29 June 2009

Witty SMS

Last night, Stephen sent me an sms that went like this:

The way you make me feel it doesn't matter if you're black or white because you're a thriller and you are not alone because we can heal the world and the others can beat it.

This was in reply to a dedication I made to him in my previous post. I think it's really witty and I so enjoyed it. I thought I'd save it in my phone but decided that I'd save it here in my blog instead.

I just wanted to share this. :)

27 June 2009

The Way you Make Me Feel!

What an incredible performer. A great showman. A sensitive lyricist. A flawless singer. I can overlook all his personal whacko traits. After all, I'm not related to him. I just enjoy his public and stage persona. Why else would anything else matter to me, right?

First song dedicated to Stephen Grosse!

26 June 2009

Michael Jackson is dead and ....

In today's world, one doesn't have to be in Los Angeles. One only needs to have a handphone, internet connection or Cable TV to be informed of any event around the world.

It's not even 7 am and already I've received two smses to inform me that Michael Jackson died. Last night I saw the news the Farrah Fawcett succumbed to cancer. No one cared, no one smsed. It was just news. But Michael Jackson dying of a heart attack is BREAKING NEWS.

I wasn't a fan of Farrah Fawcett. I considered her frivolous and full of herself. Well, that's just my opinion. Anyway, I had always thought Jaclyn Smith more beautiful to look at and, if I were a guy, she would be my choice!

While it is really sad that he is dead, it's the children that I am thinking of and, strangely, worried about. What will become of them? As always, I know there will be everyone scrambling to get custody of them. I can only pray that they will come out of this media circus unscathed.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson. Rest in peace, Farrah Fawcett.

24 June 2009

Why 17?

Over the last 17 years, I’ve probably driven thousands of miles, from home to my office in Jalan Ampang. When I first began work there, the Twin Towers weren’t even up yet. I was a widow and single-mom to 2 small boys. I drove a Daihatsu. I was considered skinny. I wore really micro miniskirts. I had waist-length hair. I couldn’t understand a word of Spanish.
Fast forward to 2009, the Twin Towers are a landmark and a must-see for tourists. I am remarried now. I drive a Myvi. I am considered “pleasantly plump” (my choice of words!). My dress code is sober. My hair is now shoulder-length. I speak and think better in Spanish than Bahasa Malaysia.
In 17 years, the transformation of a shy, quiet, reserved and insignificant girl into a confident, positive and outspoken woman is complete.
Before joining the Embassy, I used to teach in a secretarial school. I hadn’t been a practising secretary for almost ten years and I was a little apprehensive about putting my theoretical skills to practise. I hadn’t even the slightest notion of what working in an Embassy would entail. However, I decided I had nothing to lose, did my best and, well, the rest is history.
It’s no small miracle that I have remained at the same job for so long and some have asked me if I am getting bored. My answer is a definitive “No”. The reason is that the diplomats are only around for about five years or less. I’m now working with my third ambassador and, in the meantime, there have been more than ten different diplomats. It is always very interesting. Each person has a story to tell and something to share. You learn something from each one and many become long-distance friends.
When you spend more than eight hours a day in an office, it’s your second home. You have to make it a place where you grow, not only intellectually but also emotionally. It’s a conscious decision to do that.
What do I see as my greatest achievement after 17 years?
I think that I’m a better person for having had the opportunity to do my best every day. Running a close second to that would be learning to speak Spanish.
How did I celebrate my day? My boss took all of us to lunch at The Orchid Room in The Lake Club. I chose a superbly prepared Beef Medallion, drank 2 glasses of red wine and had too much dessert.
Today, it’s only fitting that I especially remember my three bosses (Jorge Bayona, Javier Gonzales and Alejandro A Gordillo) and numerous colleagues who have contributed to making me who I am today.
To my dear collaborators, a thousand thanks for everything!
Para mis queridos collaboradores, mil gracias por todo!

21 June 2009


To all the fathers who come here to this blog!
May you be blessed in every way!

Today, I'm thinking of my dad, the late Tony Soliano who filled my childhood with wonderful memories.

The are so many, but the one that stands out now would be this episode.

My siblings and I were young teens, planning to go for our first ever party. We were so excited about it, until my mom said we would have to be home by 10 pm. When we protested, she promptly sent us off to speak with dad. He took one look at our faces and said "Go enjoy yourselves, remember your surname and just make sure you come back before the sun rises in the morning!".

Until today, I'll never forget that moment!

Tony Soliano

20 June 2009

Home Home Home

When the kids were young, I used to say "home, home, home" to them whenever I got to the driveway and put the car in park. Until today, I occasionally say it if Jared happens to be in the car with me. We always smile and it's a pleasant memory from the past.

I'm sure all families have their anecdotes and idiosyncrasies and I surely have a goldmine. But those stories are for another time.
Today, I want to write about the home.
No, I’m not going into those clich├ęd stories about the home being where the heart is or that a house is not a home.
I just want to talk about the home and what I believe it has become in today’s world.
Let me start, I have two homes. One is here in Kuala Lumpur and the other in Singapore because circumstances make it necessary for us to have set up two separate homes, at least, for now. For this reason, I travel very frequently to Singapore. On the bright side, I have two dressing tables, two wardrobes and two sets of my girlie stuff for here and there. This is to allow me to travel as lightly as possible.
Let me come straight to the point of the “Singapore home”. People there have a strange robotic way of asking “How many rooms?” instead of “Where do you stay?”. While there are the occasional few who ask for the area, the majority normally begin with the number of rooms.
In Singapore, I notice that they say 2 room apartments and it means that there is only 1 bedroom. So 3 room apartments only means that there are 2 bedrooms and so on. So the people there seem to judge you by the number of rooms you have in your home. This is evident in the fact that the moment you mention the area, they will ask you for the road and when you tell them the road, they will respond with the number of rooms those apartments have. I find it amusing.
Here in Malaysia, we have something similar but we don’t mention how many rooms we have, we just say the locality. It’s more complicated than this, of course, but I’m just touching on this so as to move on to the next point.
The point being that a home is a home is a home. You won’t be able to take it with you when you die.
So those who are slaves to their homes, who have nothing but showrooms with everything neatly in place, do remember that people matter more.
And if you are wondering..... I live in a 4 room apartment (meaning 3 bedrooms) along Old Klang Road and in Singapore; it’s another 2 room apartment (meaning only 1 bedroom) in Toa Payoh! I am comfortable and more importantly, I am happy.
In the end, this is only thing that will matter.

18 June 2009

Conversions in my family

It's hard for me to understand why there's so much concern about conversions of minors in a family, where one parent embraces Islam.

Here’s my own story.

When I was 17, my parents divorced. My dad having remarried a Muslim, of course, was a convert. However, there were four of us from his first marriage. We were aged 20, 19, 17 and 13. Then, as best as I can remember, there was no issue about us believing and practising the religion of our choice. Neither were we even aware that it would be a topic of discussion, as it is today. We just carried on with our lives as best as we could.

Anyway, not long after the divorce, my second sister fell in love with a Muslim. She converted and got married.

Then the first born fell in love with a follower of the Hindu way of life. She married him and today, she practices what, she believes in her heart, is best for her family.

My brother also eventually converted and married a Muslim girl.

As for me, I remained open to all the many religious possibilities and, eventually, chose the one that was closest to my heart.

My point is that the children in a mixed marriage, of which one parent is a Muslim, should be given that freedom to choose.

In our case, we all grew up understanding and accepting each other without any of the religious hang-ups. We weren’t forced or indoctrinated by anybody. We were left to find our own paths in life.

This freedom to choose had been crucial to the harmony in our family. We were allowed to let nature takes its course and we all pursued different paths. Despite the differences, we are of one family.

Did it turn out to be the right formula to follow? I think so.

Am I qualified to make this observation? I think I am.

15 June 2009

Back to Normal and a joke to boot!

I'm feeling great! In fact, I'm feeling a bit sheepish about having blogged about my Sunday Blues. I’m a fraud. I really had no reason to be blue. It was just a case of lethargy. Too much time and nothing to do just got to me. So instead of finding fault with myself, I began to think back of all the times, family or friends made me annoyed. Now, why would anyone want to do something like that! Right, no one! So forgive me my moment of weakness. I shouldn’t have done that.

While it was a conscious act on my part, I do know that it only needed a bit of common sense to neutralise that negativity. I must have given in to temptation. Hahaha.

I’m feeling great again. Happy. Peaceful. Calm.

To prove it, I'm going to share a personal story!

When I first attended the "Anti-I.S.A." vigil, they had placed tee lights on the ground forming this


When I first saw it (I give you my word!), I thought to myself "Number 2 ISA" so what's Number 1?

When it hit me, I was glad I didn't ask anyone at that time. What a laugh it would have been!!!!!!!!

Now this is more like it!

14 June 2009

Sunday blues!

I've been meaning to write more on my blog. I've stored ideas and thoughts and promised myself that I would get started on them.

However, when I had the mood, I hadn't the time. When I had the time, I hadn't the mood.

I'm feeling blue today. I started the weekend with a wonderful feeling of being happy. What happened?

One of the problems with me is that when I am sad, I begin to think of all the times that the people around me are a disappointment. Is it them or is it really me? Are my expectations too high? Am I just gearing myself up for disillusionment when I expect too much?

I've always been a believer that we should expect the best of people. Yeah, I know it's too much, especially in today's world. But if we don't expect the best of people then should we expect the worst in them. Does it make it any better to anticipate the worst and find out that you were right?

People pretend to be what they are not. I’m always amazed at that. I know that no one is really one hundred per cent himself or herself. We all wear masks. I wear one as well. Does it mean that people are disappointed in me too, when I don’t measure up to their their expectations?

Hmmmm, I need to think this over.

Meanwhile, I’m going to start writing again. It’s an outlet for me. I get it off my chest and I feel lighter.

This picture was taken last Sunday, but it fits my mood today.

Don't worry about me! After a good night's sleep, I'll bounce right back! Promise!!!


My thoughts are with "Yang" during a difficult moment in life. Stay strong, my friend!

03 June 2009

Annual Latin American Festival

As you may have heard, the Latin American Ladies Association in Malaysia is organizing a Latin American Festival this weekend. Details of which are as follows:

Day/Date: Sunday, 7 June 2009
Venue: the Qba Courtyard of The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Time: 11 am to 5 pm

This will be an opportunity for you to have the benefit of experiencing the Latin American culture.

On sale, will be
*four delicious Peruvian dishes
~ Aji de Gallina
~ Causa de Atun
~ Papa a la Huancaina
~ Alfajores

* our famous Pisco Sour

* authentic Peruvian handicrafts

* classic Peruvian style jewellery (glass and semi-precious stones)

For the music connoisseur, we will be playing Peruvian and Latin American music.

Don’t miss this chance to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. All the benefits of this event will be in aid of the National Cancer Council “Majlis Kanser Nasional – (MAKNA)”.
See programme enclosed.

Come with your family, friends and neighbours!

No entrance fee!