterest to something, other people don’t see it that way (because they have no time or interest to find out why) and just label people like me, ‘boring’. People like my cousin.
But since this afternoon’s ‘ass-biting’, I told myself, ‘No more.’
I will not do what I did yesterday again. I do not like disappointing people, especially my relatives, my uncle who helped me so much, by driving me to interviews, by being my sponsor for my PR, by appeasing my likes. When I think about it now, I’m ashamed of myself. I will not repeat my irresponsible and insensitive actions again. If my cousin and I did plan to buy food back like that, I will do the proper thing to warn him about it so that he doesn’t get disappointed over his dinner not being eaten.
Besides, we had just gone swimming to work off some fat. Why did I succumb to KFC after working off all that fat ass, only to put it all back??? Weak cat! WEAK CAT!!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Whaddaya do?Some people eat. Some people cry.
Some people shop. Some people sigh.
Some people smoke. Some people sleep.
Some people drive around. Some people laze about.
Some people just don’t give a damn.
Some people hurt themselves caring too much.
Some people have sex. Some people have a swim.
Some people work like hell. Workaholics the new fad.
Some people read. Some people drink. Some people do drugs.
Me? What do I do? I cook.
When I know I’m on edge and on the verge of sinking at the bottomless pit of self-pity, I need to busy my hands. And since I can’t find the nearest sushi ingredient shop, I make dessert.
Getting into that mindset, I printed the recipe I wanted to try but didn’t know when to do it from the computer and made up a list of things to buy. Turned out that I didn’t need to buy ¾ of the recipe. Thank god. So I just begged on my cousin’s benevolence to drop by the supermarket before we went out for a swim, so that I could buy pears and an apple corer.
The recipe didn’t quite turn out well. It was still pears and apricots. Just a little sweetened on the outside. But I guess the making of it allowed me to feel some sense of self-worth. If you’re interested, here’s the recipe. And if you managed to make it, please drop me an email to tell me how you managed it!!!
A healthy alternative to cheesecake, but sometimes, I think cheesecakes are more soul-satisfying!!!
-whites of 4 eggs
-50g caster sugar
-a handful of dates (I substituted this with dried apricots - tastes good!)
1. Peel and core pears so each has a hollow centre.
2. Cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until cooked.
3. Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
4. Whisk egg white until soft peaks form. Slowly whisk in caster sugar until meringue mixture is stiff.
5. Stuff the hollow centres of the pears with chopped dates and plan in an ovenproof dish.
6. Cover with meringue mixture and bake at 190°C for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
p/s I can't rhyme to save my life - notice?
Song of the day: 'Delicate' - Damien Rice
Thursday, October 06, 2005
"I just lost it."ACTUAL AUSTRALIAN COURT DOCKET 12659 CASE OF THE PREGNANT LADY
A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her. She immediately moved to another seat. This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again. The man seemed more amused. When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.
The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself.
The man replied, "Well your Honor, it was like this: When the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition. She sat under a sweets sign that said, "The Double Mint Twins are Coming" and I grinned.
Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, "Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling", and I had to smile.
Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, "William's Big Stick Did the trick", and I could hardly contain myself.
BUT, your Honor, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, "Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident," I just lost it."
*rolling about floor laughing*
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Time of waitingIf it’s one thing I hate, it’s the waiting period, the in-between period, where nothing is certain, nothing is confirmed, and where everything you hoped to happen might not happen.
Positivity is not my strengths. In fact, I’m a pessimist. I can line up all the gloom and doom of any given situation and still find room for more, if it was needed. Though not necessarily a doomsayer, I can always imagine up the worst-case scenario. But I’m very careful not to say that to my potential employers or clients, of course. Personally I think there’s a pessimist living inside of us all the time. We just either choose to acknowledge it or deny its existence. Though who choose to acknowledge it, will be like me – constantly aware and paranoid of all the wrong things that could happen and will gear up the contingency arsenal. Well at least I try to. Those who deny it will sometimes find it hard to believe when things fall apart on them and when they still resist the fact, they fall apart. I don’t like falling apart.
I have seen too many people fall apart to want the same thing happening to me. I hate weakness. I hate the fear and sorrow it generates inside. Perhaps some would say it’s better to face the sorrow then to hide it under a mask or cover it with an air of nonchalance.
No. I say it’s better to go forth, armoured, prepared and toughened up. I think I bear the brunt of the hits better. I may emerge scratched and bruised, but at least I knew it was going to happen. I was totally aware of the possible outcome.
I had a tentative response to one of my applications yesterday. While it sounded good, I know I have to be called for an interview first. It sounded exciting but I’m holding down the excitement. Still I’m praying that it pulls through. It sounds just what I would like to do and can do. It will require flying to another state for it but hey, what’s a little flying! I like extraordinary things happening. I may not come out unscathed but I’ll have anther new experience to add to my portfolio. It’ll come under the heading of ‘Knocked up while attempting something out of the ordinary and lived to tell it’ in my resume!!!
Books keep me sane. When I feel pulled down to the pit of the pity pool, I save myself with a book. I’ll submerge myself in vast imagined lands and beautiful people who live much more exciting and fulfilling lives than I do, and ride the wave of gloom away till I land, safe-footed on the shores, energized and brave to face, to conquer the uncertainty that awaits me. And then it’s time to sharpen the sword.