Tuesday, 30 May 2006
* Firstly, got my driver's license renewed! Yaay! Am back behind the wheel of the Milo-tin local car! Auto transmissions suck. But at least I'm mobile again. Whoohoo!
* My boxes of stuff from Perth finally arrived via TNT's delivery truck - which is pretty strange because they said the boxes were overweight and they were gonna ship 'em back to the Dean Road house for Carol to repack. But they actually did ship 'em here to Malaysia, and so today I spent some time unpacking the goods and rearranging stuff in my room. Cool as! Meanwhile, I never realised how many stuffed toys people had given to me as souvenirs in Perth... I think I've got five of 'em. My room looks like a little girl's right now. Heh. Oh well. *shrugs*
* Wrote an email for a job application with The New Straits Times as a features writer. The lady in charge of the features section is someone I'd worked with at The Sun a few years back, and I remember she was a smart, sharp, witty and friendly person to work with, full of ideas and very open to suggestions. So I think it would be very interesting working for her again! Fingers crossed!
* Got some songs burnt onto CD (thanks Terry!) for the aforementioned songwriting competition, so fingers crossed in this department too... will be mailing them off in the day.
* Went with Terry and Lay Hoon to see Poseidon, which has received mixed reviews, including one rather scathing but amusing one (heeeey Ad!) that went along the lines of "the film reel should have sunk with the ship". Ahahahaa! I actually thought it was really rather good, with lots of heartpounding, tense action scenes, a lot of water, and some rather likeable characters. Terry and LH thought it was a lot of fun too. It did feel rather short, however. Plus, what happened to the fat lady? Apparently she got replaced by a gay guy. And I don't remember the ship being hit by a tsunami in the original 1970s movie! Which, as Terry reckons, could be attributed to the fact that "they didn't have the technology to do that back then...unless they used a plastic ship in a bathtub". Heh. Still, 4/5 stars. Worth a watch.
Well that's about it for today! Until next time... byebye! ~N
Sunday, 28 May 2006
So last night, Starbucks and a dinner at the Manhattan Fish Market (which, curiously enough, serves some pretty fine fish and seafood, and their garlic butter sauce?? Mmmm, to die for!) ... and today went to this new movie-theatre complex, Cineleisure, to catch X-Men: Last Stand, which was pretty cool. Meanwhile, all these new buildings and shopping centres cropping up all over the place, it's amazing. This one's right next to The Curve (pix below, and no, I didn't take them, apologies to the owner, check out his/her website), which is right next to Tesco, which is right across from the Ikano Power Centre, which is down the road from the multi-winged One-Utama, which is about a 12-minute walk away from home. At least I can't complain that I'm (too) bored.
Meanwhile, the traffic outside these places is absolutely horrendous. Cars all over the place that it's making me thankful it's a walking distance from home! What is it that draws hundreds of people to a shopping centre when there aren't even any sales on?? Terry thinks they've planted a goat head in the foundations. I asked what that meant, and apparently it's an old hex/supersition that if you'd like business to be blooming, then you've got to literally bury a goat's head in the foundations of the building in which you'd like business to bloom and boom. Hmm. Interesting. And somewhat nerve-wrecking. But it's not so bad as the stories Terry was telling me last night, as told to him by his cousin and sister, who are both air stewardesses with two major airlines. Air stewardesses, you see, get a free hotel room whenever they make a stopover at whichever destination... and most times these hotel rooms come with additional (read: invisible) occupants. Truly scary stuff. I won't regale you with these stories right now because I'm hoping to use them for my next Get Spooked! book. Hopefully I'll have their permission to get them in. Fingers crossed. But they're spooky, truly they are.
Well, that's about all for now. Tomorrow, like I said, hopefully there's the keyboard-retrieval from the airport shipping place, and my driver's license renewal, and also the completion of updated resumes, job application letters and postal services. Oh, and I'm submitting songs for a couple of song contests, too - the Starmaker contest and the USA Songwriting Competition - so there's that. And then there's the computer hunt, since I really need a good computer to use with my keyboard for the songwriting stuff...have three Perth projects lined up, so I really need to get my gear together - and get my ass into gear. So until my next update, which is likely to be, like, tomorrow or sometime ridiculously soon like that, take care and I'll see ya soon. Byebye! ~N
Friday, 26 May 2006
*drum roll please*
.... Gravity by Coldplay !
Thursday, 25 May 2006
Have started updating resumes and have commenced work on filling in a job application form with The Sun newspaper. Hopefully something comes of it. See? Positivity! Positiveness! Positivation! Glass half full!
Am still coughing like crazy, and it's so freakin' hot that I can't be bothered leaving the house.
Oh, I don't have a car. Which is just as well since my driver's license expired in February. Which contributes to the previous point about not leaving the house because it's so freakin' hot.
Might be getting a new computer this weekend because I can't work on my music otherwise... this computer's pretty dodgy and besides, I can't plug my keyboard into this system because my mom's giving tuition to little kiddies at all hours of the day, *oy*, and hence she needs the silence. Which is ironic because the little brats are bloody loud and irritating.
And anyway I've yet to pick up my keyboard from the shippers. Must do that. As soon as I have the car. And as soon as the other members of the family stop needing it for their errands.
I feel as if I don't have many friends here. I guess it's because I don't; in the past four years, I've drifted away from them to form the solid core group in Perth, and now I'm alone most times since some phone numbers don't work anymore and I don't know where people are. Although I guess this isn't truly a fair point; if I weren't so unenthusiastic about things, I'd probably make more of an effort to look people up. Then again, most people are working 9-5 anyway... Argh. Note to self: must - snap - out - of - this - jaded - and - cynical - state. Glass half full. Glass half full...!
OH, my little doggy Chloe has finally accepted me as one of the family and has stopped barking and growling at me, and has even allowed me to come close to pet her. Yaay! Progress. She's so cute. And Jodie is adorable of course. When I first got home she was, like, "Yeah, yeah, you guys are home, welcome back, woteverrrr...." And then she saw me and kinda went, like, "NICCCCK!!!" and started bouncing all over the place and practically barrelled me over, licking and snuggling all the way. Gorgeous. Glass half full.
Coffee Bean's Caramel Ice Blended. The one true silver lining of being home. Glass half full... but not for very long, since it's absolutely yummy stuff. :)
Tuesday, 23 May 2006
Monday, 22 May 2006
I can't believe it. Back home, and it's just as exciting and dreary as I'd anticipated it to be. Sure, I'm pleased to be home (to some extent) - but good Lord, it's all so... different now. I mean, after four years in Australia, it's just... oh I don't know. Can't really explain it.
Let's start over.
Yesterday certainly was fun. Fun. In italics. And probably inverted commas too. "Fun." Firstly we headed to Jade's place where she'd prepared this delicious burger lunch, which was awesome... the "Last Supper" as Josie very succinctly put it, ahaha! Afterwards we drove down to the airport. I tried to check in - and then drama unfolded!!! My check-in luggage was, just like yours truly, overweight. Arrgh! So I had to move my bags away, unpack a whole buncha stuff...and when I went back to the counter I found I couldn't find my passport and ticket. Arrgh! So I had to move away and open up the bags again to filter through the stuff - only to discover that I'd left the passport and ticket with the items I'd only just removed! So I had to repack, lug the stuff back to the check-in counter, weigh the bags again - only to be told that it was still overweight! By this point I was seething, and the "helpful" arsehole at the Malaysia Airlines counter uttered very indifferently, "You can unpack or pay, which will be it?" To which I replied, "Pay", and he remarked snidely, "Yeah I thought you'd have the money to do that." What a moron. Just goes to show you the quality of customer service nowadays. Malaysia Airlines ought to be ashamed. But I digress. Anyway.
Apart from this little drama, it was all very pleasant - there was literally an entourage of 14 people sending me off (thanks guys! Sniffles! Miss you alreaddddy!!!!) and the flight was pretty noneventful (which is good on a plane) apart from minor turbulence. It was practically empty too, which made it pretty comfortable; although it made me wonder why they wouldn't even let me go over the limit by 4 extra kilos. I guess it's the bloody petrol prices. *Tsk*. Whatever. On the plane I watched a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond, the whole movie of Nanny McPhee (yes) and a segment of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame; ate dodgy veal with mashed-potato bricks; played video games; checked out eye candy across the aisle, and tried snoozing a little, which naturally didn't work because I just can't sleep on a plane. Grrr. Arrgh.
So eventually I reached Kuala Lumpur and had the baggage-claim-customs-check-out saga, which was thankfully rather uneventful... Then it was "hey everyone!" and the whole emotional reunion thingy with the family. One thing quickly became clear: it's true what they say: you can't go home again. At least, you can't go home easily again. Within minutes of being home I was frustrated, depressed, fed up, missing my mates, hot sticky and humid. Then of course there was the matter of coming home to a new house because my folks had moved over the time I was away....and so I came home to a smallish bedroom partially used for storage; my little doggy Chloe is now a big doggy who doesn't recognise me and keeps barking and growling at me; my mobile phone won't work with my Malaysian phone number (for God knows what reason), and all in all, it's been pretty dreary.
Okay, I know I'm whingeing a little bit, but actually it's not so bad. The room's gradually getting done up so it'll be homey. It's where I plan to set up my home studio, God willing. The food's... well.... Malaysian food is Malaysian food: authentic, aromatic and with enough grease to fell a wild boar. The people are loud and crass and impolite (when you walk into an airport just in time to hear somebody clear his throat loudly and hawk loogies onto the pavement, there's no mistaking where you are); the drivers are insane with no sense of courtesy; the house is filled with Mum's kindergarten kids shrieking and giggling hysterically at all hours of the day; and this computer screen is so blurry having never been serviced or upgraded since 1999 that I'm getting a headache.
Going back: Friday night, like I think I've mentioned, we had my final farewell party (pix still to come), Saturday night there was another party at Mark's place, which was also a lot of fun. Judi and I set out to get majorly drunk, but methinks it was Carol who ended up the most hammered (heheheeeeee!!). Speaking of Carol - the poor dear has had to put up with the fallout of my haphazard packing. Apart from having to ship home the stuff that I'd removed from my check-in luggage, apparently today TNT (the shipping company) called her to say the three boxes I'd sent home were OVERWEIGHT (there's that phucking word again) and they were returning 'em for her to repack and send over. Oh bloody hell. Why is everything overweight? i've spent close to a grand shipping home miscalleneous... miscallenaeous... miscealleneous ... oh how do you spell that word??? ... shipping home various items - but it's been difficult because, after all, I'd been in Perth four years. That's a short lifetime, but a lifetime regardless. Oh bloody shipping companies and freight handlers. Why don't these people just go screw themselves? Sorry for all the hassle, Carol. I loveeeee youuu! Thank you for everything. Would be lost without you. *sniffles*.
Well - it's only been less than 24 hours since I've been back, so I haven't done much yet save getting reaquainted with the surroundings, getting acquainted with my house, and getting acquainted with my dog. Oh, and the family members fit in somewhere along the way. I'll get to something more thrilling eventually (including the concepts of job-hunting, working and new-computer-purchasing, if all goes well!)...but in the meantime right now it's all a bit of an unpacking- and grumble-fest. I do apologise for that, heh! It'll all get better soon, of course. It'll just take some getting used to. But until that happens, I continue to swelter in the heat and humidity, listen to the distant chants of the Mulsim prayers splitting the air, smell the smoke in the outside air, watch the household geckos lay tiny ovals of poo all over the bloody place, and pray I won't get so content and complacent with this - my original life - that I lose sight of my bigger dreams and where I really wanna be.
Take care, everyone. Will post more soon. Photos coming up!
Love and miss everyone terribly!!
Byebye for now. ~N xox
Sunday, 21 May 2006
Saturday arvo I headed to St Thomas More for the last time and played for the confirmation mass, which was a lot of fun. It was nice to say byebye to everyone for the final time (although some of them will be seeing me off at the airport later today)... and later at around 8pm, Judi, Justin and I headed down to Clancy's Fish Pub for a scrumptious dinner of seafood and cappucinos all round. Lovely stuff. 9-ish and we were at Mark's, where we drank heaps, ate, made friends with some lovely new people, bonded with old people whom we'd never previously really got to know (heeey Steve), and all in all, it has been a great day.
Now it's 3am on Sunday morning and it's less than 12 hours till I'll be at the airport. Here's wishing us all a safe journey... and a brand new beginning wherever we might be. God bless. Take care, love heaps, ~N
Friday, 19 May 2006
Saturday, 13 May 2006
Wednesday, 10 May 2006
Moving right along.
Last Friday was pretty cool; I went out with mates Dan, Christine, Anthony and Jeremy, first to Hog's Breath Cafe in Northbridge for nachos and succulent steaks (slow-cooked for 18 hours, they say!), and then, horror upon horrors, to Subiaco Hotel for more food (turkish bread with three dips and olives!) and quite possibly the best, best, best sticky date pudding I've ever had in my life - smothered in toffee sauce, hot and sweet and ohmigawd sosososo delicious! So if ever you get a chance to head to Subi, make sure you pop in for a sticky pud - it's a little pricey at $11 a serve, but share it with a loved one and it'll make you go "mmm" and melt all sticky and ooey-gooey-kablooie, not unlike the pudding and topping themselves. Mmmmm...!
Saturday was pretty busy with more packing up (including, for the first time this year, ironing my clean laundry, ahaahahaa! No joke!) and I intended to go see a play my good friends Simon and Brian are involved in, but I was feeling rather sicky because it's been cold lately, so it was a no-go. Still, watched heaps of telly, which is always fun. I can't for the life of me recall what I did on Sunday, so it can't have been all too exciting. Monday was pretty cool because Carol and I headed to the city (firstly and foremostly [which is probably not a real word] to go to the blasted immigration dept ...um ...God bless 'em) and did some shopping (I bought shirts and the second season of a particular old sitcom favourite of mine! yaay! Don't judge me). Then we had sushi at Jaws, this sushi place (duh) that had a great spread (reminds me of a particularly naughty sitcom quote: "I love lesbian bars! I hear the Honeybucket has a great spread!!" - no prizes for guessing where that line comes from!) and a 30% discount during the Happy Hour of 3:30 to 5pm (which, last time I did the math, is actually an hour and a half, but who's counting?) ... so yes, if you're in the city, check out Jaws, it's...somewhere in one of the malls, I think it's the Hay Street Mall, I can't recall, it's one of those places you walkabout so frequently that you don't really take notice of where you truly are. Ooh. Deep.
On Monday night our good friend Adam dropped in to catch up (at 1030pm, mind you. He said he was gonna call to make sure we wouldn't be asleep, and then changed his mind, thinking oh who am i kidding??). At 1130pm we ordered a pizza from Pizza Express in Hamilton Hill (really yummy yummy pizza, we give it a thumbs up!) and watched reruns of Stargate SG1 (hallowed are the Ori) and it was all really a lot of fun. At one point Adam and I joked about how pizza is the culinary equivalent to sex, which is really quite a strange simile when you think about it because it implies sex has different tastes and toppings and comes complete with cheesy crusts. Which could well be true. Yikes.
Yesterday night (Tues) Judi, Justin and I headed to our favourite coffee place for... um... coffee... and it was all very nice. Judi and I had a coconut-lemon slice each (yummy) and had this lengthy conversation about the lives of modern-day priests, but I won't go into that right now. Meanwhile, we were very impressed by the parking skills of a stranger in the parking lot right across from where we sat; not a big deal, I suppose, when you read it described like this; but from our vantage point in our favourite coffee place, it was an impressive reverse-butt-first park smack in the middle of the empty bay and a beautiful equidistance from the sidewalk. Judi, Justin and I looked at each other, nodding in our heads in smug-ish, contemplative approval: Hmmm, rather impressive, rather impressive indeed. But anyway - coffee. C15 is the place to be...so if you're ever in Applecross, check the place out, it's where the Dome outlet used to be. Where Coffee and Conversation Collide is their motto. Mm. Quite fitting. (Cue nodding of our heads in smug-ish, contemplative approval.)
Well, that wraps up the recaps of the past few days. To bed I go now; a lot of stuff to do tomorrow, and more packing to be completed. Thankfully Carol has been helping me out (thaaaaanks Carrroooll!!), so it hasn't been too tedious. Alrighty then, until my next post - take care, drive safe, park nicely, eat drink and be merry, and don't forget to leave a message in the new message-board-thingo on the right in the sidebar!! Okaaaaay, g'nite everyone!! "G'niiiight, Dr Niiiiiccck!"
Friday, 5 May 2006
WE'VE ALL HAVE HAD TROUBLE WITH OUR ANIMALS, BUT I DON'T THINK ANYONE CAN TOP THIS ONE: CALLING IN SICK TO WORK MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE. NO MATTER HOW LEGITIMATE MY EXCUSE, I ALWAYS GET THE FEELING THAT MY BOSS THINKS I'M LYING.
ON ONE RECENT OCCASION, I HAD A VALID REASON BUT LIED ANYWAY, BECAUSE THE TRUTH WAS JUST TOO DARNED HUMILIATING. I SIMPLY MENTIONED THAT I HAD SUSTAINED A HEAD INJURY, AND I HOPED I WOULD FEEL UP TO COMING IN THE NEXT DAY. BY THEN, I REASONED, I COULD THINK UP A DOOZY TO EXPLAIN THE BANDAGE ON THE TOP OF MY HEAD.
THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED MAINLY BECAUSE I HAD GIVEN IN TO MY WIFE'S WISHES TO ADOPT A CUTE LITTLE KITTY. INITIALLY, THE NEW ACQUISITION WAS NO PROBLEM . THEN ONE MORNING, I WAS TAKING MY SHOWER AFTER BREAKFAST WHEN I HEARD MY WIFE, DEB, CALL OUT TO ME FROM THE KITCHEN. "HONEY! THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL IS DEAD AGAIN. PLEASE COME RESET IT."
"YOU KNOW WHERE THE BUTTON IS," I PROTESTED THROUGH THE SHOWER PITTER-PATTER AND STEAM. "RESET IT YOURSELF!"
"BUT I'M SCARED!" SHE PERSISTED. "WHAT IF IT STARTS GOING AND SUCKS ME IN?" THERE WAS A MEANINGFUL PAUSE AND THEN, "C'MON, IT'LL ONLY TAKE YOU A SECOND."
SO OUT I CAME, DRIPPING WET AND BUTT NAKED, HOPING THAT MY SILENT OUTRAGED NUDITY WOULD MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT HOW I PERCEIVED HER BEHAVIOR AS EXTREMELY COWARDLY. SIGHING LOUDLY, I SQUATTED DOWN AND STUCK MY HEAD UNDER THE SINK TO FIND THE BUTTON.
IT IS THE LAST ACTION I REMEMBER PERFORMING.
IT STRUCK WITHOUT WARNING, AND WITHOUT ANY RESPECT TO MY CIRCUMSTANCES. NO, IT WASN'T THE HEXED DISPOSAL, DRAWING ME INTO ITS GNASHING METAL TEETH. IT WAS OUR NEW KITTY, WHO DISCOVERED THE FASCINATING DANGLING OBJECTS SHE SPIED HANGING BETWEEN MY LEGS. SHE HAD BEEN POISED AROUND THE CORNER AND STALKED ME AS I REACHED UNDER THE SINK. AND, AT THE PRECISE MOMENT WHEN I WAS MOST VULNERABLE, SHE LEAPT AT THE TOYS I UNWITTINGLY OFFERED AND SNAGGED THEM WITH HER NEEDLE-LIKE CLAWS. I LOST ALL RATIONAL THOUGHT TO CONTROL ORDERLY BODILY MOVEMENTS, BLINDLY RISING AT A VIOLENT RATE OF SPEED, WITH THE FULL WEIGHT OF A KITTEN HANGING FROM MY MASCULINE REGION.
WILD ANIMALS ARE SOMETIMES FACED WITH A "FIGHT OR FLIGHT" SYNDROME. MEN, IN THIS PREDICAMENT, CHOOSE ONLY THE "FLIGHT" OPTION. I KNOW THIS FROM EXPERIENCE. I WAS FLEEING STRAIGHT UP INTO THE AIR WHEN THE SINK AND CABINET BLUNTLY AND FORCEFULLY IMPEDED MY ASCENT. THE IMPACT KNOCKED ME OUT COLD. WHEN I AWOKE, MY WIFE AND THE PARAMEDICS STOOD OVER ME.
NOW THERE ARE NOT MANY THINGS IN THIS LIFE WORSE THAN FINDING ONESELF LYING ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR BUTT NAKED IN FRONT OF A GROUP OF "BEEN-THERE, DONE-THAT" PARAMEDICS. EVEN WORSE, HAVING BEEN FULLY BRIEFED BY MY WIFE, THE PARAMEDICS WERE ALL SNORTING LOUDLY AS THEY TRIED TO CONDUCT THEIR WORK, ALL THE WHILE TRYING TO SUPPRESS THEIR HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER - AND NOT SUCCEEDING.
SOMEHOW I LIVED THROUGH IT ALL. A FEW DAYS LATER I FINALLY MADE IT BACK IN TO THE OFFICE, WHERE COLLEAGUES TRIED TO COAX AN EXPLANATION OUT OF ME ABOUT MY HEAD INJURY. I KEPT SILENT, CLAIMING IT WAS TOO PAINFUL TO TALK ABOUT, WHICH IT WAS. "WHAT'S THE MATTER?" THEY ALL ASKED, "CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?"
IF THEY ONLY KNEW!
Wednesday, 3 May 2006
On the plus side, today I finally - finally - sold my car, the reliable Suzuki Swift that I bought two years ago from my dear friend Beattie -- heeey beeaattiieeee! Jessi-car's gone now! *sobs!* Didn't get to sell it for the price I'd hoped for, but truth be told, I'm happy to have it out of my hands and to have some cash in the bank for my plane ticket and the aforementioned shipping costs... so., to the purchasers of the vehicle: thank you, suckerrrrssss!! BWA HAH HAHAAH!! *evil laughter*!! Nah, I joke. It's a good car, and the people who bought it seemed really nice, so I hope they'll be happy with it. :)
Finally, I leave you with just three photos (that I've got so far) of the first of two goodbye gettogethers that have been held thus far. The first was last Friday and was really good - held at home, with quite a number of old and not-so-old mates showing up. Then there were the strangers, who were fun in themselves. 'Twas good to catch up and drink and have a laidback time, so I'm really happy with how it went. No dramas, no emotional outbursts, just - good times. :) Thanks to everyone who showed up, thanks to the reliable core gang *winks*, and thanks to those whom I've not caught up with in a while, it was great to see you again. I know it won't be the last.
On Sunday, I played at Mass in church for the last time, and it was a blast - every song that was used was a "Nick Song" *blush* -- i.e. written by yours truly -- and there was a catastrophic moment during the Psalm when drummer Dan dropped a beat and all
Anyway, I go now - and shall leave you with the abovementioned photos of Friday's party. These were taken with the music dudes from church who were also there... as soon as I get more, I'll put 'em up, kay? Until next time, take care, keep smiling, love one another, and remember: though the eyes are the windows to your soul, the zipper is the window to your underwear. Oh, I've used that line before. Eh, anyway. Byebyeeee!!
With the music guys & gals.
With Dan (left) and Anthony.
...And with Anthony and his Biskit boks.
(Added a couple of hours later:)
Me and my mate Paul.
Lovely ladies - (L-R) Judi, Carol, Jade and Berni!!