web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: February 2006
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Thursday, February 23, 2006
Between Nigella and Salmonella

This is inspired by my sister's post. She might feel guilty for letting her kids eat instant noodles out of a trough, but listen, she's a better mother than I would ever be. Well, the idea was to improve on that once I get to Jakarta, but reading Elisa's entry made me realise that there is going to be a shortfall between my romantic notions of June Cleaver proportions and what would actually take place in the Saiffuddin household. Here are some scenarios that would probably have my husband vigorously nodding his head :

As a stay-at-home mum, I'll make sure the kids get a wholesome breakfast, with an extra dose of hugs and kisses before I bundle them off to school

They'd be lining up by my bedside at 7.30 as I rummage through my purse for their lunch money, still half asleep

To compensate for all the years that I have put career before kids, my children will now have my undivided attention

Will you please shut up because I'm watching American Idol.

To reflect my eclectic style and good taste, my house will be decorated in what I'll call Asian shabby chic : Jepara furniture, home-sewn batik cushions in pink and orange, flea market chandeliers, lots of orchids

Three months on, we'd still be fishing out clothes and crockery from crates and boxes.

Every day, I will master a new recipe

Every day, we will try a new take-out.

Since his office is just 5 minutes away, my husband will come home for lunch, which I will cook, of course.

Since his office is just 5 minutes away, I'd go and see him for lunch -- if I manage to get out of bed, of course.

With all that time on my hands, I will write my first novel

With all that time on my hands, I will go shopping

I'll really take care of myself : daily exercise, weekly lulur and hair treatments, milk bath every fortnight

There will be days when I'll forget to shower

I'll finally manage my household, and re-emerge as Bree Van der Kamp

Nothing works without Kak Ti.



Sorry Limewire, my new favourite website is this. Now, if only we can have a local server with local applications doing the same thing. Looks like a job for Super SS.

Oh, why do I love Rufus Wainwright so much? This one's for my new young friend, Ali Mc Graw. And of course, you too lah!

cigarettes and chocolate milk
these are just a couple of my cravings
everything it seems i like's a little bit stronger
a little bit thicker
a little bit harmful for me

if i should buy jellybeans
have to eat them all in just one sitting
everything it seems i like's a little bit sweeter
a little bit fatter
a little bit harmful for me

and then there's those other things
which for several reasons we won't mention
everything about them is a little bit stranger
a little bit harder
a little bit deadly

it isn't very smart
tends to make one part so broken-hearted

sitting here remembering me
always been a shoe made for the city
go ahead, accuse me of just singing about places
with scrappy boys faces
have general run of the town
playing with prodigal songs
takes a lot of sentimental valiums
can't expect the world to be your raggedy andy
while running on empty
you little old doll with a frown

you got to keep in the game
maintaining mystique while facing forward
i suggest a reading of 'a lesson in tightropes'
or 'surfing your high hopes' or 'adios kansas'

it isn't very smart
tends to make one part so broken-hearted

still there's not a show on my back
holes or a friendly intervention
i'm just a little bit heiress, a little bit irish
a little bit tower of pisa whenever i see you
so please be kind if i'm a mess
cigarettes and chocolate milk


Monday, February 20, 2006
Lost In Transition

Coming next month : changes.

The company we have built (rather weakly, much like the second pig) will no longer exist as we know it. Suhaimi, Kamarul and I could go on, for the eternal optimists that we all are, the big break seems always just around the corner. And because we're not ambitious, the small breaks have always seen us through. But opportunities, and threats, have caused us to take a momentary retreat. Lily remarked that the company is not winding up, but merely cryogenically frozen, although my husband did say that for you to be cryogenically frozen, first you'll need to die, and second, you'd have to put your faith in technology. Which is pretty much right.

Nonetheless, I think we're going off to do better things : Suhaimi has been picked for a plum position at a telco; and he's dragging Kamarul along. Although my husband thinks I'm the one getting the worst deal -- I get to be a housewife in Jakarta, ho hum -- I'm looking forward to a fresh start. My husband and I have found a modest 1940's cottage in the leafy suburb of Menteng, and I have gleefully drafted a furniture wish-list for every room. The plan is to be a stay-at-home mum for a while, maybe write a little, or go back to school, or sell nasi lemak, or sell 3G content, who knows? Sooner or later the kids would test the limits of my parenting skills (which is not considerable) and I would need to finance my shopping habit (which is considerable); so I don't think "a while" will last very long.

In the meantime, the whole company is in a place that's in between. We haven't done anything productive for weeks, just lolling about trawling the Net, forgetting to pay bills, forgetting to bathe even. We don't come to work until it's almost noon, because we tell ourselves there's a hantu in the office. Everyday, we think of an excuse for an excursion -- cuci mata in Sri Hartamas, chowing down at Pinang Masak in Bukit Tunku, getting lost in Borders or Kinokuniya, or indulging in nasi lemak at Kak Limah's in Chow Kit. It's almost like we want to postpone the inevitable.

But it is The End, at least for this part of our story, and I will miss all this tremendously. At the close of the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clementine turns to Joel, at what must have been the saddest point in the film :

Clementine : This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon.
Joel : I know.
Clementine : : What do we do?
Joel : Enjoy it.

And that's exactly what we're doing.


Friday, February 17, 2006
Four to the Floor

Haiyaaah, tagged again. Never could hope that my list would be as funny as my sister in law's or as urbane as her husband's, but here goes :

Four Jobs I've Had
At age 16, Stringer for RTM
DJ at a respectable ballroom dancing hang-out. On good nights you'd have seen me and Sheila do the mambo!
Business Editor, Newscaster, Senior Producer
Sex Goddess (I still have this job)

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
(you mean apart from The English Patient and To Kill a Mockingbird, kan?)
The Shawshank Redemption
Janji Joni
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Prelude to a Kiss (I love this small movie!)

There are lots of movies that I'd probably like to see again, but probably won't, because they're painful to watch, like the The Usual Suspects or Farewell to My Concubine. Or PGL (You know I'm kidding, right?)

Small diversion : My husband and I saw Realita Cinta dan Rock and Roll, the other day -- an aimless Indonesian film which is nevertheless dripping with homoerotic subtext and very comel boys, apart from a really hot (and chainsmoking) Nadine Chandrawinata. Recommended if you like young men in tight jeans and no T shirt. (I used to like, sigh)

Four Places I Have Lived
Teacher's Quarters at Sekolah Tengku Ampuan Intan, Kuala Berang, Terengganu
Kuantan (sigh)
294, Essex Street, Footscray, Melbourne
Apparently, the very cruisy Senen in Jakarta

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
In Mesia :
CSI, but only Vegas and New York.
The Jeff Corwin Experience
Anything with Jamie Oliver in it
and right now, my current pedestrian obsession : Amrikan Idol!!

Ya, I love Mythbusters, too but I forget what day it's on. (It was yesterday, right? It clashes with Amrikan Idol, la dude).

In Indonesia
Dorce -- Dorce is Indonesia's answer to Oprah -- except that she's louder, has a predilection for dangdut dancing, swishy clothes and high heels, and is, I have to mention, a guy.
Ceriwis -- an afternoon talkshow that is so funny you forgive them for blatantly shoving products.
Ajang Boy Band -- an ongoing contest where a group of young men sing and dance to an audience of screaming girls and gets judged by three errr, slightly older women. Is that a female fantasy or what? Oh yeah, could be a gay fantasy, too.
MTV Indonesia

Four Places I have Been on Vacation (and would like to return to)
Wonderful, nostalgic Melbourne
Wonderful, nostalgic Merang
Kyoto, Japan
Cedar Rapids, Iowa or New York, New York (either way, I could get shot)

Four of My Favourite Dishes
My mother's Nasi Dagang
My Linguine Puttanesca (tapi malangnya, I don't get to eat this very often. Malas)
My kids' Churros
Buah Bung or any other kueh bought at daybreak at the traditional Pasar Maras, while in your pyjamas.

(Actually I also love my late mother in law's peerless Asam Pedas, but I can never taste that ever again no matter how hard I try to reproduce the dish)

Four Websites I Visit Daily
The Blogs of friends and family
Islam Online
and at the moment : TelevisonWithoutPity (told ya I'm pedestrian)

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
In Terengganu with my family; doing Terengganu things, speaking Terengganu and eating Terengganu things.
Idtje Spa, getting worked on by three women
12A, Jalan Sutan Syahrir, Menteng, Jakarta (my new home, yaay!)
On My Husband

I'm not tagging anyone, so leceh lah. And you get so dissapointed when they don't actually compile a list. But you know, I'd really like to see my Dad's answers, if he has the time.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006
What Did St Valentine Die For?

That foxy lady from the Black Eyed Peas was right : where is the love? When you read the papers in the morning, or when you watch TV at night, don't you wish you lived in simpler times? Sometimes, I think the world can't be saved anymore -- everything you see is a sleight of hand designed to hide something rotten. All you can do is add your voice to the cry, and fall back and just manage whatever is within your power to manage. By God, hearts are burning. I just wonder, are all those angry people we see on the news, genuinely fighting for Islam, or were they paid to march and shout and burn just for the cameras? Do all the white people vehemently claiming their stake to freedom of speech really believe it exists, or where they, too, paid to provoke? Who knows, anymore? This chaos, this widening schism between Muslims and the rest of the world clearly benefits someone; and I honestly doubt it has anything to do with religion or faith or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Selamat Hali Cinta

Thank you Miss Stickinsect, for sending me that lovely, lovely sms with the hearts and stuff. Bless you, for that was the only valentine I received this year. I hope Mr Mooze will treat you extra special tonight, whatever that may connote.

If you ask me, I would tell you that 14th February is nothing more than a day when florists and gift shops and under-lit, expensive restaurants can make enough money to offset their otherwise slow business for the rest of the year. It's a ploy, people, a clever ploy to get women and gay men to pressure their significant others into equating the magnitude of love with the magnitude of spending.

Having said that, I would still sulk if I don't get anything. Of course, are you kidding? Don't you love me, anymore? My husband sent me an email yesterday, which I reproduce here in part :

It's Valentine's day tomorrow. I saw over the weekend
on V channel what not to buy for Valentine's. No.1 no
skimpy lacy bedtime clothes, no toiletries, no kitchen
equipment no clothes/dresses. Basically no fun for me
and no practical items. They only tell you what not to
buy. Basically it leaves only pets, chocolates, flowers,
car, and jewelery (is that how you spell it).

Digital compas and GPS navigational equipment is still
Let's just ignore the fact that he can't spell for a moment, and focus on the substance of the paragraph. My husband's gift buying history has been a series of hits and misses. Once he bought me a lovely ikat shawl in taupe, black and gold, which I greatly treasure; another time he bought me a bulky and orange nike watch, which I promptly lost. So what do you suppose he will get me this time?

For all it's worth, Happy Valentine's Day, to all you dewy eyed lovebirds out there, Vacancy sign notwithstanding. My husband, and the navigational equipment, will only arrive next week.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

There's a good looking Italian man in my husband's office building in Jakarta, and I often see him enjoying a cigarette, near the elevator vestibule, in the afternoons. He is a lanky gentleman, with pale blue eyes and dark wavy hair that's a little too long to be called conservative. It's totally not PC, but I have a thing for certain men who can make cigarette smoking look absolutely sensuous. It's the fingers and the lips and the blowing, I guess.

My husband teases me about the Italian man everytime we bump into him, even though I explain I am simply a forward party for my gay friends. It's a lie, of course, but I honestly have no interest in the Latino beyond just looking from a safe distance. I'm quite happy with Saiffuddin, who can look Aryan on good days, and luckily, he looks gorgeous smoking a cigarette, too. (Which is probably where I developed the penchant, in the first place)

Yesterday was my last day in the city; and at lunchtime, as we were waiting for the lifts, the Italian man was in close enough proximity for him to see us. My husband whispered that this was my chance, go on, go speak to him and I was going, don't be ridiculous and would you please shut up. Saiffuddin was grinning like mad and giving the guy a sideway glance; like this was a scene where a girl and her best friend bumps into a heart-throb. Unfortunately, the guy noticed, and he noticed my husband grinning, and misread the signals. He had a half smile, and gave Saiffuddin what I thought was The Look, and I had forgotten, in this day and age, how quickly signals can be bounced off and returned. He glanced at my husband again, as we stepped into the lift, as though waiting for the code to be deciphered and answered. I was terribly amused.

I'm here in Kuala Lumpur now. I hope, back in Jakarta, my husband hasn't developed a fishing hobby and has found someone to go angling with.