Thank you, Cloudee.

For showing me the true meaning of love and courage.
Even in the final days of your life.
You held on so strong. So strong.
Stronger than any man can, you little thing.
And I'm glad you made it into her arms that night.

We'll miss you lots, you brave little furball.
Every birthday. Every Mooncake festival. Every Chinese New Year.
So rest in peace now, sunflower!


Cloudee was my aunt's dearest baby. Faithful, loyal and ever so friendly, she was easily one of the most loved members of the family. It came as a huge shock to us when she got ran over by a car - a day after my aunt left for Phuket. Severely injured, Cloudee was immediately sent to the vet. In critical condition, she battled hard and strong for a good few days to catch a final glimpse of my aunt, who returned a few days later. Cloudee died in her arms that very day.

"Our beloved pets often greet us on the other side. Love is eternal and exists in all species. We are always being reunited with them."

- Dr Brian Weiss


Five Six Lemonades!

Sometimes, you've got to make an effort to restore a little zest back into life.
Sometimes, you chance upon it. And you grab it right by the collar and say,

"Let's do this."

Here's the back story to my silly introduction.
And I hope you can learn something from it.

I had put aside quite a lot of my usual pastimes when I started working. I got lazier day by day; less motivated, even. I would rather spend whatever time I had on my hands shopping, stuffing my mouth with pork, watching reruns of Glee - or well, just sleep.

And it wasn't healthy.

Pastimes such as art, football and dance were integral parts of my life. They made me happy (and less fat too, I might add). But other things became more important. I tried to revisit them time and again, but to no avail. I was stuck in a vicious cycle (probably self-inflicted) that seemed determined to not let me get my life back together again. I couldn't give myself the license to commit to anything else.

Then, it was as if my body got really mad at me and decided to take matters into its own hands. It shut down. And I was bloody well diagnosed with Bell's Palsy.

Ironically, the day after I attended my first dance class in a long, long time.

That incident felt like a horrible setback, but it gave me time forced me to rethink my life. To take a breather, and just see what I've been doing wrong the past year and a half. (Being immobilised for two hours in bed weekly with a face full of needles makes you do just that. Oh, and friends - you can not forget the friends!)

Spending Friday nights as a pincushion.

I decided that I absolutely have to start living life again. I have to be healthy. Not just physically- but mentally. I have to get a move on. JUST DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME HAPPY, DAMN IT, and it better not be just another quick fix of retail therapy. It was something right out of a chick-flick movie, like when Rebecca Bloomwood kicked her...

Well, the point is - I did.

Upon recovery two months later, I returned to DanceFit. It wasn't as rigorous as the old Sunday morning Jazz, but it was a step in the right direction. But that wasn't enough. There was something else I missed - and I couldn't quite put a finger on what it was exactly. It wasn't competition, because I didn't feel up for it. I've always lacked the self-discipline, and it wasn't really my thing...

Till Lionel approached me with the idea of gathering a group of swing dancers to perform a California Routine at Outcast Studio's 2nd Dance Recital. And I immediately said yes.

The group was made of Lionel, JoJo, Chih Ian, Grace, Shawn, Vivian, no.4, and I.

Most of us had to learn the routine from scratch, but here's the thing about performing as a group. It can be REALLY fun. You support each other, you help each other improve and most importantly - you feed off each others' energy.

And this group was more than just that. They were AWESOME.

Another late night practice at Studio Akarkarya.

The group made such incredible progress in such short period of time (a month!), that a handful of practice sessions later - we were officially ready for the stage.

Marking our spots during the full-dress rehearsal.

Swing out in the spotlights!

That 2 minutes 33 seconds on the stage was just incredible. Everyone gave their all. I remember walking off the stage feeling my throat burning real badly (Lino's water bottle pulled a Houdini on me), and I knew that we had set the stage on fire.

The sight of people you don't know whipping out their cameras to film you dance, the sound of their applause, and the smile on their faces - it's just magical.

That's when I realised that I've chanced upon something that might just bring some light back into my life.

And as the saying goes,

When life throws you lemons, make lemonades.

It was Five Six Lemonades.

UPDATE: And here's a video of the performance! :)


Pic credits : Stanley Tiang, Jeff Lee, Nabihan and Lionel Tan


Burgers & Branding

Just the other day, I was stuck a good three hours ahead of a football game at the national stadium. And like any starving Malaysian would, I got myself a Ramly burger from the many stalls set up.

I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into a juicy and succulent patty, wedged in between two lightly buttered and toasted buns, with a good crunch of shredded lettuce and onions, topped with a generous dose of chili and mayo (oh, the product romance!).

And so, I hastily unwrapped it from its trademark wrapper, and took a good bite out of it.

Only to discover.... read more


This is only a short excerpt from my latest article for The Bullet, inspired by my very first encounter with nasty stadium food. Read the full write-up here!

I'm however glad to report the finding of a genuine Ramly burger stall on a more recent trip to Bukit Jalil. Hip-hip hooray to little discoveries!


Something for the Jaded Soul

When times are hard and you've lost sight of who you are - don't worry. Don't beat yourself up over it. It happens. And don't try to justify the situation either. You don't have to.

Give yourself the chance to wallow in the sweet misery.
Acknowledge it. Face it. Get to know it. Embrace it, even. There's no shame in that.

Then, take a deep breath and move on.

To better things or a changed perspective - you decide.