Wednesday, November 16, 2016

.: James Van Praagh : Growing Up In Heaven :.

When I passed from here to there, 
I knew your heart would break.
It's here not there where I reside; 
in mountains, fields, and lakes.
In the break of each new dawn 
and when the sun goes down,
In birds and trees and skies of blue, 
you'll know I'm still around.
A broken heart I gave to you, 
no way to take that back;
Grieve for now, but don't stay long
 in the hole that's filled with black.
If I were there and you were here,
you would clearly see
That you're right there and I'm right here, 
it's where we choose to be.
So dance and sing and laugh out loud, 
just like we used to do;
I know it's hard, but you have to see 
that I'm right here with you.
And when you feel like crying, 
try and smile through the tears;
I hope you will remember, 
I'll love you for a thousand years.
And when you're feeling lonely, 
and you don't know what to do,
Just close your eyes and read this letter, 
from me to you.

Friday, October 21, 2016

.: Work Performance :.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

.: Scars :.

You cannot remove my scars or rewrite the past that haunts me. Just hold me tight and tell me everything is going to be ok.

Michael Faudet

Friday, September 30, 2016

.: The One : Lang Leav :.

I don’t want you to love me because I am good for you, because I say and do all the right things. Because I am everything you have been looking for.

I want to be the one you didn’t see coming. The one who gets under your skin. Who makes you unsteady. Who makes you question everything you have ever believed about love. I want to be the one who makes you feel reckless and out of control; the one you are infuriating and inexplicably drawn to.

I don’t want to be the one who tucks you into bed; I want to be the reason why you can’t sleep at night.

Lang Leav

Friday, September 23, 2016

.: Project Wominjeka : Updates :.

The cat is (finally) out of the bag.

Our current project, named Wominjeka (which means welcome in Woiwurrung) which we find apt as it is our first project post Project Wallaby (relocation to Australia).

So, we bought a unit in Melbourne, as part of our investment plan to hedge against the increasing price of properties in Australia. To be fair, we are fully aware of the possibility of oversupply of units, esp in Melbourne, but after much research of the location and the developer, we are pretty much comfortable with this purchase. We decided on a one plus one bedder unit, instead of the more expensive two or three bedder unit, solely because we just wanted this first investment to be something we dip our toes in, instead of jumping straight in. So it only makes sense to start small.

It's been a very good learning curve for us. We picked up so many unique points of buying off-plan properties here in Australia. From the legal, administrative, mortgage/financing to tax and lateron to rental and tenancy. 

It's an art in itself, and tho it is highly stressful, it is also highly fulfilling to be learning new things. And perhaps leverage on this knowledge for future investment (if we wanna go down that route).

Will update more upon completion, in the meantime, here are pics of the construction progress.

.: Become Who You Are :.

That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don't expect to get anything back, don't expect recognition for your efforts, don't expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.

Paulo Coelho : The Zahir

Thursday, September 22, 2016

.: Food For Thought :.

Ever since I have been here in Aus, I have been more conscious then ever over food wastages.

The society I now live in, takes pride in having fresh items sold daily. Go to any bakery – they would say “Baked Fresh Daily”. Go to any fruits shop – and you just see the freshest and juiciest fruits on display.

But some may not be aware – that the amount of wastages – food and fruits that are being thrown away. I once observed the amount of bread I saw being binned at a local bakery, a whole bin full; and I thought – what a shame, imagine how many homeless or poor that this bread could feed.

The same for fruits and vegetables that have gone slightly bad, but still salvageable (even if you could only salvage half of it, it’s still better than binning the whole lot).

There are a few steps taken by Australian to overcome this food wastage problem, and I must say, I am very impressed with the measures taken to reduce food wastages and channeling it to the needy. It’s also the awareness that by not wasting food; it’s creating a sustainable place to live in.

OzHarvest - the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia that collects quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it to charities channel.

Harris Farm Imperfect Picks - fruit & vegetables that might not look perfect from the outside, but are so inside. It reduces the amount of crops that currently never leave the farm gate simply because they are a bit ugly, and do not meet the visual specifications of some consumers and supermarkets. It helps take more of the farmer’s crops, helps reduce food wastage and consumers purchase this at a lower price. Win win for both sides.

I think it takes a lil effort for everyone to try to reduce food wastages – even small steps at home does help. Do not buy more than you plan to consume. Surplus cooked food – bring it for lunch the next day. Small little steps, makes heaps of a difference. One may say, oh, the food that I waste, that’s not gonna feed the hungry people in Africa. It’s doesn’t really matter. Does it?

“Let's imagine a pile of bananas, grown and produced in a developing country, transported all the way across the globe to a Western country just to be wasted because of some silly cosmetic reason. People in the very same developing country lack food. Imagine looking those hungry people in the eyes and telling them that the good bananas grown in their very own country are being thrown away just as fast they arrive in the Western world." (Source here)

Every lil thing we do count to create a more sustainable world for ourselves and the future generations.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

.: A Lesson :.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

.: Me :.

Lil things like this makes me smile.

Thanks for making my day Terry & Tammie! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

.: Status :.

Currently reading : Amy Tan - The Valley of Amazement

Currently feeling : Slightly contented

Quote from previous readWhen she had achieved almost everything she wanted in life, she had reached the conclusion that her existence had no meaning, because every day was the same.

Monday, August 29, 2016

.: Laugh Til Your Belly Hurts :.

It's been a while since I had one of those laugh.

A laugh that tickles you, that you laugh so uncontrollably, your belly hurts, tears streams down your eyes and you continuously gasp for air.

Laugh that you can't stop. No matter how you tried. And this was over "pau". Cheras pau. Yip Chee Mei Pau. Don't ask. Seriously. 

But it surely made my day!

When's the last time you experience one of those laughs?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

.: Draw :.

For the strangest reasons I have the tiniest veins (so says my a anesthesiologist when he was looking for my veins - not thru the naked eyes mind you, but from this thingymajiggy machine).

It usually takes a couple of jabs before my veins at my arms could be located, causing multiple bruises as an indication of attempts.

Today, it was on the first attempt - my lucky day, says the lab assistant.

However, the bruise is as big as a one dollar coin (or dua puluh sen coin).

This is how drawing blood from me is like.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

.: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) :.

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine.

A lil twist to a old classic hymn - by Chris Tomlin.
(Ones in blue are the twist to this song)
Told The Husband that this will be one of the songs played in my funeral :)
(Pls remind him, should he forgets - which he most likely will)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

.: Sinking In :.

It hit me hard earlier today that there are some things that haven't quite sink in yet with me.

Perhaps, I am in denial, and rather not face the truth and I am underplaying the magnitude and the seriousness of this predicament, convincing others and myself the same.

Perhaps, it's really what it - nothing serious, all just paranoia and being extra careful.

Or perhaps, subconsciously, I have actually given up and lost the will to carry on.

Friday, August 19, 2016

.: (Do) You Wanna Make A Memory? :.

Mention Jon Bon Jovi, and one would think rock-and-roll. Living On A Prayer. It's My Life. Wanted Dead or Alive.

I love those songs. I am a big fan!

But there is something about the softer, less popular song of his that I enjoy even more. I'm All About Loving You. Thank You For Loving Me. 

Rekindled my love for his song recently, esp this You Want To (Make A Memory). There is just something about this song.

I plugged in my earphones and was tuned up my (mute) volume and played my Spotify, when my colleague next to me looked and me and laughed, and said "You're earphones are not plugged in properly!" 

Which means, here I was happily sitting with my earphones plugged into my ear and she and prolly those within close proximity as we are sitting in open cubicle area have heard You Want To (Make A Memory) blast from my speakers, while I am wondering why is the music not already playing. Gosh. I was (and still am) mortified.

"County-ish love song?" she asked, still laughing

"Jon Bon Jovi" I replied. "Oh, just kill me now, I am beyond mortified."

It was a good laugh, but I am still slightly embarrassed.

Hello again, it's you and me
Kinda always like it used to be
Sippin' wine, killing time
Trying to solve life's mysteries

How's your life, it's been a while?
God it's good to see you smile
I see you reaching for your keys
Looking for a reason not to leave

If you don't know if you should stay
If you don't say what's on your mind
Baby just breathe
There's nowhere else tonight we should be

You wanna make a memory

I dug up this old photograph
Look at all that hair we had
It's bitter sweet to hear you laugh
Your phone is ringin' I don't wanna ask

If you go now I'll understand
If you stay, hey, I've gotta plan

You wanna make a memory?
You wanna steal a piece of time?
You can sing the melody to me
And I can write a couple lines

You wanna make a memory

If you don't know if you should stay
And you don't say what's on your mind
Baby just breathe
There's nowhere else tonight we should be (We should be)
(We should be)

You wanna make a memory?
You wanna steal a piece of time?
You can sing the melody to me
And I can write a couple lines

You wanna make a memory
You wanna make a memory

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

.: Flashback : Soya Bean :.

There are some childhood memory that I vividly remember - down to the very last detail. It's like a snapchat of that moment (be it 5 secs or 5 mins) and I recall the sight, sounds, almost as if I am there at that moment all over again.

This memory is one of them.

When I was younger, we had a pasar malam right opposite our housing estate. 

Just need to cross a two-lanes "highway" (mind you, this was pre-LDP days) and we are there.

It's a weekly affair for our family - me, bro and my parents would often pop by.

My dad loves his soya bean and the occasional tau fu fah. He would often drop by the soya bean seller, and order a cup of soya bean or a bowl of warm tau fu fah in a red-and-white acrylic bowl, consumed on the spot, while standing up. 

I often tagged along with my dad (as my mom wonders off somewhere else). And when he gets his order, he would of course share that with me. 

My dad is a very tall man, probably taller than 6 foot. At that time, I was around five or six, so prolly half that height.

So back to this particular incident.

I was standing there, distracted by something else, and then without looking, I just tugged my dad's shirt (an indication that I want a scoop or a sip of his order). When I looked all the way up, obviously expecting my dad to hand me a scoop, to my horror, that wasn't my dad looking back at me. I tugged the wrong man's shirt! I was mortified, obviously. 

And my vivid memory stops there, and the rest is all a blur.

Lesson learn : 

Not every man is my daddy.
But my daddy is my every man! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

.: Once In Your Life :.

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement.

They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.

The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face.

In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon.

You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile.

Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.

Bob Marley

Such a beautiful quote isn't it?

Friday, August 12, 2016

.: Organ Donor :.

Checking off my list a tick at a time.

This has always been one of the things I have been thinking and talking about, but never quite got to actually doing anything about it. Truth to be told, if I continue to procrastinate, I would never get it done.

So, to (finally) walk the talk, as of today, I am a registered transplant organ donor in Australia. 

I like this interesting ploy to create awareness of organ donation. And I hope that many will take this step to help out, as there are heaps of people in the waiting list for organ transplant. 

While I am still alive, I thrive to make a difference in as many lives as I could but I sincerely feel that being an organ donor is seriously a way I can make a big difference in one or more lives, even in death. 

On a lighter note, not sure if any of my organs are of use. Afterall, my lungs capacity is crappy (I could never run as my lungs are not trained for running, haha), my liver has been subjected to 3 months of legal narcotics (so there's prolly some serious damage there), there is something not quite right with my heart (not quite sure what is wrong just yet, tho a GP had recently looked at my ECG and said I have a quote "perfect heart" .. awwww...). But my brain should be alright, almost new, barely used! :)

.: Kath's List :.

I have been thinking about it for a while, and I need to do it. Stop thinking. And start doing. Afterall, I'll never know how much more time I have left. 

And so, the list starts. I literally scribbled all the things that I wanted to do for myself, the things I wanted to say to the people I love and care about and the things I wanted to give and do for others. 

This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.

“What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer... "Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.”

- David Nicholls : One Day -

Thursday, August 11, 2016

.: Swiss Cheese Model :.

“Memory is a machine,” he says, “and it is not flawless. Our conscious mind prioritizes things by importance, but on a cellular level, our memory does not. If you’re capable of forgetting your cellphone, you are potentially capable of forgetting your child.”

Swiss cheese model where catastrophic failures can occur in organizations despite multiple layers of defense.

A real sad article to read.

Full article here

Monday, August 8, 2016

.: Heart :.

"My heart hurts." she said.

"Literally or figuratively?" he asked.

"Both." she replied. 

"I wish it could be fixed, eitherway." he responded.

"So do I. So do I." she cried.

.: Daddy's Little Girl :.

When you have always treated me as your equal - sharing an equal half of the last piece with me.

But with daddy, it's different - coz he gives me the whole of that last piece. 

And that's how I know that it's a different sort of love; and that I'll always be daddy's little girl.

Monday, August 1, 2016

.: Resonate :.

It's really frightening how so much of what he's written resonates with me. Hits so close to home.

Frightening indeed.

Currently reading : Paulo Coelho's Veronika Decides to Die
Previously read from the same author : Adultery
Would like to read from the same author : The Alchemist

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

.: Les Mis :.

Les Mis piano music scoresheet from the library. 

The husband was playing On My Own (lyrics here).

Him : Hmmm...which scene was this song from again?

Me : The part where where Eponine realised that her love is unrequited. That she has been friendzoned.

Him : What? What's the word you used just now?

Me : Unrequited love. 

Him : No, the other word.

Me : Friendzoned?

Him : You mean they wrote a musical piece hundred of years ago *points to the scoresheets* of this song, and you summarised it with one word - FRIENDZONED?

Me : Yeah. That's effectively it.

The husband shakes his head.

----------- updated-------------

Googled and found this :

Friday, July 15, 2016

.: Angels : Lang Leav :.

It happens like this.

One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else--closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel--one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them--even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering--the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.

Though here is a word of warning--you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn't to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

.: Forever Young : Handsome & Gretyl :.

My current favourite song
Dedicated to the ones I love

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Friday, July 8, 2016

.: What's In A Name? :.

Sometimes early in the quiet morning, I will be randomly be awoken at random time.

Groggy, eyes open for a quick while to check the time on my phone (it’s usually 5am-ish) and then I would close my eyes again.

Sometimes, I would go back to slumber. Sometimes, my mind does not allow me so.

If I couldn't go back to sleep, I will usually take the opportunity to have my quiet time, quick short conversations with God. It could be reflections and thankfulness for His love and grace. It could be prayers for me, or for friends or family, or sometimes even for random strangers.

The other day, when I was awoken, I inched closer to the husband (King bed, we each have our sides), cuddled him, held his hand, and prayed out loud. I wasn’t quite sure if he was awake (coz he is a morning person) as my eyes were shut. Then I went back to sleep.

Later that night, the husband brought this up.

The Husband : I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! (referring to me praying for him out loud in the morning)

Me : Why?

The Husband : Do you know you started praying “Dear God, I pray for Bubu Bear ……” Bubu Bear?! Bubu Bear!?

Me : What? I said that? Well, you can’t blame me, I was barely awake! *laughs*

The Husband : God must be thinking – who the heck is Bubu Bear? What if God grants His blessings or answer your prayers onto the neighbour’s dog thinking that it is a Bubu Bear?

Me : Well, my prayers were answered, so God does know who Bubu Bear is!

Indeed, what an awesome God we have, who knows us in and out, name and nickname otherwise.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

.: Flashback : Mind Your Bearings :.

“Mind your bearing” my Form 3 Geography teacher scribbled on my exercise book.

Something about directions and co-ordinates.

Well. It figures doesn’t it when I have phone conversations like this with my dad (more often than not)

Me : Daddy, daddy. I think I am lost. They diverted the traffic from my usual route.

Dad : Ok, where are you now?

Me : I don’t know. I was gonna turn into Jalan Ismail from Jalan Ampang and they (the traffic police) didn’t allow me to turn. So I had to go straight. Then I think I turned left somewhere.

Dad : Ok, where exactly are you now?

Me : I don’t know! *getting irritated*

Dad : Ok, describe to me what’s on your left or right.

Me : Buildings!

Dad : What type of building? Wisma what? Menara what?

Me : I don’t know! I see a building under construction!

Dad : That doesn’t narrow anything down. Can you see if there’s any road sign that says PJ?

Me : No, nothing!

And the conversation went on and on between me trying to describe where I am and my dad trying to guess where I am and bail me out by giving me directions. Failed.

Me : Nevermind, I will figure it out!

Tut. Tut. Tut.

According to the husband, my dad is a saint when it comes to that. If I had called the husband instead, it will be a screaming match on his part (he has zero patience) and my end as well (coz I have zero tolerance for people screaming at me).

So there you go. Me and my bearings! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

.: Day In The Park :.

O, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on earth.
- Roman Payne -

.: Medical :.

It’s been tough. I know that I've said this a lot, but it has been tough. I try to keep myself occupied and not think about the worst-case scenarios, but I can’t help but wonder. But on the other hand, I don’t want to face the reality of it. It could be nothing. But it could be something. And it’s the something that I am most afraid of.

Visits to doctors have never been the same for me since a year and the half back. I don’t know why it keeps coming back to this – another visit to the doctor.

Monday, June 27, 2016

.: Cycle :.

The never ending cycle.

Go on and put a brave face, pretending that you've got it all figured out.

Then you take it all in, until it becomes too much, and you crumble and fall and shatter into pieces. You mope around for a bit, then reluctantly start picking up the fragments and piecing it back.

Then you go about, put a brave face, pretending that you’ve got it all figured out.

The never ending cycle.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

.: Project Updates For 2016 :.

On-going Projects/KIV Projects (til the end of the year)
Project Wominjeka
Project Greenfield II
Project Joey
Project Houzz
Project Turf II

Completed Projects
Project Greenfield
Project Turf
Project Wallaby
Project Spring
Project Masterpiece
Project Umbrella
Project Scribe
Project Casa II
Project Casa III
Project Casa IV (Final)
Project Casa
Project Castle II
Project Castle
Project Downhill

Abandoned Projects
Project Moo Moo
Project Narnia
Project Island
Project Prince

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

.: Selfless : Lang Leav :.

Do you ever want to run away and start over? Wipe the slate clean. Begin all over again with a blank canvas? It's okay, we all feel that way sometimes. It doesn't mean you don't love your life or the people in it. It doesn't mean that you wouldn't give your last breath to see them happy. Sometimes when we yearn to be selfish it means we have been selfless for too long.

- Lang Leav

.: Always : Lang Leav :.

You were you,
and I was I;
we were two
before our time.

I was yours
before I knew,
and you have always 
been mine too.

Friday, June 17, 2016

.: List Of Movies : Updated :.

List of movies that I will watch (in no particular order of favourite) :

(1) You've Got Mail (again)

(2) My Best Friend's Wedding (again)

(3) The Wedding Singer

(4) Notthing Hill

(5) When Harry Met Sally

(6) Four Weddings and A Funeral

(7) Sleepless in Seattle (again)

(8) Addicted To Love (again)

(9) French Kiss (again)

(10) 10 Things I Hate About You

(11) Casablanca (again)

(12) The Runaway Bride

(13) Pretty Woman

(14) Jerry Maguire

(15) An Affair To Remember

(16) My Fair Lady

(17) Breakfast In Tiffany's

(18) Love Story

(19) The Godfather (Part I, II & III)

(20) The Philadelphia Story

(21) Little Women (again)

(22) The Joy Luck Club (again)

(23) Titanic (again)

(24) Gone With The Wind

(25) Forest Gump (again)

(26) The Sixth Sense (again)

(27) Wuthering Heights

(28) The Silence Of The Lamb

(29) Groundhog Day (again)

(30) While You Were Sleeping (again)

(31) The Way We Were

(32) Pride & Prejudice (1940's version - again)

(33) The Shop Around The Corner

(34) Fatal Attraction

(35) Clueless

(36) The English Patient (again)

(37) As Good As It Gets (again)

(38) Ever After (again)

(39) Never Been Kissed (again)

(40) Chocolat

(41) City Of Angels (again)

(42) Moulin Rouge (again)

(43) La Dolce Vita

(44) Love Actually

(45) Big Daddy (again)

(46) The Bachelor (again)

(47) The Tigger Movie (again)

(48) At First Sight (again)

(49) Meet The Parents (again)

(50) Parents Trap (again)

(51) Shakespears In Love (again)

(52) Romeo & Juliet

(53) The Wedding Planner

(54) Shall We Dance

(55) American Sweetheart

(56) Sweet Home Alabama (again)

(57) Serendipity

(58) Raising Helen

(59) A Walk To Remember (again)

(60) Message In The Bottle

(61) The Notebook

(62) Intolerable Cruelty (again)

(63) (500) Days Of Summer

(64) 27 Dresses (again)

(65) Definitely, Maybe (again)

(66) Valentines Day (again)

.: I Carry Your Heart With Me : EE Cummings :.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

.: My Best Friend's Wedding :.

So the cousin and I were chatting about wedding stuff when she asked “What does the maid of honour actually does?”

So I listed out some stuff and the added “You know, just like Jules in My Best Friend’s Wedding!”

To which she replied, in my horror “I haven’t watched that movie before."

“What? How can you not watch the most epic movie of our time.”

“You’re time maybe, but not mine. I was prolly in diapers then.”

Right. Touche. Thanks a whole lot for making me feel old.

But it makes me wanna watch that movie again. Tonight maybe!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

.: Pain :.

"This pain came from a place so deep within me that I could not determine where the pain ended and I began. We were intertwined. It was all-consuming. It felt as if half of my DNA had been ripped out of my body and I was left with a dangling half strand. Half a person."

The other side of pain is not comfort, or health, or well-being. It is truth. And when this truth comes pouring in, you begin to see all the grimy layers of protection lift away. You begin to let the light in and, what’s more, you begin to seek out the light. You begin to discover that your journey has just begun.

One morning I woke up and had a sudden realization. The thought entered my mind like a lightning bolt: “You were always whole to begin with.”

Excerpt from here

Sunday, June 12, 2016

.: Breakfast Is Served :.

She was soundly asleep in her warm bed, a flannelette sheet that was perfect cozy sheet for the cold wintry nights.

From outside, the sound of the kookaburra echoing from the garden. She sandwiched her ears between two pillows, hoping to drown the sound and go back into slumber.

He came into the room, the sound of the creaking wooden door awoken her again.

He jumped into bed, lifted up the warm blanket cocoon she has created for herself and snuggled himself in. The tip of his cold toes touching her warm legs jolts her slightly. But she still refused to open her eyes.

"MooMoo Cow" he whispered. No reply from her, but he knew that she was awake anyways, even though her eyes were shut.

"I've made breakfast for you" he said chirpily. 

He has always been a morning person. Waking up early, heading straight to the kitchen to prepare a mug of coffee or cook up some breakfast somewhat perks him up. She, on the other hand, is a nocturnal creature. And though she automatically wakes up everyday at sunrise, she has no qualms on staying longer in bed. And especially more so when it is as cold as it was outside. And that is was a weekend, no reason to be awake early to rush to work or anything like that.

With one eye squinted open and the other eye still closed, she asked "What did you make Bubu Bear?"

With a big grin at the question (which he must have secretly hoped she asked - because there are some days when she doesn't), he took two minutes explaining to her how he made beef & mushroom stroganoff following a recipe at the back of that bag of fresh portabello mushroom.

When he finished explaining, both her eyes were closed, but she heard every word he said.

"Ok." she murmured. And mustered whatever little energy she has in her to lift her arm and pat his head. 

With a big, satisfied smile, he gave a big "tee-hee" laugh for the affirmation he has gotten today. He gave her a quick kissed on her forehead, jumped out of bed (again breaking that cocoon of warmth) and go about doing other morning chores.

She smiled to herself and tugged the blanket a little tighter and wonder how did she end up marrying this man-child six years ago.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

.: Dan + Leah :.

Thought to share the story below.

For the husband and I, it was by choice that we didn't want to have kids. After the first and second year, the same question that was of more a teasing tone of the arrival of lil junior, became more of a what-going-on tone and now (being married for more than 5 years, and still childless) it has become of a pity-coz-it's-prolly-some-problem-related tone.

But could you imagine if the same question was directed to someone like below, who's already struggling and going thru what they have to go thru.

I guess what I am trying to say it, be tactful. If you are not close to the couple - do not assume that they want to have children immediately, or ever. Do not assume that they are not trying. Do not assume that they are not struggling.

It's a bittersweet story below - but I promise you a good ending for the couple.


Do you have a minute? I’ve got kind of a long story.

Leah and I have been trying to get pregnant for over 3 years. I’m not sure when, exactly, we stopped the birth control. Like all our plans, we didn’t start with a plan, but instead decided that if we got pregnant, that would be great.

And then we didn’t get pregnant.

I mean, look, when you’re in your twenties, it feels like you can’t look at someone else without getting pregnant. We’ve all heard about someone who got pregnant through 2 condoms, spermicidal lubricant, and an IUD. Right? But we didn’t get pregnant. No big deal.

We’re in our 30s. Things are probably a little bit dusty, and a little bit rusty. So, three years ago, we started using apps and calendars to track this and that. Ovulation test sticks. Old wives’ tales of positions and timing. We got some late periods. And some periods that never came!

But we didn’t get pregnant.

So, off to the doctor we went. His and hers appointments for collections of blood and semen and measuring parts and such. Medical science being what it is, we got the answer to all our problems: “You’re fine, and there shouldn’t be a problem.”

Do doctors ever tell anybody, “This is what is wrong, and this is how to fix it,” and then give them pills, and they’re fine? This is not my experience. My experience is: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We didn’t get pregnant.

So then came the hormones for Leah. Along with those hormones came the realization that little-to-none of this would be covered by insurance, and that the coverage rate would go down as we went deeper into the process. See, insurance companies look at getting pregnant a lot like getting sick. Why, they can’t imagine, would you try to get sick? Well, fuck you, insurance companies. That’s why.

But we didn’t get pregnant.

So maybe we’re bad at timing, or something, or god knows. Usually that’s fine, but we are in our late 30s, and clocks are ticking. The doctor told us that certain hormone levels were low, lower than they should have been, and that meant our egg supply was dwindling.

Let me tell you something. There is nothing you can tell a woman that will make her feel more young, beautiful and vibrant than, “You have a dwindling egg supply, and it is time to pick up the pace.” You should try it. Maybe at a bar.

And that was when we began IUI, intrauterine insemination. IUI is – colloquially – the turkey baster method. When they told us about it, I tried to really hear what the doctor was saying, but all I could hear echoing around the room, off of the oyster-y pearlescent floors and the alien-vagina wallpaper, was “dwindling.”

For Leah, we eventually figured out, this meant a regimen of hormone boosters to facilitate egg production. Are you aware of what happens to people when their hormones go out of the norm? They are not happy. Unless they are happy, in which case, they are very happy. There is no mild. There is no average day. Her job was to feel like her brain and soul were on fire.

My job was to try and not say anything dumb, because she also needed to be calm. I tried to avoid triggering phrases like “Hey,” or “Good morning,” or “I love you,” but I kept fucking up, and opening my mouth, or allowing Leah to see TV programs, or commercials, to read books, and interact with the world in any way.

The best was when someone would ask her when we were going to have kids. That was just the best.

Then, after one or two ultrasounds to make sure eggs were there, and in their right places on their little follicles, I would give my needle-phobic wife a shot in her thigh to set ovulation in process. She says she’s not so much afraid of needles as she is afraid of being stuck by me with a needle, but same difference, right?

Over time, I developed a method where she would look away, close her eyes and cry, while crushing all the bones in my left hand, and I would count to three, and inject her with my right. I wouldn’t inject her on three. I tried to pick a random time. She usually didn’t even feel it.

After all that romance, you would think that abstaining from sex for a few days would be hard, but you would be wrong. You might also think we should be having massive amounts of sex, but it turns out that you have to let your seminal stash build up for a few days before collection.

Over the last couple years, I became pretty professional about my sperm deposits. My first one was a few paragraphs up, for testing. Man, is it ever weird. You can do it at home if you want, but then you are under a clock to get your sample to the lab on time. I don’t need that kind of stress.

I don’t talk about it much, but I like to think I’m pretty good at taking care of business in the art of sperm production, but I had never entered a room designed specifically for masturbation, while people waited outside, hoping my masturbation went okay. Perhaps that is what Eddie Murphy’s life was like in Coming to America, but I was less familiar with it.

The room was like a combination of a hotel room and an office. It had a big picture of The Ohio State University football stadium, filled with fans, on the wall over a small vinyl sofa. There was a neatly folded sheet, fresh and crisp, hanging on the far armrest. A clock radio on the side table, tuned to local political talk radio, sputtering away beneath a low-lit lamp, was paired with a little wooden cube that had one tiny drawer, specifically made for storing your collection cup.

Under the table were four or five magazines that I didn’t really want to touch. Usually two Playboys, a Penthouse, and a Swimsuit Issue. Across from the couch was a TV/DVD combo with a DVD preloaded. I didn’t want to touch the remote either, really. It sat on a wicker chest.

Wicker struck me as the worst possible material for a room designed for male masturbation. Everybody’s aiming for the cup, I know, but I also know there have been enough accidents in that office that it required a laminated sign about what to do in case of an accident.

The first step, in case of an accident, is to not try to hide it by scraping your mess into the cup. Big no-no. This makes your sample corrupt, which may mean that your partner could end up being impregnated by carpet fibers if I understand correctly, but it is also unsanitary.

The second step is to tell the front desk staff that you had an accident, which seems horrific. The people who work at the lab are people who, by my calculations, deal with upwards of 80 men per day who have just masturbated, or are about to, and their sperm. Sure. They are professional.

But, still, everyone is a little bit tittery, a little bit anxious. We all know that this is all very silly, and that I just touched my penis, and you are someone’s grandmother, and that even though you have a pin in the shape of a little sperm fella to help break the tension, we all – if we really had the choice – would probably prefer to burst into flames than discuss any part of this, let alone the fact that someone missed. Whoops!

The DVD would change over time, but still be of the same variety. Usually some kind of early 90s Eurotrash boat fantasies, or oily faux-lesbian scissorhands scenes, starring fingernails that made me very nervous. I would check every time I went in, and it was always awful. Everybody’s got their thing, I guess. My thing is that I am thankful for the Internet.

Oh. And you are supposed to go in dry if you can help it. Lubrication, as it turns out, can mess with the quality of the semen, which seems like a pretty big jerk move on the part of lubrication.

But, yeah, I’ve got my routine down.

When your sample has been washed and spun, or whatever it is they do with it, they put it in a paper bag that you carry over to the doctor’s office for the procedure. We long-timers can always tell the new couples. Their discomfort and optimism is cute. They smile and look around on their walk, hoping no one notices the bag they have pinched in their fingertips.

Me, I carry my paper bag like a sack lunch. The same turkey sandwich I’ve had every day for years. With hope, yes, but the skepticism of routine.

The IUI itself is pretty quick, and from what I understand, painless, if not the normal amount of demeaning of going to an OB/GYN. You get one more ultrasound to make sure everything is in place, and then they pour the gravy all over the giblets.

Sorry. I know. I’m hung up on turkey metaphors.

And then we wait.

You’re warned against taking pregnancy tests because they measure hormone levels, and after taking all sorts of weird shit all month, you can trigger a false positive. So you wait. And there will be spotting. Is it spotting, or is her period starting? You don’t know. So you wait. And you wait.

And you wait.

And sometimes her period comes, and you start over. Step one.

And sometimes it doesn’t come. But the second line doesn’t appear, or the plus, or the whatever these tests do.

So you wait. And it’s negative, but you hope, and you see your friends getting pregnant, and you get a little sad. But you get mad at yourself because you want to feel happy for other people, and that’s not fair to them. And then the 17-year-old across the street gets pregnant, and you get a little sadder. And your cousins get pregnant, and you get a little sadder.

And you see people scream at their kids, and beat them in Kroger, and you just want to die because you would give anything to have a child throwing a tantrum in the cereal aisle.

You don’t want to hate people. You don’t. I think babies are beautiful. I think kids are awesome, but you can’t help the jealousy. The envy. The resentment. It really creeps up on you. And you search for positive things. And you talk on end about your capital-O Options.

And then you see people on the internet post screeds about how dare anyone assume that they would want to have kids because not having kids is the best – which is fine, have at it or don’t have at it, I really don’t care – but we want to be procreating, and we want what you could have, but are choosing not to use.

And we want to tell you, but people don’t talk about it. Because you don’t want to talk about it.

Because you spend all day thinking about it, managing it. Trying not to cry. Trying to not turn into HI and Ed from Raising Arizona, stealing babies in the night.

And the doctors start talking about Next Steps, and the Next Steps are very expensive, so you try it one more time.

And then, while you’re in Kansas on a road trip with a friend, your wife does the IUI with a frozen deposit you left behind.

And you get pregnant.

You go in for a blood test, two weeks later, and they tell you that you’re pregnant. And you cry. Big fat tears of relief.

And then you freak out because, to be honest, you talked yourself out of real hope months and months ago, but now you have to get ready for a baby.

Some weeks later, you go in for an ultrasound, and there it is. I mean, yeah, it’s a tadpole with a giant head. There’s its brain, and there’s its heart fluttering away, and it’s so real.

And you relax.

We’re in our late thirties, which means that the chances are higher than average that a pregnancy won’t be viable, or there will be a chromosomal abnormality, or something along those lines. We spent a lot of time tiptoeing around that idea, but we talked about it. And about not getting too excited. You know, the higher you let your hopes up, the further they have to fall.

But they told us to relax. Everything looked great and we were on track, so when we went in for one final scan before being released to our obstetrician a couple weeks later, we were all smiles and jokes.

“I’m so sorry. I can’t find the heartbeat.”

And then you’re not pregnant.

I’ve felt time stop before. Car accidents, falling off a fence, a mountain bike jump gone wrong. I have not felt the vertigo of infinity like when we were told our baby was dead.

I’m logical. I understand science and biology. I know it was a fetus, not a baby. But it was my baby. In my head, in my heart, I could already imagine being old as it grew into an adult and had its own children, and – woosh – it was all gone.

As I write this, the due date is a little over a week away, like a car accident on the road ahead that you’re trying not to look at, that you have to drive by.

The world isn’t going to stop. We all get up and go to work. Because it happens. People lose babies all the time.


But no one talks about it. No one gets on Facebook and tells their friends. It’s specifically why you wait to tell anyone.

But then you have no one to tell. When a family member dies, you can share your grief. With a miscarriage, you would have to tell people that someone who will never be born, who they had never heard of and will never meet, but who meant the world to you, is gone. And you don’t have the strength to get into it. You tell your parents, maybe a close friend, maybe your boss.

I was so stunned when it happened that I texted my boss that I wouldn’t be back that day, but that I’d be back the next, which really cracks me up now. I didn’t even get how I was about to be affected.

Leah was scheduled for a D&C, dilation and curettage, under general anesthesia at Christ Hospital right away, so she wouldn’t have to go through the trauma of slowly passing the fetal tissue over the course of a week. It wasn’t until they took her back that I let myself break down. Alone with my worst thoughts and the sour coffee of the waiting room for several hours. God, I have no idea how long. One more forever.

The people at the hospital were excellent. We got a lot of information about support groups that we never went to, but we should have. We just wanted to hide.

I’m thankful for our families and our friends, who came to sit with us. Who brought Lea the things she needed, and let me get out of the house to walk around the neighborhood. I must have looked like a zombie.

It’s very difficult to think about, even now. I don’t think I’m doing a good job of describing it. I don’t want to dwell on it. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t think it was until around the New Year that I went a day without crying about it.

But, you know, you pass the car accident and it’s in the rear view, getting further away, and sometimes you don’t even see it anymore. Maybe you’ve told yourself enough times that “at least we know we can get pregnant” and “this just means that something was wrong and it’s a good thing.” Maybe you even believe it.

Just to let you know how strong Leah is, she still made the Dean’s List that semester, and she was carrying 18 credit hours. I dropped out of college for the dumbest reasons in my time - once because I got mugged - but she persevered. Like Britney, bitch.

We started back at the fertility process too soon, in a dumb burst of optimism and courage, and the desire to move forward. The hormone treatments were too much for Leah. And the lack of success was too much for the both of us. So we stopped. Our doctor told me, privately, that we need to take care of ourselves, but that, if we want to have a baby, we either need to move forward now, or start discussing Next Steps.

Remember: Dwindling.

We tried a couple more times, one of which felt good – we thought we had it – and were told that if this one doesn’t take, that we would need to increase hormone treatments substantially and begin planning for options outside of IUI. In Vitro, surrogacy, or something else.

The doctor also told us, during one IUI, that while Donald Trump scares him, his wife loves Trump because of the Mexican wall thing. They are both immigrants. His problem with the wall was that it would be impossible to pay for it. I don’t know. Doctors tell you some crazy shit while they’re inseminating your wife.

Through this process, and through both of our lives, neither of us have ever had a home pregnancy test come out positive. Even when we were pregnant before, it was the doctor who did a test. This last one, Leah couldn’t bear to look at it herself, so I looked at it while she was in the shower, and told her no, that it was negative.

While she stood there, crying, I googled “pregnancy test faint line.” As it turns out, even the faintest fucking line in the whole fucking world means you’re pregnant. So we’re pregnant.

We’re pregnant.

Not that we believed it at first, but we are. Three scans later, I’ve even heard the heartbeat, like a hummingbird, and it’s beautiful.

As I write this, tomorrow is our first obstetrician appointment, and we’re so nervous. So, so nervous. I wouldn’t dare to post this until we’re in the clear enough, and ready to tell people. Almost no one knows right now. We’re worried to jinx it, us, we, who don’t believe in jinxes. Mostly, we’re afraid of going back through the pain. To have to retract it, publicly, is too much to think about.

I know plenty of people have gone through more than us. We are comparatively very lucky. Some people have never gotten pregnant. Some people could not go as far as us. Some people have taken many Next Steps beyond where we were. Some have been successful, but many haven’t. I hesitate to share this because I don’t want anyone to read this and feel what we felt, watching others’ dreams come true.

Some people have found out, or have guessed, and have been very kind to share their own stories with us, and it has helped tremendously to not feel alone. Many thanks to all of them. I hope that maybe this helps someone else feel less alone.

And I hope that everything goes well, and I can inundate you with pictures, starting in November.

Everything went well. Arms and legs and moving around. We’re very excited, but I’ll be holding my breath for 26ish weeks.

And it’s a girl. Not that gender matters! But we’re going to have a little girl! And I am stoked. We are stoked.

We are pregnant.
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