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03/01 Direct Link
Comfort food are called comfort food for a good reason. Warm, delicious and usually simple to make - these food evoke warm memories of home, good company and, as the term implies, instant comfort for the times when you are feeling down from the blues of the flu. Just imagine all your favourite food for a moment. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Macaroni and cheese. Herbal chicken soup. ABC soup. Teo Chew style porridge. Ice cream. Apple pie. Dumplings. Spaghetti. Pork stew. Wantan mee. Spinach soup. Scrambled egg and baked beans. Kenny Rogers vanilla muffins. Pancakes. Waffles. Popiah...
Oh man, now I'm hungry.
03/02 Direct Link
Who knew orange flavoured baked goods could be so tedious? Although half the problem is probably from the lack of proper utensils like a whisk (so that the zest don't get stuck together) and a food processor (to juice and speed things up). Still, squeezing for the juice by hand was too much trouble to be worth it. Also, I'm gonna try baking banana bread the next time round. When I get my own oven, I can graduate to making bread and pastries. Thinking of all the fresh bread, baguettes and croissants I could have from then on - simply delightful!
03/03 Direct Link
She unlocked the door with a click and flipped the switch light. The sight that greeted her made her faint with shock. What was a neat and tidy living room this morning looked like something out of a horror movie set. She trudged through the mess in a daze and flopped down on the couch. Surveying the room, a whimper worked its way up her throat. Her mind longed to get up and start cleaning the mess. Her body was reluctant to leave the cosy comfort of the couch. What is a girl to do with the mess created by a house-mate?
03/04 Direct Link
There is a certain madness in frustration. It is the little things that needles him. The greasy floor. Unwashed crockery in the sink. Overflowing trash-bin. If it were not for the consequences - like disposing of the body, explaining to the neighbours or cops, etc. - he would have gladly wrap his more than able hands around her neck and squeeze the life out of her. There is a certain virtue in patience. At the moment, what little he had is fast disappearing like water flushing down the drain. Oh, what he would give to throw his temper like an eight year old.
03/05 Direct Link
My kitchen adventures in the baking category are more like therapy nowadays. Though therapy for what exactly, I'm not sure of the answer myself. At the rate I'm going, I probably will have to start giving away said baked goods to people if I keep this up. I doubt my family could finish them before they go bad because while I like baking, I don't like eating all that much. Made soft baked oatmeal cookies with hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, normal pumpkin seeds and yellow raisins tonight. I went nuts with the nuts because my mom loves 'em nuts. I wonder what should I try next?
03/06 Direct Link
She keeps smiling at me. Not just a polite smile either. It is one of those big grins like the ones you wear when you say, 'I'm so happy to see you'. I wonder why. Girls like her aren't wont to look much less smile at the likes of me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hideous or anything. Unremarkable; that is how I would describe myself. Then again, I suppose it could also be alluded to the fact that I am seated in the front row and therefore am in her direct line of sight when she looks to the audience.
03/07 Direct Link
It is afternoons like these that makes her feel like a slug moving along on a sun-baked pavement in the heat of the day. On days when her motivation level is pretty much zero, the sweltering heat just makes it even worse. The fact that the deadline is in less than two months adds to the tension brewing within her. Afternoons like these are made for lazing around in the sun or indoors with the air conditioning blowing across her skin. It is in no way conducive. Instead of focusing, she stares off into space daydreaming of things that don't really matter.
03/08 Direct Link
He hooks a leg around a nearby stool and straddles it. Stretching an arm upwards, he hails a waiter. He settles more comfortably on the stool with one foot propped up against the legs. Though his features is half turned away from you, you know that face anywhere. You wonder for the umpteenth time why are you so attracted to this person. Perhaps his looks? Maybe, it's a little above average. The well exercised body? Mmhmm. The fact that he enjoys good humour and witty sarcasm underneath that taciturn manner? Definitely. Then there is his laugh. It makes you smile for no reason other than that you feel like it.
03/09 Direct Link
Sometimes when I stay too long indoors, I long to just get up and walk out of the door. Leave everything behind without so much as a backwards glance, no matter how brief. Just forging ahead fearlessly. Never looking back. I wonder what is it like to be totally free with no strings attached. No place to stay rooted to. Drifting to places or wherever the fancy or urge takes you. To run free and be one with the wind. I can't imagine anything else better than the wind in your hair and the evening sun upon your face. Is that true freedom though?
03/10 Direct Link
She took a bite and chewed. Her taste buds were immediately bombarded with flavours so rich it made the insides of her mouth water. She swallowed with a grimace. Taking a gulp of water from the glass in front of her, she studied the cookie in her hand with wide eyes. It was roughly the size of a saucer. She looked up to see him studying her.
"I knew you were a sweet tooth. But this... this is really sweet."
He placed a hand over his heart. "Why, thank you."
That irresistible expression back on his face. She shook her head, smiling.
"Other than that, it tastes heavenly."
03/11 Direct Link
"I have a strong urge to kiss you now," she said as soon as he picked up the phone on the other end. He chuckled.
"Hello to you too. What's up?"
She sighed. "I've to work late tonight."
"Gee, that's new." Despite the sarcasm, his tone was laced with amusement.
"Jeff," she deadpanned. He laughed. The sound of his laughter made her smile. It was an automatic reaction.
"Hey, it's okay. I understand. Need a rain check?"
"But I want to see you."
"You can come over my place afterwards. I'll make supper."
"What, no mamak session?"
"Not when you have to appear in Court tomorrow."
03/12 Direct Link
"How did you know that?"
"You told me last week, remember?"
Her disgruntled reply made him grin.
"Jo?"
"Yeah?"
"I feel like kissing you every single minute of the day."
The sudden intake of breath on the other end of the line made him smile.
"Great. Now how am I supposed to concentrate?"
His smile widened into a grin. The things she could do to him even when she's not physically with him.
"As you always do: with sheer force of willpower. See you later."
After hanging up, he resumed working. At the rate he was going, he'd finish within a few hours and have the whole weekend off. And it's only Wednesday. Sweet.
03/13 Direct Link
"It's March the fourteenth tomorrow."
He looked up from his laptop. Her back was towards him as she busied herself in the postage stamp-sized kitchen. Pushing up his glasses on the bridge of his nose, he frowned when she didn't elaborate. "So?"
She shrugged. "Just saying." Coming over to him, she leaned down to kiss his cheek. "Listen, I'm going out Debs with tonight so I'll be home late."
"Call me when you're done. I'll pick you up."
She smiled her assent. Once she was out of the house, he returned to his laptop and looked up the date's significance on the internet. He chuckled.
"White's day huh? Who would've thought."
03/14 Direct Link
The first thing she noticed on her desk the next day at work was a bar of chocolate wrapped with a white ribbon. A folded piece of stationery lay beneath the confectionery. Noting the label printed on the wrapping, a smile tugged at her lips. Whoever it was knew of her dislike for sweet things and bought her dark chocolate instead. The note contained only three words; written in a loopy script. She'd seen it before. On colourful post-its stuck on her fridge door. Flowing across the papers that covered the coffee table. A script as fun as the man himself.
03/15 Direct Link
No one likes change. Yet change is the only constant. No matter how far away you wander, you would always long for somewhere to return to. A place to call home. A sense of belonging.
Even if I lose my way in this world, I know I can always run back to you. You wait with love and patience that knows no bounds. When you see me, you would come running with tears in your eyes and arms wide open. It doesn't matter what I did in the past and how long I was gone. All that matters is that I have come home.
03/16 Direct Link
She stands there, coolly as you please, taking a puff of her cigarette. She notices me and quickly turns away to take another drag of smoke. Exhaling, she turns back to me with an expression I couldn't read and says "Sorry." Out of habit, I automatically reply, "It's all right."
A feeling washes over me and it feels a lot like disappointment. Thinking; oh, she smokes. I'm trying to figure out why do I feel that way almost every time I find out about someone smokes. Is it pity? Being judgmental? Or worse, both? I don't know. I am afraid. Are these feelings of mine misplaced?
03/17 Direct Link
First she almost died in a car accident. Then she was late to class. She had little rest the night before and the fact she was not a morning person made her crankier than usual. The last straw materialised in the form of a portly stranger who promptly bumped into her, smacked her right in the face with a hideous excuse for a gigantic tote and carried on without an apology. If she were the raging sort, she would have thrown her head back and howled to the sky with a sound so savage it couldn't possibly be human. The way she was feeling, the Hulk had nothing on her.
03/18 Direct Link
One time, the library was so full there was barely anywhere to sit. If there are empty seats, they are usually scattered few and far in between and happened to be in the middle of a long table with fifteen other people seated along its length. You do not want to sit at the long tables in the middle of the floor plan. Not only do you have to squeeze your way to your seat, you have to rub elbows with people you don't even know and have them staring at you (or at least you think they do when really, they couldn't care less).
03/19 Direct Link
I sat on the sun warmed steps waiting for Fred to turn up. The day was warm but not overly so. Even the grass in the opposite field looked drowsy as they swayed in the gentle breeze. The sound of footsteps nearing made me look up. It was him, that boy I always see in the library. The one with remarkably thick eyebrows that dominate the rest of his features. I wondered, is he ever not found in the library? I guess not. As soon as I see him, I spot Fred behind him walking up towards me and I smiled.
03/20 Direct Link
I first saw him then, that day. Or at least I think so. I may have seen him elsewhere. In one of the lectures we share with the other programme perhaps. I can't be certain but he does look somewhat familiar. Seated two seats away in the crowded library. His thick eyebrows furrowed in concentration. He looked up and watched me as I hefted a chair from the opposite table to the only empty spot two seats down. He stared for a moment or two before resuming his work without a second glance. Maybe it was my imagination but I saw a flicker of amusement in those eyes.
03/21 Direct Link
As Fred neared, I stood up, the smile still on my face. Thick-eyebrows boy blinked and smiled back. It was only a small quirk of his lips but it was a smile nevertheless. My smile faltered a little. While I do recognise him and him me, it was not for him. It was to greet Fred who held a bag of my favourite nachos in one hand and my textbook in another. Unfazed or perhaps ignorant, he inclined his head in a nod towards me and disappeared into the building. After Fred and I parted ways, I find myself wondering what he really thought.
03/22 Direct Link
The next week I saw him at the library again. At the same table, one of the three in the middle of the large rectangular room. There were only a handful of people present today. All scattered around the corners of the room with large empty spaces in between. It reminded me of a Geography lesson back in high school where we studied about population and density. What was the term again? Oh yeah, 'jarang' or sparse in English. He was with a girl. Of course, he would be. I laughed to myself, shaking my head. Gosh, how conceited of me.
03/23 Direct Link
So out of it today. Barely listened to what the lecturer said much less written anything substantial down. I have decided not to attempt the topic in the exam so my mind went on the 'why bother' route. It didn't help that I had little sleep the night before thanks to a riveting book I stumbled upon while browsing through Goodreads and stayed up half the night reading. The only highlight was the conversation at lunch with the guys. One of my favourite things about guy friends: they say things as it is - straight up, no holds barred. It's refreshing.
03/24 Direct Link
"Hey, what if I wrote something like 500 days of Summer? But y'know, instead of summer it'll be winter."
"And what would it be about?" she replied, her eyes still glued to the stack of documents she was vetting.
He jumped up from his seat at the window and paced the length of the room, his eyes bright with excitement as he explained his wild idea. Straightening, she folded her arms and fixed a stare on him when he finished. "You're serious."
It was a statement. He perched on the corner of her desk and returned her stare, arms folded. The solemn picture he presented was ruined by his trademark grin a second later.
"Very."
03/25 Direct Link
She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead.
"I don't know about this. It... seems intrusive somehow."
"But you and I, we'll be immortalised."
She shot him a look. "Do I look like I care about being immortalised in literature?"
"Aren't you curious to see our relationship through my eyes?"
She bit her lip and kept quiet. He knew he had her curiosity piqued. He crouched in front of her and covered her hands with his.
"Hey, it'll be okay. At best, it'd turn out great it has it's own cult following. At worse, it'd be another story on the market."
"I could sue you for defamation, you know."
He grinned. "I'll take you on if you do."
That earned a shaky smile from her. "You're insufferable."
03/26 Direct Link
Old injuries that never heal; that is the worse. Just when you think you are over the pain and the suffering, it comes back at full force like a tidal wave. Crashing over you. Knocking you clean off your feet. Leave you clutching at nothing but air as you fall through space. As you hit the ground, the wind knocked out of you. Leave you breathless and gasping for air. Or if you're lucky, your knees would simply give way. Crumpling to the floor in a heap. The strength that holds you upright suddenly disappeared in a flash as the old terror grips you once more.
03/27 Direct Link
It's crazy, this sweet ache that throbs in your chest. Supper early in the night, never during the late or early hours. Dinner or even lunch sometimes, if timing permits. Never alone though. That would be too much. The others are always present. It be scandalous otherwise: if you live during the Victorian era. It just isn't seemly. But seemly or not, it doesn't matter. Not at this moment anyway. There is always laughter. Good fun. Funny stories traded back and forth. Not all fun things are good for you, someone once said. But with your cheeks hurting from grinning and laughing too much, it doesn't make much sense. It never did.
03/28 Direct Link
The last we saw each other, we were just teenagers. Standing at the edge where real life begins and the days of high school just behind us, wondering which path to embark on towards the future that awaits. We didn't even say goodbye when we stepped off the edge and plunged headlong towards our chosen paths, so wrapped in the excitement we were. As busy as we both are, I never fail to think of you on this day. The day you came into being. Now I just wish you were here so that I can see your smile. Happy birthday, old friend.
03/29 Direct Link
I don't know about you but the last four weeks flew by in a blink of an eye for me. As cliched as it sounds, it is like someone hit the fast forward button on the story of my life. It feels surreal. Why, it feels as though it was just last week when I walked into class that evening.
Goodness, has it really been six months?
I don't want to read too much into what you're doing but I can't seem to help it. I don't want to have it bad. But if you have it bad, does that make it okay for me too?
03/30 Direct Link
Underneath the street light. Standing facing each other. Yet not really looking at one another. The walkway is bustling with people moving about. Shouting hawkers. Honking traffic. The smell of cooking. The sun is acting shy today. Hiding behind fluffy clouds. Even then, her presence is felt in the warm, humid air. The whole world could be at a standstill and it would not have make a difference. It all boils down to this one moment. This one moment in time. Shifting feet. Nervous hands. Gazes meet, finally. Uncertainty reigns. Six words, spoken quietly.
"When will I see you again?"
03/31 Direct Link

Find joy, not happiness
for the latter is fleeting
ephemeral at best

the former comes
from deep within
not mere contentment
a satisfaction that
goes beyond
the physical into
the spiritual.

Like spring waters
it overflows
soothing
the weary
the thirsty
the downtrodden
nourishing even
as it refreshes
giving life
and life abundantly.

Look for it
earnestly
in the morning
as the sun rises
in the colours
bleeding across the sky
in the air
after the rain
in the little things
you do day to day
or in the smiles
of your loved ones.

Seek,
and you shall find.