The Hand That Wields The Axe

She stood up from her chair, back arched and shoulders pulled back taut - more from force of habit than the need to maintain composure. A comforting hand reached out to rest briefly on her small shoulder. Then she stepped out of the room. (The beavers outside emerged from their cubes and the familiar frenzy of fingers hitting plastic reached a new height from all corners.)

The room observed a moment of silence. It had not been easy.

The Hand leaned forward on her crossed arms, shoulders pressed in tightly. She dropped her head and sighed heavily, "All this has come at a very bad time for her . . . "

There is never a "good time", is there?

" . . . but there's never a good time," she knew it too, of course.

"No," I echoed, more for (her) reassurance - and comfort - than anything else.

Another long drawn out sigh. And another - for all the thoughts that she had no words for; for all the words that would not have changed anything.

But this was not even her fight. I felt anger rising - again - as I turned to look at The Other. And I remembered those unsullied hands holding her notepad under the table, conscientiously recording the proceedings, and then doodling as the meeting "dragged on" despite the resolution with which she pursed her why-can't-you-all-just get-it-over-and-done-with lips and denied closure even when pressed for it.

As both of us sat quietly in attendance, The Hand continued to look away, retreating into her own space. She would not come out anytime soon.

But neither I nor The Other made a move to leave the room. As The Other grew increasingly restless, her little eyes stole a sideway glance and narrowed - she had not even expected my presence. Still, I did not, and would not, budge from my seat. Though this was not my fight either, I had been summoned by The Hand as witness to the proceedings.

After several minutes, The Other sighed too and stood up. I rose and followed closely behind. The Hand did not acknowledge our departure.

I closed the door quietly behind me.


Two Down . . .

. . . and a couple of other things. All within a week. Somewhat messy. But long, long overdue.

And so the deed(s) is done. There was no guilt nor glee; no regret nor relief even. A little sadness, for sure - there is never a "good time" for these things.

But mostly, it was just a sense of nothingness.

Perhaps, I have simply seen the end come one too many times.

Perhaps, given how things have been, there could not have been any other way.





I Don't Understand

The Sister's gay boyfriend dragged me out for lunch yesterday and regaled me with an account of his latest squeeze. (While I had only a really bizarre encounter with Piesang, the Rebound Porter, to amuse him. But more of that another day.) It was an online acquaintance who he had finally met when the former was (and still is) in town for a holiday.

Several Long Island Teas, shedding of inhibitions (and clothes) and lots of dirty dancing later, it was back to the hotel for hour-long kisses and lots and lots and lots of sex, then wining and dining and shopping, back to the hotel for more sex, then more wining and dining and shopping, over the entire weekend.

Dammit, how come I'm not getting stuffed any of the above?!! (Instead of stuffing myself silly with food over the entire weekend because !!@#$!!! WOW decided to fuck up big-time.)

And noooooo, that's not why I had The Dream. And FYI, nothing REALLY happened. People were just milling about and I did wake up before anything COULD happen, remember? It was all very, very PG, really.


You Don't Understand

Sometimes, it really feels like all your "good work" is just there to cover up your bads.





The Best Friend Says

"Uh. Is the dream a belated metaphor for how you felt about being dragged into assorted strange or potentially awkward situations? E.g. 500 m swim in filthy water? Hehehehe."

Uh huh.





Soul Kitchen



I couldn't resist these intriguing condiments (picked up while I was waiting for my flight home):

Sloth - chocolate and cinnamon
Lust - ginger, lime and rose petals
Greed - citrus sugar

Pleasing company for a homebound weekend. The haze has been keeping everyone indoors, and I needed some distraction since I couldn't play my games because !!@#$!!! WOW decided to fuck up big-time while I was raiding in Molten Core (it seems that the add-ons might have caused the ridiculous lags and disconnections) which necessitated a lengthy reinstallation of the entire programme.

Anyway.

I ended up cooking up a storm: "magic" potato salad, chicken wings, garlic-butter mushrooms, and linguine with bacon and bell peppers in a spicy tomato sauce. And then I ran out of gas. Laugh. Fortunately, it happened during the post-dinner ginseng soup which was almost done.

The weekend cooking routine began a few weeks ago when I came down with a particularly nasty viral flu and lost my voice. Since I could barely order my own food, I decided to hit the supermarket and cook my own meals.

The entire process - from planning my shopping list, to marketing, to slaving over and running between the chopping board and stove, to getting my fingers pruned from all that washing up, to eating, and then more washing up - was strangely therapeutic and fulfilling. In particular, the moments when I finally sat down to savour my own cooking were almost cathartic (though always accompanied with a little anxiety, heh).

And so another weekend has come and gone.

And with it, another week of more work and more corporate birdshit intrigue continues. But I'm pleased to note that I shall at least be hitting the ground running and buffed up with the Well-Fed Effect +10 Stamina and Spirit. Grin.





Haze, Haze, Go Away




I Blame It On The Haze

I found myself in an apartment with 20 or so people, mostly couples. Though I could not see CirCe, I knew she was somewhere in the gathering too.

I realised (?remembered?) suddenly why I was there - which was also the same moment that I wished the ground would open up and swallow me whole. My eyes swivelled from one end of the room to the other, furtively evaluating the participants.

Everyone looked pretty much like your average who-would-have-known man or woman and they had come casually dressed. No intimidating leather-clad-whip-brandishing or scary not-if-you-were-the-last-man-on-earth-just-hand-me-the-cucumber specimen.

But there was no one particularly attractive or interesting either. Mild disappointment distracted me momentarily from my increasing anxiety. How do these things work anyhow? And how do I make sure I don't get screwed - literally.

Oh, have I mentioned that the 20 or so people were gathered for a sex soirée?

I remembered praying fervently that CirCe would be happily engaged with OTHER PEOPLE with very good stamina in another far, far away corner of the apartment for a long, long time and stay out of MY way - there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going anywhere near her not-so-itty-bitty bits and assorted body parts.

I figured the plan was to quickly jump on some decent specimen(s) before the not-so-decent ones jumped on me, and try to keep it within "the family" throughout the rest of the session.

My eyes met Nice Eyes just across the room. He did not look too bad, though a little on the short and small side. He had a bespectacled-but-not-geeky-and-kinda-cute thing going on. He looked like the intelligent (I like) and very considerate (I like even more) type.

I lowered my eyes and smiled tentatively. He returned my smile and started to make his way towards me, with his partner.

And then the morning alarm woke me from my bizarre dream.

Yes, of course it was just a dream. Doh?!

Anyway, I promised CirCe I would blog about my latest dream - I did not manage to say more when we last spoke online. But I think she must be really glad to be in a different time zone from me now - if not to escape this bloody haze - at least for the rest of this month. Heh.

I wonder what the dream means though. (Other than the fact that all my close friends are going to ban me from dreaming about them from now on.)





Quote of the Day



And don't I know it.





Busy Bee

Basically, I have been so busy with work and making time to still have a life (yoga, dogs, cooking, beach) after the daily grind to have any time left to blog and surprise, surprise, WOW. Yep, that's how very busy I have been.

But I would not say I'm hating it. There is a certain, for want of a better word - satisfaction - to having some control over one's situation. (Though the stakes are much, much higher too.) And strangely, it almost feels as if there is a purpose to all of this.

A purpose that I'm meant to, and must, be a part of.

A purpose not necessarily leading to permanence.

A purpose that could possibly just be the beginning - of another.

And it gives me hope.


Moron of the Day

Why would I want to take in a complete lemon that you have decided to sack from your own team? (Especially since I've just decided to squeeze a few lemons on my own.)

MORON.





I'm Back



And oh yeah, some bird decided my head made a nice litter box while I was stalking this absolutely precious pair of Southern Red Bishops for a photo op. Hmmmpppfff.





Up, Up and Away!

The weather forecast for tomorrow: min 10°C max 25°C.

Shivers in delight.

I can't wait to escape this ridiculous haze - even if only for 5 days.





South Park

Absolutely hilarious!!! You gotta watch this - especially if you play WOW. Hehehe.





Fish of the Day

Nice place. A little bit dirty. Oil, you see. Very warm but I finish second so that was a good performance for me I am really happy with," Petar Stoychev, Marathon Swimming World Cup champion 2006.

A little bit??? I'm still trying to wash out the oil stains from my swim wear! And I was smelling like fish. Arrrggghhh. I'm going to have to give myself another thorough scrub down tomorrow.

Anyway, I survived! Well, barely - I had my head above water most of the time because the zero visibility freaked me out big time. (I "grew up" in the swimming pool - not the sea. Bleah.) Heh.

And oh yes, I felt much better about my green cap after seeing the 1.5 km men in their, get this, NEON PINK caps. Laugh. The logistics person sure has a strange sense of humour.





Dead Dogs R Us

For some strange reason, they'd put both of us in the first group of 18 swimmers to start the event, though we had signed up rather late - or so we thought. Or maybe they'd thought to schedule the "sportier" and more garung ones first - or so they thought. You see, the registration form had a field for "other sports" and let's just say our list might have led to certain conclusions being drawn. That is, until they met us in person.

My eyes widened as the game official handed over a registration pack at the pre-event collections this morning, and I spotted the ghastly green swimming cap.

After some speechlessness, "Eh, do you have any other colours?"

"No."

After more speechlessness, "Ehhh, must I wear this on the outside?" (Participants are allowed a maximum of two caps, provided the one assigned by the organiser is worn on the outside.)

"Yes."

And then, as a very, very horrible realisation dawned, "Is this THE COLOUR for everyone in our category?"

"Mmff." Almost a non-reply, suppressing irritation about being asked the same question ad nauseam.

Meanwhile, CirCe was dismayed by her "unlucky" number, and I snickered a little as I put our numbers together and uttered a word. (Well, it could have been worse - you could have been a "6". Snicker.)

Later, we trotted back to ask about the entry - dive or wade - and whether a string bikini is advisable. They said it would be a run-and-wade of sorts. (For some reason, I keep thinking about Baywatch and lots and lots of bouncing action in slow motion. Heh. Heh. Heh.) They did not know what to say about our choice of swim wear - actually, more like speechless - we just had to make sure that our arms and legs could be marked, so wet suits are out. (WHO wears wet suits for swim meets?!!)

Oh well. I still think green does not go with my face. (Unless the sea is choppy tomorrow.)

And we can't wait to meet the other 16 "conclusions" that were drawn - and drown in their surging wakes.

9 more hours. Wish us luck. Heh.





Why Mum Cannot Be A Bra Saleswoman

We have a simple laundry system at home:

1) We leave our dirty clothes next to the washing machine;

2) Mum sorts, washes, and hangs up the wet clothes to dry;

3) Mum collects the dry clothes and leaves them in the main laundry basket in the living room;

4-a) We pick up our dry clothes from the main basket and move them to our own laundry baskets in our bedrooms; and/or

4-b) Mum picks up our dry clothes from the main basket - after it has not been touched for days and threatens to overflow and mum gets tired of nagging and then yelling after our lazy asses - and delivers them to our respective laundry baskets.

The problem is, mum does not seem to know what her three daughters look like. And so, the three of us will often be rummaging through each other's baskets, looking for a missing piece of clothing or throwing out a two-sizes-too-small pants or ewww-that-is-so-NOT-ME-what-was-mum-thinking top.

A few mornings ago, I found my laundry heap drowning under not one, but three pairs of oversized bras in unflattering shades of pastels which looked more like protective touch-me-and-die gear than tantalising come-to-mama invitations. I quickly returned them to the collection basket outside.

As I was leaving the house for work, mum noticed that her delivery had been returned.

"Aren't they yours?"

"No."

"Not yours meh???"

"Ngo yau gam dai lup meh?!!" (Translated: "I got so big piece meh?!!")

That explains why mum is selling pots rather than lingerie in the department store.