Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Last night, we had another writers' briefing cum dharma talk from H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. We started around 8 and ended at 2a.m. - a bit like a half day at work, but what amazing revelations! Sprinkled amidst explanations about Buddhist items such as singing bowls and scripture holders were gems of wisdom and Buddhist dharma.

TR talked about emptiness - what is the realization of emptiness? It is the awareness that everything is a projection of our self centred mind. All karma is due to projections of a dualistic mind. When you stop these projections, you stop acting on projections, and you can break out of samsara. No more rebirth. Talk about mind blowing. Wow. The difficult thing is to distinguish between understanding, which is a passive intellectual exercise and realization, which is an active one.

However, while realization will bring you out of samsara, it will not necessarily bring you to enlightenment. Wow. I wanted to talk to Webby more about what we learned last night but Webby had an early morning meeting so we just chatted for a short while and went to sleep. So much for realization.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha

Watched the charity premiere of "Memoirs of a Geisha" last night. Lovely Wills had been so kind to have bought tickets for Daph, Cookie, B, Webby and I. Unfortunately, Daph took an MC, and Webby didn't make it since she was sick. I asked Pyng and Sheryl, but they had already seen it, then Kim, who didn't reply my sms, and Serina, who agreed to come, then at the last minute couldn't, so I happened to bump into Pat online, who fortunately was free and said yes! Wills and I were wondering if there was going to be a bomb at KLCC or something since it was a bit disconcerting that there were so many obstacles! In the end we still had one spare ticket.

Pity Webby couldn't come, as she was really looking forward to it. She missed a fabulous film. I heard it was panned by critics but I simply loved it for its sheer visual feast! The plot and sub plots were okay, but how simply wonderful to watch Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Datuk Michelle Yeoh in beautiful settings for 2 hrs and 16 minutes. After the movie, Pat, Wills and I were musing over if given the choice, which woman we would love to have out for dinner. I still can't decide. All I can say is I can't wait for the DVD - legitimite one with all the commentary etc!

Thanks for the Memoirs, Wills!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

First Weekend of the Year

The first weekend of the year absolutely flew by.. Dinner on Friday night was with Webby (of course), Cookie, Faery, Fandy, Blurkids and James at The Ship, then we proceeded to my favoritest hang out, Captain's Cabin! We were meant to have around 20 people - but at the last minute, we were ffk-ed by more than half of our expected numbers.. 13 people cancelled: Gary, Bibs, Anita, Suja, Tilak, GL, Kim, JB + family. How fortunate that Cookie had invited her motley crew.. otherwise it would've been a pitifully small group for Captain's Cabin. Later, Sonny and 'Susan' turned up.. and Pyng and Serina too... so we were a respectable number in the end! Unfortunately Webby must have eaten a nasty oyster, which took its revenge by making her nauseous.. along with the smoky environment, we had a pretty unhappy Webby. I didn't improve things by freezing up since I didn't know how to make her feel better. I forgot the golden rule of empathy rather than simply problem solving. Oh well.

Late night out meant late rising on Saturday.. we woke up in time for lunch with Cookie and GL at Esquire Kitchen and then we had to dash off for our Dharma marathon session at 3 p.m., leaving GL to take Cookie home. The session started around 4 and broke for an hour and a half at 6.30 for dinner, when Faery, Webby and I ran off to Champs. Shirley surprised us by turning up for the second session. Almost twelve hours after we stepped into Damekhang, we finally left for home. Amazingly enough, I did not have a single bored moment.. though the huge amount of information was a bit too much to absorb towards the end, TR was as interesting and entertaining as always - somehow making dharma easily understood and applicable to my monkey mind! Until the next session!

Came home and saw our empty sofa... no Cookie :( But she left a sweet card for us in my laptop (how did she know I would look at my laptop when I got back, I wonder).

Another late night, another late morning.. woke up in time for lunch with Gary, Bibah, Hanis and Isaac at Chilis. Was lovely to see them and catch up before they left for Brunei. After that we had to run off to DMK to drop off keys for KMT then off to 1U for Webby's wall climbing class. Shirley surprised us again by dropping by and we went off for dinner at Cravings.

I can't believe that the weekend is over already.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Cookie's cast is off!

Took Cookie to run errands yesterday - went to her office, went to her GP (though we didn't actually see her since she was reportedly on her mobile phone and after waiting about 15 mins we decided to leave), went to the bank and finally to GH - to see Dr. G. I dropped Cookie off at A&E, but wasn't allowed to park anywhere near. The public car park was a good 15 minute sprint to A&E so I called Cookie to tell her I'd simply wait in the car until she was ready. When I picked her up an hour and a chapter of my book later, she had gotten rid of her cast - yay - she can now party! We got home about 6.20 p.m. and darling Webby had cooked a splendid Mexican meal - chicken tortillas with cheese... mouthwateringly delicious - especially as I was pretty hungry. After stuffing my face, Webby and I dashed off to play badminton with Pyng, Pik Choo, Anita and Suja. Had a great time as usual.. I do love the game. Hope Cookie can join us soon sans bum leg!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Quiet start to the New Year

Last night we had a farewell dinner for Webby's parents and Blurkids Simon came back with small fry's computer, so he stayed for dinner. Webby made linguine with funghi and sundried tomatoes while I, the eternal carnivore, roasted a chicken. After dinner, we put away the table extensions until the next time.

This morning, Webby's parents left around 9a.m., Webby went to work, and small fry went to school.

The house seems suddenly so empty.

Only cookie and her bum leg and I in the living room and Umi hiding somewhere in the back.

Such a quiet start to the year.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Webby's Birthday and New Year's Eve

Webby's birthday falls on 31 December so every New Year's Eve tends to be even more festive than usual. On her birthday eve, we went to Captain's Cabin with Weni - met poor feverish Simon there, GL, Jasbir and her gorgeous children. We had an absolute blast as Susan was prime target for the divas and even the band since it was her birthday!

This year Webby got a pair of wings for her birthday from Cookie, who hobbled up a flight of steps to take us to a wondrous little shop full of wigs and masks! I'm not sure what Webby's parents thought about her wings but her dad actually tried them on! Webby's mom cooked yummy noodles for New Year's Eve and we had a few friends over for drinks - Anna and Carol, Debbie and Wei Lin, Faery and Fandy and of course Cookie, who had been involuntarily installed in our house since she was immobile. Serina even dropped by which was really sweet of her. Weni turned up for a flying visit which was great - especially as she already turned up the night before.

It is always so nice to have friends old and new at New Year's. For Auld Lang Syne indeed...

The Saga of Cookie's leg

Cookie has been having a bit of a bum Christmas. She was playing badminton with us on Christmas day and pulled a muscle in her calf. We decided she should come and stay with us to recuperate since she couldn't walk properly. Poor thing only had the couch downstairs because it would be more difficult to negotiate the stairs everyday. At least downstairs there was a toilet and the kitchen, and the front door, outside of which she could have a fag! As opposed to proper bed and shower upstairs. Hmm what a choice. Anyway, her leg got briefly better after a tortuous trip to a chinese doctor. Her foot could go flat on the ground after that. But somehow her leg started to swell a couple of days later. Maybe it was because we took her for a walk to BSC for lunch at Esquire Kitchen.

Anyway,on New Year's eve - or rather on New Year's day because it was already 1a.m. by then, we thought we should take her to the hospital.

Fanda, Webby and I drove to Pantai Hospital, which was our nearest A&E. The doctor there suggested that Cookie be admitted for tests. He suggested an x-ray and when she was admitted, the orthopedic surgeon would come and take a look at her. Cookie didn't want to be admitted but since the doctor advised it, we thought that it would be a good idea to get it checked out properly. Being admitted, she would also get immediate attention from the Orth (sounds like some creature from Lord of the Rings, doesn't it), rather than wait til Tuesday for his clinic. Fanda kindly put his credit card down for a 3K deposit, but got a bit upset with the admissions nurse, who wanted him to basically underwrite all costs for Cookie. The admissions nurse didn't explain what costs were incurred and was rather rude. Maybe she was pissed off that she had to work on New Year's day. But there is no excuse for rudeness. Cookie and I were secretly rather impressed with his putting his foot down. Our chivalrous knight in shining jacket!

Anyway, while Fanda fought with the admission process, Webby and I went home to collect Cookie's stuff. We returned to the hospital, passed her her bag and cookie monster, said our farewells, promised to visit in the morning and left. We dropped Fanda at KL Sentral and went home. Just as we drove up to our house, Cookie rang to say that actually we could come and pick her up because she was checking out. The Orth appeared and said that she needed an MRI and that wasn't available until Thursday so she might as well go home til then.

So we went back to the hospital to pick her up. An x-ray, one pair of crutches and about RM500 later, we managed to leave. By the time we got home, it was already past 4 a.m. We finally slept around 5. It was a rather novel way to bring in the new year!