30 May 2010

Of being loved

Stephen went back to Singapore today and the first thing he does online is to send me a youtube song.

It's Your Love
Dancin' in the dark, middle of the night
Takin' your heart and holdin' it tight
Emotional touch, touchin' my skin
And asking you to do what you've been doin' all over again
Oh its a beautiful thing, don't think I can keep it all in
I just gotta let you know what it is that won't let me go

It's your love it just does something to me
It sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough and if you wonder about the spell I'm under,
oh it's your love

Better than I was, more than I am
And all of this happen by taking your hand
And who I am now is who I wanted to be
And now that we're together
I'm stronger than ever I'm happy and free

Oh it's a beautiful thing, don't think I can keep it all in
If you asked me why I've changed, all I gotta do is say your sweet name
It's your love it just does something to me it sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough and if you wonder about the spell I'm under,
It’s your love
If you wonder about the spell I'm under,
Oh, It's your love

Oh its a beautiful thing, don't think I can keep it all in
I just gotta let you know what it is that won't let me go
It's your love it just does something to me it sends a shock right through me
I can't get enough and if you wonder about the spell I'm under
Oh it’s your love
It's your love
It's your love
It's your love
Just want to put it up as a blog post to remember this feeling of being so loved. Big sigh.

28 May 2010

Letter to my Dad - Tony Soliano

Following in the footsteps of Antares, who paid a tribute to his dad on his birthday, I thought I'd do something similar but different.  

Today would have been my dad's 77th birthday.  So here is a letter I wrote him!

Dear D,

I know you've always liked that I called you D.  Perhaps everyone thought it was a shortened version of Daddy.  But you and I know it was not.

I found this picture of you and your brothers.  I love this picture. I made copies and sent it to them some years ago.  You all looked so happy.  As usual, you had to be the outstanding one with the dark glasses!

Today would have been your 77th birthday.  It's almost 20 years since you died.  There are days when I don't think of you at all.  Then, there are also days when I suddenly miss you so much.

I have millions of tiny memories of you.  I guard them safely in my mind and pick at them when I need a smile.  

Often I wonder what you would have thought of your six children, and the choices we had made after you had gone.  You'll be happy to know that we are all quite close and we stay in touch.  

I still remember that day when Rindra called to tell me the news but I was feeding Eric and Jared took the call.  Rindra asked me to call back and I could hardly breathe when he told me.

It was very hard for all of us.  We each grieved in our own way and drifted apart but we have all remained in touch and, I might add, with strong sibling bonds.  It has to be our love and respect for you that binds us all.

At that time, Sheila Majid's song "Lagenda" hit the scene and although the rest of Malaysia thought of P. Ramlee, I could only think of you whenever I heard that song.  The lyrics seemed so very appropriate for you too.  Tears pricked my eyes when I realised that I’d never ever see you again.

from here

Your grandson, Jared loved the fact that I called you "D".  He now uses the same term of endearment for his dad.  Jared remembers you fondly as the one who drank the "black beer".  You used to love your Guinness Stout!

Long ago when we wanted to attend a party during our early teens and mom told us to come home by ten.  We lamented and appealed to you.  Immediately, you told us that we could go but to return home before the sun rises in the morning.  Those were magical words for us.  The trust we got from you and the pride we felt at this "unlimited" permission to party.

So many things remind me of you: a piano, jazz music, jokes, love and laughter.

Yet, it's the little things that jog my memory as I go about my life.

Whenever I eat the salted egg, I always think of you.  Yes, it's my favourite memory of you and me.  You'd take the yolk and pass the salty white part to me.  I'd often told this to whoever was having a meal with me.  It probably sounded like an inconsequent remark to them but it was a moment that made me remember you and made me smile.

You don't know but of all the pieces of jewellery that I have, the one I treasure the most is a gold chain that you gave me for my 21st birthday.  To me, it's the most precious and valuable piece I own.  Once I thought I had lost it and I felt sick with my own carelessness.  Fortunately, it had dropped on the kitchen floor and when I found it, I was so relieved.  I've kept it safely now.  

Happy Birthday, D.

You are gone but not forgotten.

I love you and suddenly I miss you so very much.

Much love from your daughter


26 May 2010

Of The Games Children Played

I began writing a blog post about the qualities I looked for in a man and half way through; I had gone off on a tangent.  So I'll have to get back to that in another time and space.

I digressed so completely that now I have a totally new subject.  I hope you enjoy it anyway.

I grew up in the years when it was safe to roam the nearby rubber estates.  There was a group of about 18 boys and girls.  We used to play football, badminton and catch tadpoles.  We played this game of one person chasing the others with a wet tennis ball.  If you were hit, then it was your turn to chase and throw that tennis ball and although it was painful to be hit, everyone laughed and ran away to avoid being the next victim.  

As I relate this story now, I wonder how many of the younger generation would understand that kind of simple joy.  We didn't have videos, play stations, computer games or any of the high tech hand-held games that seem glued to the hands of children these days.

In those days, riding a bicycle was "the in thing".  It meant  your family had money and could afford one. 

We played so many games that seem to be extinct now.  I remember playing a game called "What is the time, Mr Wolf?" and today, talking with my colleague, she mentioned a game called "A E I O U".  We burst into laughter because this was an era when these were all common games we grew up with.

Being in almost the same age group, we could remember those childhood games like "Hop Scotch" and "Skipping Rope".  I can still hear our childish voices singing, "Blue bells, cockle shells, easy, ivy, over".  As we sang, the rope was swung back and forth under our jumping feet, but not turned over. Only on the last word, "over," the rope was turned fully.  

If there are any young people reading this, they would probably say "and...” expecting much more.  They don’t know the simple pleasure of just jumping around with friends!

Another favourite was "Police and Thieves".  We used to recite in Chinese what sounded to me like "Tim peng peng, yow peng peng, tim toh hoe yahn, hey cho peng"

Then there was also another game called 5 stones (usually 5 tiny pillows filled with rice, sand or saga seeds).  This game needed much skill and dexterity to win.  We could spend hours playing this.  I suspect the kids of today would turn their noses up at all these things that my generation found so enjoyable.

When I tell my son or nieces and nephews about those days, I can sense their bewilderment at my excitement over those games.   

To them, it’s a totally new and different world today.  Nothing is exciting if it doesn't come with audio and visual aids.  

For those of my generation, the rain was our toy and the outdoors was our playground.

Sadly, the young of today don't even know what they have lost.

(All pics from photobucket)

21 May 2010

So what's cooking?

Great cooks surround me: my grandma, moms, aunts, cousins and most of my family members!

I grew up hearing everyone saying that my mom was a superb cook.

Not much later, I found out that my Chinese mother-in-law was also considered an excellent cook.

I guess I took all this good food, that nourished me, for granted as I was growing up.

I have to admit that as I left my teens behind and entered my 20s, I noticed that people paid a great deal of attention to good cooks and the delicious meals they could prepare.

In all honesty, I don't cook much. In fact, I can go for months without cooking. Yet, when I do, Jared is full of praise for me, claiming that I am a good cook.

Fact is that I hate cooking. I just don't enjoy it. I find it tedious and a sheer waste of time. You really have to be desperate if you only cook for yourself, at least in Malaysia, when food is available at every corner. For me, it's a case of being surrounded by so many shops, with the most variety of the best foods available! My mom is just around the corner!  Often she calls me to pick up something special that she made so I can take it home for dinner.  My Chinese mother-in-law also does that when she prepares one of my favourites.  I am quite blessed!

Lately, I've noticed on Facebook that some family and friends have begun putting up their easy-to-make family recipes for meals and cakes, etc. The pictures they put up makes me want to run to the market to buy the ingredients and then cook up a storm. However, cooking for one can be a turn-off. So I almost never cook. In any case, I would consider myself as one "who eats to live" rather than "who lives to eat".

I love cakes and my cousin Donnie tortures me with all the wonderful pictures of her creations,  which you can also find on Facebook too.

The advantage of not being a "cook" is that I am easily contented with the average fair. For those who cook, I notice that they are usually never satisfied with "outside" food. They always feel that they can do better and so are never truly able to enjoy eating any other food except their own. It isn't wrong to enjoy one's own food but it does seem a tad sad when you can't find joy, eating elsewhere. This is only a generalisation. I'm sure there are great cooks who appreciate eating what others cook too. Rare but I’m sure they exist.

I realised as well that each cook considers that his or her version of any famous dish is "the" one.
Take for example, the Eurasian "Devil Curry". The Eurasian community boasts of this as being their sort of signature dish. It would be a sin for any Eurasian girl not to know how to make it. Each Eurasian family, in turn, claim that their "Devil Curry" is the authentic one. I have probably eaten a hundred variations of "Devil Curry" prepared by my mom, mother-in-law, aunts, uncles, family, friends as well as the ones found in Portuguese homes/restaurants. Each time I am offered the curry, I had been told it was the real deal. Each time I ate the curry; there was a slight variation in the taste. Of all that I had, I like best, the one that my Chinese mother-in-law does. To me, that is the standard of "Devil Curry" by which I judge all others.

My friend, Hani just put up her recipes with photos on Facebook. You can find it under "Hani's Recipes".  She confesses that when she got married, she didn’t know how to cook and through the years, has evolved into “my idea of an accomplished” cook. So I am thrilled that when I need a recipe for “Lamb Yoghurt Curry”, “Singapore pepper crab” or “Stir Fry Spinach Indian Style”, I only need to check her Notes.

To cook or not to cook? That is the question, only for those who cook!

Dedicated to Donnie and Hani!  

13 May 2010

Lemons and Lemonade

We are told that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  When it happens, I can tell you that it can be a little difficult to remember about making a refreshing drink.

Recently, I was told that I blabber on my blog.  So does it make those who read my blog "blabbees!".  

Well, when people say unkind things to me, the first thing I do is to see who is saying it.  If it's someone I respect then I usually take a step back and give it some thought. If I suspect that it was said in anger, then I sometimes shrug it off and I can even forget it, eventually.  If I believe it was intended to irritate or hurt me, then I wonder about it a little more.

I have been to so many blogs and never once, did it occur to me that I should leave an unkind word.  Either I give my opinion or some props.  I wouldn't even dream of saying anything slightly disparaging.  After all, it's their space and what would it say about me and why I was even there!

Really, it's so simple. This is my blog.  If you like it, you read. If you don't like it, then why do you care to come back.

(all pics from photobucket)

07 May 2010

I miss him.

Much as I try to avoid reading about Aminulrasyid and the stories that surround his death, it is near impossible to do so.  Instead, I find myself asking people what they think about it and I see that many bloggers have picked up on the subject because there are myriad sides that bear discussion.

I see many people looking at the big picture.  Why was he out so late? Weren't his parents aware of his absence from the home?  Why did his sister leave the keys around?  Didn't the police have reason enough to fire at him?  Why didn’t he stop? And. The. List. Goes. On.

So many thousands of questions floating around in cyberspace with no answers available.

Perhaps we should just look at the small picture then.  This child is dead.  I believe that if we only focus on this, we would be able to see the reality of the circumstances that led to his sudden death.  

This cannot be the time to dig into the background of his short life.  He's dead.  We should only ask, "Should he be dead?”  


For this reason, I cannot understand why some are looking at the big picture and saying irrelevant things.

Unless you have lost a child of your own, can you really know the pain and unbearable sadness.   I have and so I understand a bit of what it must be like for his mother.  

I miss my son who died when he was two years old.  However, I cannot imagine what it must feel like to lose a child of fourteen years.  I just cannot imagine.

At times like this, I feel for his mom as Mother's Day looms ahead.

Aminulrasyid is dead.  His life is over but those that loved him deeply will carry this pain for a long while.  It is not going to be the pain of having given birth to him or of losing him in such a tragic way.  

It will be the pain of feeling "I miss him".