having my Cake, eating it – and not counting every last calorie

you spin me right round, baby, right round August 8, 2009

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 5:01 pm

like a record baby, right round, round round.

gosh, what a hangover.

before we drink ourselves to certain cirrhosis, we (Di and i) thought it was in our best interests to sign up for marathons, quit weekly drink-to-death sessions. and living like there’s no tomorrow isn’t good for Sjogren’s, so i declared “i ain’t clubbing for a long time”.

yeah, apparently 2 weeks is a pretty long time.

wine + vodka + whisky = hole where stomach used to be.

the real problem is in saying NO. NO. EN-OH. NOOOOOO.

dali’s friend: hey, dali, let’s go out.

dali’s brain: no, no, you must not.

dali’s mouth: ok! where?

our house is a crime scene ripe for the moral police’s picking. damaged shoes in the dining room. top + bra strewn at the base of the tv console. jeans, belt, random lip balm on rug outside the bedrooms. on screen, this may look like quite the opening to a saucy angelina jolie + antonio banderas sex scene. but in reality, it was the opening to the scene of a mascara-smudged madwoman flailing her arms on her bed like she was flying.

ravi took pics.


am not going to post unflattering pics of myself. that would be so un-myspace of me.

so right now, i am going to work on saying EN-OH. NO.

well, after tonight’s late night teh tarik, supper session. then, er, maybe.


hold my balance when i can’t look down July 27, 2008

Filed under: depression — c*devotchka @ 12:05 am

it’s been a long time.

and i’m sorry.

and the only way to start again, is simply, to start.

the following post, my heart’s pinned on my sleeve. beware, sappy post.


it’s been quite the year.

started work and school in the same week. it was a psychotic zero-to-hero moment of madness.

i started with zest.

but exhausted. this word, it doesn’t cut it.

administrative mistakes made by the local school has its price, always, the students. my friends dropped out. i ended up taking 7 modules in 3 months and was denied a break before the next trimester commenced. i turned into an automaton.

exhausted, this word, it holds no meaning for me.

school, work, personal problems (my marriage is fine, in case you’re wondering) i’ve been dragged screaming into, getting kicked out of our house when ravi was overseas for 5 weeks.

but okay, this is life.

it’s life.

you jump through hoops, over hurdles, you get on with it.

finally, we moved into our new place. finally, i think, we’re gonna be okay. it’s gonna be okay. i can start attending classes again. i can attend to (their) personal problems with one less headache.

i was fine. then i woke up one saturday to go to class. and ended up sitting at the edge of my bed, sobbing in my underwear, freshly applied mascara painstakingly applied in perfect strokes now streaking down my face. i buried my face in my hands, trying to swallow my sobs. but no, i don’t want to hide it from ravi.

i needed a hug.

i woke him up.

“i want to go to class. but i can’t. it hurts. it hurts all over. please get me the deep heating rub, i don’t know which box it’s in.”


“please, sayang, i want to go to class. i need to go to class.”

-grunt- “what’s wrong with you! i’m trying to sleep.”

going to class, to me, that meant things were getting back on track.

what flashed across my mind was the exact same visual i got 5 years ago when i was semi-drunk and depressed, and saw myself sitting on the window ledge, then pushing off, and seeing only the stars in the sky, and then nothing. seeing the midnight stars and then nothing. somehow, that was attractive.

but i’m different now. somewhat.

that flash doesn’t compel me to move to the window.

“ravi, please, i need the deep heating rub, i don’t know where it is, it hurts all over, i want to go to class, i cannot walk.”


sobbing uncontrollably with my tube of mascara still tightly clasped in my right hand, i laid down on my side. ravi’s immovable when he sleeps. and i understand, because i am impossible when asleep.

i buried my ashen face into my pillow. worried a bit about staining my pillows with mascara. ridiculous.

i smsed a classmate that i couldn’t go to class, i just couldn’t.

somehow, i fell asleep.

and when i came to, i realised.


this was my nervous breakdown

i felt weak.

to admit.

that i couldn’t do it.

i still do.

a psychology student should be the last person to do this to herself. aren’t we our harshest critics.

now i think, better the body than the mind.

i called the school, “nicole, i need to defer this trimester.”

she made me understand that i’d suffer academic penalties – a Withdrawal and Failure, even if i’d passed previous assignments with flying colours. not to mention the financial losses.

“i understand.”

that was 3 weeks ago

ravi’s overseas again for a month, our wedding anniversary’s this Tuesday.

i’ve been getting migraines, acne (something i’d been blessed not to have all my life), IBS symptoms and now, eczema.

i am not healthy.

not in any sense of the word.

i came home tonight, at 2130.

dropped my bags on the floor, unpacked my backpack of groceries, sat on the sofa and switched on the tv.

and suddenly, i burst into tears.

i’m going crazy.

i’m losing something.

i get up to do various chores.

i keep crying.

i read the papers, i stop crying.

the opening credits of Troy come on.

i burst into tears again.

then i get involved, but i don’t drool over Eric Bana. usually, i do.

and again, sporadically over the span of the entire movie, i’d burst into tears at inappropriate moments.

it’s living at home with my parents all over again, crying most of the time, trying not to let anyone know.

it’s been 8 weeks now.

and it’s 0400am.

and i’ve been crying for four hours.

i want this to stop.

i know i can make it stop.

i just need to make it stop faster.


hit schmits from this week April 5, 2008

Filed under: life,Uncategorized — c*devotchka @ 11:09 pm
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“hey! this is what i like to step on!”

– the husband, on the escargot i was about to devour

sampai masuk dalam-dalam, sial!” (… until all the way inside!)

– the husband, on the lady sitting beside me in the train – who was cleaning out her nasal cavity with the long nail on her pinkie finger, looking very, very, very, satisfied

“NEVER? NEVER? come, next week, i’ll give you a history lesson at Labrador Park”

– the granduncle, amazed that a Singaporean has never been to Labrador Park. this is the same granduncle who insisted on bringing me to Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve so i can shed my jakun skin

“this is not for a part-time degree…”

– the lecturer, insinuating that all the t-test scores we’ve been working on (by hand) are for nought

“i will not fly with faulty instruments”

– the boss, frustrated in a 4-hr long meeting

“somebody kill me please”

– me, singing aloud to the tune of Adam Sandler’s “Somebody Kill Me Please” in the office on Thursday when it became apparent my 2 hands were not enough for everything falling into my lap


– me, to Ravi, when he tried to smack me out of a delicious evening nap so i could finish my essay on time and submit before the deadline. i didn’t.

“can’t you fucking drown somewhere else?”

– me, to the dead ant in my glass of water

and that’s when i knew, i really need a bloody break.


on a Good Friday March 21, 2008

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 8:46 pm
Tags: ,

It’s midnight and I’ve just realized that the past 9 hours has been spent reading and understanding (haha!) empirical data and opinions relevant to my topic of choice. I haven’t even started my essay and I know I am screwed. Ravi laughed hysterically when I said I’m gonna sleep soon and get up at 0730 to continue.

Out of those 9 hours, I’d spent 90 minutes on repeated pseudo-cardiovascular walks to the refrigerator and back to the dining table which has been converted into a craze of

  1. used tissue paper,
  2. empty Essence of Chicken bottles,
  3. chocolate wrappers,
  4. waxy earplugs to shut out happy, screaming kids at the playground and stupid Mats and their stupid bikes,
  5. a notebook adapter sprawled across the table annoyingly like a foreign hair across my laksa,
  6. books that make me appear smart (e.g. The Psychology of Gender, Evolution and Social Psychology – both serving as effective paperweights),
  7. my 15 year old Oxford dictionary which I love flipping right under my nostrils for a high that rivals 60% dark chocolate,
  8.  out-of-ink highlighters which I hope would magically refill themselves if I leave them on the table long enough, and
  9.  dead ant carcasses.

I’d be reading something that sounds like “Gender theorists stress how girls’ development gives-” and then an ant crosses my reading path. Squish! “-primacy to communion.” Today, I’ve killed about 15 ants, some manic, zigzagging across my notes, filled with the paranoia of being squished while others strolled leisurely to their deaths.

I’ve stopped cooking, don’t know where these ants come from.

Sheela mentioned she has to write 30,000 words for her thesis and that she’s just finished her 2nd chapter. I should just shrink and shrivel up into a conch. I bet one of her chapters is far longer than my essay on sex differences. While I’m in the conch, I’d love to float away to Bora-Bora. Or any Polynesian island with brown-leathered hunks, seafood, chocolate, vanilla and coconuts. Please.

I enjoy pre-writing hours, especially when I’m reading literature that attempts to explain why some men are pigs and some women whiny shits. I especially love going to the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library at Bugis. The clinical smell of regularly shampoo-ed carpets, the straight backs of librarians behind the counters and shelves and shelves and shelves of books! I’ve a thing for shelves.

They really should ban flip-flops in the reference library. Nothing more distracting than listening to piak! piak! –pause- piak! piak! –pause- piak! piak! piak! piak! piak! in the silence of the library. I also don’t understand how some girls can wear hot pants with woolly sweaters in sub-zero library temperatures. Their genes must have evolved to involve widespread numbing of sensation in their legs (which would be nice when it gets so cold, my nose drips a monsoon). A side effect must also include auditory impairment, since they can’t hear how loud their flip flops can get. That’s what flip flops do, right?

They flip, and they flop. Flop flop.



hutan di bhutan March 17, 2008

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 8:09 pm
Tags: , , , ,

since my last blog post below – i’ve been doing nothing less than tearing through days at speeds greater than any i’ve personally known. i don’t think i’ve ever been this diligent. and i’m sure i’m paying for years of sloth now.
but i’m thankful for it.

the day i was to go to the museum with Eds, i was called in for an interview (at an extremely short notice). i changed out of my cargo pants, into a dress i hadn’t worn in 5 years, got interviewed, went about my day cos they wanted to interview more people, then lo and behold, by afternoon, i was gainfully employed.

and then i wondered to myself – not the first logical worry that should come to mind (how can i study and work?) – how do i appear for work on Monday in clothes i hadn’t fit in for years?

and before i knew it, i was sucked into a vortex of work, assignments and classes that i never imagined possible. 10 classes in a row, including weekends was a bit much. even God rested on the 7th day, i wailed repeatedly. a few weeks ago, i worried if this life has turned into a blackhole, – if i’ll forget my friends, my family, my baking, my travels, my pictures, my words – swallowing anything that meant everything to me.

but i know it hasn’t turned into a blackhole.

they’re just chilling out in the backseat. for now. for the next three years.

and i am thankful for the friends in my life. my life would not shine so bright without them.

Ravi and i saw a documentary on Bhutan several days ago and were intrigued. a Gross National Happiness index instead of the GDP? how inventive is that! (either inventive or escapist, whichever way one looks at it.) the King of Bhutan was so concerned about preserving the country’s culture and centuries-old way of life, he restricted tourist numbers to Bhutan. to about 21,000.

first time i saw anything related to Bhutan was Tiger’s Nest monastery, in a magical photograph i stumbled across online several years ago.

and again, a few nights ago, we saw Tiger’s Nest monastery on television. we got excited.

i got so excited, i wrote in to the tourism board of Bhutan, begging to be part of the selected few allowed into Bhutan annually. we knew it was going to be expensive – we just didn’t know how expensive.

it so happens that NatGeo’s got a spread on Bhutan in this month’s issue – i choked on my saliva in bed when i read that tourists to Bhutan have to pay daily taxes of USD240 per person.

USD240 per person per day.

mm, other than sounding like several Swedish names in a row, it sounds like a trip which might actually include my selling a kidney or two.  i jumped out of bed and ran to Ravi (who’s quite the sexy househusband these days, ironing and all), “RAVI! WEHAVETOPAYTAXESOFTWOHUNDREDFORTYDOLLARSPERDAYPERPERSONINBHUTAN!”

to which he sleepily turned around and concernedly asked, “hmmmm?”

oh Bhutan, i know you don’t want backpackers – i promise to bring bags on wheels – but please, USD240 per person per day? sigh. i sure hope the rich leave Bhutan with more than just a trinket in their pockets.


i happen to love bananas November 22, 2007

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 12:09 am
Tags: , , , ,

okay, dali, seriously, what the fuck? get out of yer lame —huuummmm— limbo and write something!

to be quite honest, the reason i haven’t finished talking about our adventure in Jordan and Egypt is because … here it comes … we’ve lost one of our luggages in the move from Dubai to Singapore.

a luggage with my guidebook, my notes on the holiday, the pamphlets and ticket stubs, emails of people we met i had promised to send pictures to, a hastily packed plastic bag of mud from the Dead Sea that we stole, a book of lithographs by David Roberts of Egypt in the 1800s that i bargained so hard for at the Luxor Museum, a bunch of shawls we haggled an hour over in the market at Luxor, a book on Sufism we bought at a stylish bookstore in Zamalek, Cairo which i loved so much that i begged Ravi to find suitable employment in Egypt which would not involve bending over with one’s pants down in the alleyways of Cairo’s markets.

i’m quite heartbroken, but i am still trying to describe each photograph i will post as accurately as possible with an old guide.

it was a good day today although it started out with a cacophony of noisy heels clumsily descending on the steps next to our bedroom wall, the karang guni man’s airhorn and the stupid mats’ motorbikes.

we’ve moved into a small 4-room flat in the west of Singapore, and if not for the cheap rent, i’d have a string of complaints burned into the agent’s door. i’ve never lived in the west of Singapore (save for that 2 month stint on Holland Road till we grew brains and left), having lived in Tampines, Katong, Telok Kurau, Pasir Ris and finally River Valley. i maintain and am now absolutely convinced that the east and south of Singapore are the best places to live in.

what we had not considered when we took this flat is that our bedroom is located next to the main staircase that serves at least 3 sets of families up to the 6th floor. this means that at least 15 families use this staircase to descend into the bowels of Singapore’s heartlands to break bread with pajama-clad aunties pulling rusty market trolleys across the neighbourhood basketball court.

i cannot begin to explain how this has led to my inevitable desire to bite somebody’s nose or ankles off in the mornings. i am a light sleeper, save for the rare night i’m knocked out cold and snore and snort louder than a certain pug i am in love with. i’ve heard of how new mothers who were previously dead-dog sleepers became light sleepers after they gave birth, always paranoid that they couldn’t hear their babies breathing on the baby monitors or convinced they’d hear someone climb through their window and steal their baby to make voodoo soup.

i can’t say i’m looking forward to that because if that’s the case, i might as well sleep with my eyes wide open like a freaking goldfish.

i am not even pregnant and i hear e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

i can hear when the neighbour upstairs goes to the toilet, i can hear when children of imbeciles attempt to hop down a block of stairs in one jump (every violent landing knocks several points of their IQ, i am sure, hence rendering certain heartland sprouts stupider and stupider by the day), i can hear when at least 5 female neighbours are not able to walk down in heels gracefully, i can hear when the pakcik 2 doors down decides to sing karaoke after his night shift, i can hear when the ah pek 3 floors up listens to Chinese music from the 50s as loudly as a deaf, old ah pek can afford.

i can hear ALL THESE while still participating fully in my dreams.

like as though my dreams are not fucked up on their own already, i’ve to have all these distractions to add multi-dimensional distortions to my convoluted dreams.

which reminds me – i forgot to get me earplugs today. instead, i got myself japanese made cream puffs and macaroons from Carousel. i am what one can sharply describe as not focused.

which means that tomorrow morning, i’ll jolt abruptly from sleep at least 15x from 0600-0900 and wake up absolutely exhausted like as though i really did run or fly as i did in my dreams.

i’ve just finished reading Rupert Everett’s autobiography “Red Carpet and Other Banana Skins”. i must say that this is one of the most delicious books i’ve read. Rupert writes as smoothly as KY spreads over an erect penis. at times, i found it difficult to get through chapters when he threw in names of industry movers and shakers in multiples. i got confused between John and Jane and Jim. i am, after all, one of those mindless movie goers who says “i want to marry optimus prime” after watching Transformers without even knowing the voice behind the machine.

at times, i had to bite down on my tongue in the train so as not to scare fellow passengers from my yelps of hysteria because Rupert Everett really is that funny and self-deprecating. and at least once, i sobbed uncontrollably in bed.

i’d always thought Rupert Everett was straight, or at most, bisexual, and i was most disappointed to find out that he is very gay (although he did have affairs with Paula Yates and some goth looking french chick called Beatrice). this does not mean, however, that if i were to spot him in a bar, that i would not feign ignorance of his celeb status and shamelessly throw myself at him.

one must try.

as Sheela so cleverly described, Rupert Everett is dreamy.

yes, he really is. when i reached the end of the book, i found i was a little sad, as i usually am after completing a good book.

more, Rupi, i want more.

don’t stop talking to me.

(yes, one must have grandiose visions of a famous drop-dead, dreamy hunk talking to them one-on-one sometimes.)

reading the book felt like listening to Rupert Everett talking to you over a table by some poolside where dead bugs and leaves float adrift while he smokes his millionth cigarette and idly rolls his 3rd joint while you reach desperately for the Ventolin inhaler in your purse.

oh Rupert, won’t you please come to Singapore? i promise to cook you some sweet and sour fish.


november rain April 22, 2007

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 4:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

i’ve been tagged by bigmista! 10 gotta-get-goals, originated here. *crumbles under pressure* somehow, this feels like a chain-letter adapted for web logs. except no one’s gonna die if you don’t do it it, and you ain’t gonna win $1,000,000 if you do.

10. jam in a bar. no, really. i love singing. this terrifies me the most, so it’s number 10.

9. play the violin before i lose more functions in my right hand.

8. visit at least 15 places on my To Visit Before I Die list.

7. have 3 kids, although Ravi only wants 2. i’ll just have 2 with him and the 3rd with Eric Bana. put a cap on dysfunction when Ravi and i have these kids. i promise i’ll try not to emotionally blackmail my kids or overwhelm them with The 10 Shades of Guilt. teach them that most of what “they” say doesn’t matter, as Goethe had said, “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” that it’s not about negotiating, it’s about convincing why you’re worth that much. that you can’t keep taking, you gotta give back. that you are what you eat. that some animals have the propensity to feel, no matter what people claim. that animals are put on Earth to feed humans and i’ll smack ’em if they don’t eat/doggie bag every morsel on the plate. that no matter how much it hurts, you cannot stop believing in love. that humanity extends beyond humans (don’t turn this into a vegan issue). that being a loyal friend is important no matter how much you get on each other’s nerves. that if you bite, it will bite you back someday. that after you’ve retched, screamed, scratched, yelled and spat on your parents, you’d be embarrassed 10 years later and realise your parents were right, so try not to scream too loudly so you won’t have to dig a deeper hole to stuff your head into.

6. open that shop. that we wanna open. you know, that shop. everyone has a shop, cafe or restaurant they wanna open. we have ours.

5. finish something i’ve started, like embroidering and Women in Love by DH Lawrence. and be impeccably fluent in a 3rd and 4th language. like French and Arabic. and while i’m at that, find out what “verb”, “adverb”, “infinitive” etc. mean, cos 20 years after my official education started, i only know what “noun” and “adjective” mean.

4. health and financial soundness. you know, the usual life goals that would be nice to have.

3. eradicate my ignorance and practise a little more temperance.

2. convince Ravi that cats are not the enemy, that we can live with one without acting like a moron. that fur in your curry doesn’t kill.

1. die with Ravi in the same exact moment. because i don’t think i could make it without him.

seeing how this goal is practically unattainable unless both Ravi and i fall off the same roof in the same instant, i’d relegate this to my Fantasies list and list another goal.

1. die before i’m old.

ok, also relegated to Fantasies list.

1. change the world. one heart at a time. because even if you’ve managed to win one heart over, you’ve already changed one world and that, inevitably, changes others.

stop throwing tomatoes at me. am tagging thegrouch cos i love torturing her.

am off to Mina Bazaar. i love Regina Spektor’s “On The Radio”, it moves me. these are my favourite bits.

You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again

While we were on our knees
Praying that disease
Would leave the ones we love
And never come again

On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo’s really long
But it’s a pretty song

yes, it’s a real pretty song.