the backstage epiphany

where reality is so subjective it's entirely optional

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Civic unconsciousness

“Sunday drivers! It’s only Saturday!” – Victoria Beckham, Spiceworld: The Movie

All I wanted was my daily double-shot latte from Starbucks. I had just had lunch, and could already feel the drowsiness threaten to take hold. So I decided to make the 7-minute drive from my office to Pavilion, cursing at having to actually drive to a mall and tussle for a parking spot just to get to a Starbucks.

Traffic was heavier than usual, which exponentially increased my intolerance for bad driving, and I found myself having to plant my hand firmly down on the horn several times because other drivers felt it was within their jurisdiction to switch lanes without signaling or looking out for blind spots.

When I finally made it to Pavilion, I was slightly disgruntled at the considerably long line that had formed at the counter in Starbucks,  so much so that the next person to stand in line after me, who was a Caucasian man, had to stand framed in the doorway, and unable to close the door.

It was then that I noticed that a woman standing two places before me in the line was so preoccupied with peering into the dessert display that she hadn’t noticed the people in front of her leaving the line after they had paid. It was also then that I noticed the man standing in between her and me was seemingly oblivious to the fact that there the line now began where this woman appeared rooted to the spot, at the dessert display and five feet away from the counter itself.

I turned around and glanced at the foreigner behind me, who was staring at the woman and looking as incredulous as I felt. So I reached out, tapped her on the shoulder, and said, “Excuse me, you’re going to have to get a move on so that other people can come in.” I knew I probably sounded more insolent than I needed to be, but at that point I was too irate and too impatient to care, and I had long ago given up trying to mask my contempt and distaste for the inconsideration, oblivion and ignorance the people of this country are so notorious for.

The woman turned around, surveyed the line that had formed behind her for a few seconds, and then said, “Oh, sorry.” As she scuttled over to the counter, I could have sworn I heard the foreigner mutter, “Bloody…” and trail off there, perhaps not wanting to be overheard calling a native of the country he was visiting a name she nevertheless deserved.

Malaysians. It’s a charm they alone in this world possess.


A little face time

Aiden at 19 months, who is apparently learning a range of facial expressions that would make his godmother proud.



aiden 19

aiden 019

Bring on the jelly


It’s finally happening.

Although that’s what everyone said two years ago too, but had to renege on it.

Beyoncé Knowles is coming to town.

And I shamelessly hightailed over to Lot 10’s obscurely-set Tower Records on the day ticket sales began to make sure I wouldn’t be left in the nosebleed section.

Now all we need is for the government to stop being a douchebag, which, it seems, is wishful thinking indeed.

Cultural assault

We thought Bridezilla Weekend would have been the worst of it, Becca and I. We thought that after that terribly organized fiasco of a wedding there couldn’t possibly be anything nearly as bad as that happening again. We thought that, once everyone had heartily agreed to donning bright pink dresses for this impending wedding, that would be the end of it and we could all happily disperse to begin our respective Puce Hunts. We thought that, with someone who had a fair bit of common sense as a bride, we wouldn’t be put through as much hassle when preparing for this wedding.

We thought wrong.

Barely two weeks after the decision to wear pink dresses was made, and with barely two weeks left to go until the wedding, it was decided — or quite likely planted in her head — that qípáos would be more suitable. And so, with much grumbling and grousing (and failed attempts at subtly making her change her mind), Becca and I began a half-hearted search for what would be our bridesmaids dresses.

The experience quite possibly took several years off our lives.

Maybe it’s because, unlike most women, we abhor weddings, whether it’s attending them or being involved in them. Maybe it’s because we were drafted as, rather than asked to be, bridesmaids. Maybe it’s because we have never in our lives worn qípáos, nor intended to start anytime soon, despite being Chinese. Maybe it’s because we knew we had neither the slight built nor towering height to even try pulling them off. In any case, neither one of us was willing to waste money on something we knew we would only wear for all of five hours of our lives and never look at again afterward. Becca was prepared to just buy anything that would fit her and cost less than a facial; I was prepared to lie my way out of the wedding altogether.

After desperately trawling the streets of this city, going to seven different malls — Mid Valley Megamall, 1 Utama, and sinking as low as Sungai Wang, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, The Summit and Amcorp Mall — we managed to find our qípáos, which completely wasted the better part of this long weekend. She found a gold one, and I was able to procure a black one, wasting RM188 (still less than a facial, depending on which salon it’s from) and RM240 respectively, and swearing vehemently that if we ever got married, we would make these insufferable frill-and-fancy girls wear dive suits and beekeeper suits to our weddings (and indeed, I would have a wedding simply for this very reason) to teach them a lesson.

I never even thought about whether or not I would be allowed to wear a black qípáo. All I could think was how relieved I was that the wildest goose chase of my life was over, and how resentful I was at having thrown money away on the whim and fancy of a typical wedding-loving woman.


And I care about you so much
I really do want you
But I’m scared with every touch
Because I don’t want to lose you
If you care for me like you say
Maybe you can hang through
I hope you understand
It’s nothing to you

My heart’s at a low
I’m so much to manage
I think you should know
That I’ve been damaged

TLC, Damaged –

Someone told me, a few months ago, that if you are unhappy with yourself, you shouldn’t get involved with someone else, because you could ruin it for the both of you. I thought back then that no matter what problems each one was facing, as long as they stayed together they would be able to help each other through it.

Now I know how difficult it is to be in a relationship while still trying to let go of past failures and close old wounds. To be responsible for the heart and feelings of another person while still trying to heal your own broken heart. To learn to open up and wash away the bitterness and cynicism, when it was the past disasters that caused the bitterness and the heart to close up in the first place.

I believed in out of sight, out of mind. But apparently some cuts run so deep that they seem unable to heal, draining the trust and faith that are the lifeblood of a relationship and eventually bringing it all to a shattering end that was foreseen but unavoidable.

When you accused me of not opening up to you, I tried to do just that. When I was ready to open up, you shut me out. When I was learning to be less cynical and have a little faith, you took that faith and threw it back in my face. And all it taught me was never again to open up and give myself so freely, and never to put all my eggs in that basket.

I think it’s safe to say I may have been broken one too many times to be put back together now.

The final bow

“One thing I’m not going to do is chase staying alive. You spend so much time chasing staying alive, you won’t live.” – Patrick Swayze (1952 — 2009)

dirty dancing

Dirty Dancing was one of my inspirations to learn to dance myself. Watching Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey move together so fluidly, like speaking a language only they knew, was something I wanted to be able to do, to lose myself in the rhythm and flow of the music, and in the swirl of emotions that comes with dancing.

And now he is gone. After fighting a short, but brave, battle with pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze will always be remembered for giving so many people the time of their lives.

Be in peace.

White out

Because only Eza can get me to do this:

Bianco, Friday, September 11, 2009

flower power


We were all made to wear white. And eat pasta and pizza in it.

tee tee

She calls him her 'tee tee' (little brother). They do look eerily like brother and sister.


The joke’s on me

It was the most unexpected dream, no doubt caused by a conversation I had with Becca last night at D’Haven, during which I had a momentary flashback which was later echoed in this dream. It was one of the most vivid dreams I had had in a long time, so real, in fact, that when I woke up I thought it had been real, that when I looked over I would see that it had been no dream. And I would realize that the past year had never happened, and I had been having a very long nightmare all along that I had finally been able to wake up from.

But when I looked over a few moments later, I resigned myself to the fact that it had, indeed, been only a dream. That everything is as it has always been, and, by my own hand, I would never again have the chance to fix what I had destroyed so long ago. And the knowledge of it made me want to assume a fetal position under the covers and weep and weep for the pain of the loss, the tragedy of hope gone wrong, and the anger of not being able to let go. All that stopped me from doing so was the fact that I would have to explain my sudden erratic behavior to the one person who does not deserve to suffer the pain of knowing of what I had done to myself.

And even though I had talked about it with Becca last night, it hit me harder after this dream that the one thing I’ve been dreading for the past two and a half months is the one thing that I need to happen. As much as it may hurt, it’s the one thing that will help make me learn to let everything go, to put everything in the little mental box in the back of my mind and seal it away for good. And now that a part of me knows — or at least feels very strongly — that it has already happened, all I need is the little stab of pain to tell me that it is true.

Because dreams are merely dreams, and this one was perhaps the cruelest joke God has played on me in a long time.