Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 272 - Comfort food

I woke up to the sad news that confirmed the grave fear I expressed yesterday for Jill Meagher - 6 days after her disappearance, her body had been found. She had fallen victim to rape and murder.

I found myself, along with what felt like the rest of the nation, devastated over this tragic ending and felt intense sorrow for the loss of Jill's life, even though most of us had never met her. In a way, this case has touched so many of us because not only did it happen in our backyards, it could have been any one of us. My friends and even myself have gone out for drinks and headed off home alone afterwards countless times. This has really hit home and come as a reminder that we really must be more vigilant.

My smile today came in the form of comfort food to lift my dampened mood - ice milo (my beverage of choice when I'm back in Penang)

and paper-thin, sweet roti tisu.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 271 - Random girl wearing I Heart Hanson tshirt

Today has been somewhat of a distressing day at work. Vendor issues, contractor issues, invoicing issues, software licensing issues, unreconcilable financial/headcount/resourcing issues, non-compliance issues, general stupidity issues etc.

To make matters worse, this afternoon Chan and I discussed the case of Jill Meagher who has gone missing, we both hypothesised about her possible abduction, agreed over how dodgy Sydney Road and Coburg were, and pondered about how safe it was for a girl to be walking on the streets by herself late at night.

Then to make matters even more worse, I read about the brutal culling and slaughtering of exported Australian sheep in Pakistan. As I read the article, the line "Like a giant mass of wool, bloodied and filthy, they lay in trenches - slit open, stabbed or clubbed to death, while many still wriggled with some life left in them, soon to be buried alive", my heart ached, my eyes swelled up with tears and my mouth tensed.

I left work and walked home with creepy predators and bloody, half-alive, bleating sheep on my mind. My heart felt like it weighed a tonne.

Then I saw a girl walking in the opposite direction towards me, and she was wearing this tshirt.

Source: Polyvore

I was so surprised by this sight that I simply broke into a jolly laughing fit there and then.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 270 - Penguin cat, were Hanson high in the MMMBop video, Desert Story and smiley bees

Some silly smiles from today:
  1. Cute!
  2. Source: 9gag

  3. Stumbled upon this on a Hanson tumblr and the caption made me LOL.

  4. Source: 90kidsandcompany's tumblr

  5. At Dessert Story tonight, the guy at the next table kept shouting into his phone "I'm at Desert Story! Desert Story!! Ya I'm going to order soon. Are you coming or not? Are you coming to Desert Story??" As much as I wanted to reach over and punch him, it was quite amusing that he thought he was in a desert.

  6. Animals with smiley faces make me chuckle, because everytime I see them I always imagine a group of suits sitting in a boardroom during a brainstorming session and a few of them throw in ideas of creating a smiling animal for the brand/new product (and someone chimes up "Yes that's a brilliant idea! Let's get some concept drawings done!"), then a while later they've regrouped in the boardroom and are focusing on the presentation of a drawing of a smiling animal in front of them and making comments such as, "I like this. I think you have a winner here. It'll really appeal to the masses", "I think you should make its smile bigger", "This is really amazing. I love it. Creating this smiling bee was such a great idea".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 268 - Room of rilakkumas

I was going through the photos on my phone when I came across this screenshot I took a while back that made me chuckle.

Now, I like rilakkuma and usually squeal at the sight of it because I find it darn cute... but when there's a congregation of them it just seems a bit creepy! Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night to this, about 50 pairs of eyes staring at you!?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 267 - New beginnings, tiny humans, a face and shared flowers

Today I'm smiling because...

...of new beginnings. Helped my brother Pe Khai move as he bid farewell to his humble abode for greener pastures (literally).

...tiny humans are so darn funny.
Tiny human with umbrella
Tiny human commands lift doors to open
...I see faces.
Kitchen face
...of the way Pe Khai's new neighbour's beautiful wisteria flowers spill over onto his side of the fence and fill the air with the most wonderful fragrance.
Wisteria over the fence

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 266 - Sloppy kisses from my niece

While babysitting my niece today, she did the funniest thing to me - as I was on the sofa, she stood on my legs and planted a big kiss on my lips.

"Aww that's nice," I laughed. She laughed too, then proceeded to lay another big sloppy one on me. 

Can I just say, having a child's snotty face and slobbery, wet mouth enlarging as they inch their way closer and closer to your face until it all goes pitch black because their face is completely pressed up against yours, is a little unnerving! 

I cracked up laughing (I have a bizarre self-preservation habit of laughing when I panic) after she kissed me a few more times. She doesn't give quick, fleeting pecks either - oh no - she leaves her mouth there for a few good seconds (good value for money)!

My cracking up caused her to start laughing as well, and as I moved my head and turned away to avoid her incoming sloppiness, she pinned me down on the sofa with her knees, grabbed my face with both hands, stared deeply into my eyes then intently at my lips, and forced her wet mouth onto mine!! My god I was hysterical with laughter.

Afterwards, she cuddled up against me as we watched Giggle and Hoot together (if you have/are looking after/know a kid that's less than 5 years old - chances are the kid loooves Giggle and Hoot) and I couldn't resist snapping a photo. I look dopey and exhausted, but aww look at how adorable she is!  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 265 - Taylor with a smiling koala, pretty flowers, Lomography and mini LC-A

I love...

...this adorable photo on Taylor's Instagram of him holding a koala. The koala has a smile on its face!

...these insanely pretty flowers that are adorning Swanston St. Me likey! They made me so happy that I jumped up and down and clapped like a 4 year old at the sight of them!

...Lomography. (But I don't love crappy photos taken with Lomo cameras being passed off as being "artistic Lomography". A shit photo is a shit photo, Lomography is not an excuse! Grrr)

...that my LC-A now has a mini me.
Lomo LC-A and its mini me

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 264 - Hanson's Give A Little

I apologise for the Hanson-heavy posts, but I've had this song in my head all day and it's managed to keep me smiling through a headache-inducing day at work. And that's gotta count for something, right?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 263 - People who are passionate about food and the Official Hanson Ageing Timeline

Spotted this in one of the fridges at work. It says "fuck yeah lamb neck curry".

People who are passionate about their lunches make me smile.

Meanwhile, I'm still smiling from my post-Hanson high, and couldn't help but crack up from this Official Ageing Timeline of Hanson

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 261 - Sushipedia randomness, special orders and sweet boyfriends

Here are 3 things that put a smile on my face today:
  1. Randomness - While catching up with Keng over dinner, at the mention of sushi he swiftly whips out his iPhone and launches his Sushipedia app to my wild bemusement. He had downloaded it a while ago in preparation of Japan. (I downloaded it straight away)

  2. Special orders - We got some delicious tiramisu from the restaurant next door!

  3. Sweet boyfriends - who say sweet things like "I don't think I tell you enough, but you are beautiful." Aww!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 260 - 4 things I love about Sydney

  1. Sydney is where you can find the world's tastiest dumpling.
  2. Din Tai Fung
    Mmm mmmmm. I could never get sick of these babies!
    The world's tastiest dumplings
  3. Sydney is also where you can find the first Australian Ladurée store. It's so pretty!
  4. Ladurée Sydney
    Macaron flavours at Ladurée Sydney
    Having just opened a couple of weeks ago, there was a huge queue to purchase these exquisite, delicate little morsels. The salted caramel and lemon lime marshmallow blew me away - so divine, I hate so say this but they were well worth the 45 minutes wait! Ladurée Sydney
  5. Sydney is where I get to catch up with high school friends I haven't seen for over 10 years!
  6. Untitled
  7. And Sydney is where I can get delicious grilled scallops for $3. Yum! 
  8. Grilled scallops, Sushi Hotaru in Sydney

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 258 - AHHH HANSON!!!

From Hanson's Australian tour announcement back in March, to receiving my ticket for the Melbourne show in the mail, to seeing their tour poster, to counting down the days till I see them, to them arriving in Australia, we're finally here. The day of Hanson's return to perform in Melbourne was finally here, after 7 long years. Today would be Hanson concert #4 for me, and nobody could stop me from smiling from ear to ear today!
On my way to see Hanson!
But first, some food was in order before the show. Mamak had only just officially opened its doors yesterday with its first shop in Melbourne so we dropped by for a quick bite. True to their Sydney counterparts, they definitely have the best satay in town!
Roti canai and satay at Mamak, Melbourne
With a tummy full of roti, satay and fried chicken, I excitedly made my way to Palace Theatre and was faced by the biggest line I've ever witnessed outside Palace. The line snaked all the way down the alley next door onto another alleyway, and ended almost a whole block away. Now, there are fans who call themselves massive fans of a band, and there are dedicated Hanson fans who completely blow the former out of the water - they bring dedication and crazy to a whole new level yo. Like the fangirls who have been lining up for tonight's 8pm show since 7am. 7 IN THE FRIGGIN MORNING YO. And Hanson weren't coming on stage until 10:20pm.

I love concerts, and have always loved them. I love the vibe, the raw two-way energy that the band exuberates onto the crowd while feeding off the crowd's boundless enthusiasm, and the fact that most people are there for a good time. At a Hanson concert these are all omnipresent, but the minute the guys stepped out onto the stage, something magical takes over. All your troubles, your worries, your sore feet, your insecurities, whatever you were complaining about just minutes ago - they all dissipate into nothingness as you take in the incredible musicianship unfolding before you and let their music consume you. Hanson are such seasoned performers (this year marks the 20th year they've been making music), yet at tonight's show I felt like I was seeing old friends.
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
I've been a Hanson fan since the release of Middle of Nowhere (when MMMBop crashed onto our airwaves) in 1997 and have been following their progression avidly since. I can still remember reading a feature on them in a Smash Hits magazine (Smash Hits was the ultimate teeny bopper bible back in the day) before I had even heard MMMBop, and thinking to myself "Oh my god what am I doing with my life, this kid (ie. Zac) is just 11 and he already has a recording contract!".

I was instantly interested in hearing their music, as they were a real boyband and resonated with my age. So I spent RM39.90 (about AUD20, which was a lot of money to a 13 year old back then) to purchase the Middle of Nowhere CD, and I suppose the rest is history. Through the course of my teenage years, Hanson and their music held my hand and was there for me when I felt like I didn't fit in (which was all the time), when I got made fun of for having a flat chest, when I couldn't understand why I couldn't be as good at Chinese as I was in English, and when I felt lonely after my 2 brothers had left for Melbourne.

I found solace in their albums, interviews and music videos, and developed great admiration for their zest and passion for life as well as their talent at harmonising beautifully and impressive instrument-playing abilities at such a young age. They also appeared to be genuinely nice and humble boys who were immensely grateful for all the fame MMMBop had suddenly bestowed upon them. And yeah okay I also thought Taylor was insanely hot. He is the epitome of pretty boys.
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
So tonight I'm taken on a musical journey of the last 15 years, clapping, singing word for word and dancing along to my old (hot) friends that I grew up with. That's the thing about Hanson concerts too - it's so easy to let loose, they're just unashamedly, downright FUN! It was an honour just to be in the same room as them, to be soaking up all the feel-good vibes.

I'm somewhere in this crowd, losing my mind!

Tonight's almost two-hour set was phenomenal, and when they started the first few guitar chords of the song that launched them into household names, to quote The Au Review, "To say the crowd went APESHIT would be a massive understatement. I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a loud sing-along, it was electrifying. As for the 3 brothers, tonight’s rendition definitely wasn’t as poppy and squeaky clean as it was 15 years ago, but my lord, it was still amazing."
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
After the encore of If Only and much on-the-spot jumping that Taylor encouraged, to end the show Ike and Taylor jumped off the drums platform while Zac did a rock 'n roll backflip off his drumkit! They lied on their backs onstage for a few good seconds, revelling in the roaring crowd's screaming, clapping and cheering.
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT when bands do the old-fashioned bow at the end of their set, instead of simply waving and walking off stage. To me that speaks volumes about their professionalism and appreciation for their fans as well as their craft.
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Shortly after this shot (snapped right after the 3 boys themselves took a group bow), they jumped (suicidally) off the stage into the paparazzi pit and the crowd of screaming girls surged forward a few good metres like a tsunami! What an AMAZING, high-energy show!
Hanson at Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Now, I've stalked Hanson long enough trawled through enough Hanson forums and spoken to enough fangirls over the years to know that Hanson are known to spend a bit of time meeting fans and signing stuff after their shows if they're not overly exhausted, because they're nice like that. But for the last 3 concerts, for some bizarre reason I've always waited at the wrong goddamn door. Every damn time.

But tonight I was finally at the right door!!! There was so much going on - security screaming at fangirls to stay off the road, drunk fangirls throwing up to my left and right, screaming fangirls being told to shut up and to calm the fuck down, standing around waiting in the cold, Hanson emerging and being blinded by flashes, not even seeing Taylor or Ike initially and thinking that Zac was the only one that had come out to meet us, finally spotting Taylor and Ike, then realising that Taylor was wearing a Hanson hoodie (Zac was wearing a Hanson designed tshirt), girls were screaming, girls were crying, it was just a whirlwind of the general craziness that surrounds Hanson really.
Spot Hanson
Whatever happy pills Zac was taking, I want some. He didn't stop smiling on or off stage!
Zac Hanson and cute girl after the first Melbourne show
And Taylor. Oh sweet Taylor. Always surrounded by girls. (This photo appeared on Our Side of Paradise with the caption "He's got more pussy around him than a cat shelter..." LOL) But why do these girls look so glum and unhappy?!? They should be going weak at the knees just to be standing within the radius of Taylor's radiating aura.
Taylor Hanson surrounded by girls after the first Melbourne show
The boys didn't stay past 5 minutes, granted they were knackered and having crying girls screaming in your face when you're tired probably isn't very fun. They graciously thanked the crowd for coming to see them and apologised for not being to stay. Then they got into their van and vanished down the street.

With my head still spinning and feeling disconnected from reality, I walked home with a skip in my step and a massive, stupid goofy smile on my face, I called Brett excitedly at 1:30am and shrieked something like "OHMYGODIJUSTSAWTHEMISAWTHEMUPCLOSEOHMYGODEHEHEEHEE" into the phone. As soon as I got home, I packed my travel bag while smiling the whole time. Bring on round 2!

  1. Waiting For This
  2. Where's the Love
  3. Thinking 'Bout Somethin'
  4. And I Waited
  5. A Minute Without You
  6. Been There Before
  7. Crazy Beautiful
  8. Strong Enough to Break (acoustic)
  9. Madeline (acoustic) 
  10. Wish That I Was There (acoustic)
  11. With You in Your Dreams
  12. Oh! Darling (Beatles cover)
  13. Can't Stop
  14. Thinking of You
  15. This Time Around
  16. Penny and Me
  17. Give a Little
  18. MMMBop
  19. Hey
  20. Lost Without Each Other

  21. Encore:
  22. If Only

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 257 - Ingrid Michaelson

Tonight we piled into Corner Hotel, got our wrists stamped on our way in (I think it's by far the most interesting stamp I've ever seen)
Egyptian stamp
and were enthralled by Ingrid Michaelson's sweet vocals as well as her self-depreciating humour and hilarious tales.

She is so adorably quirky - there's no other way to I could possibly describe her. She probably spent equal amounts of time sharing with us anecdotes and stories behind each song to stand-up comedian qualities as she did singing. She was such a joy to listen to - she gushed about her love for the tv show Lost ("If you haven't seen Lost I'm very jealous, because you can still see it for the first time!"), how having a cosy snuggly moment with a stranger in a puffy coat on the train followed by a traumatic experience of schoolgirls knocking her "life essence" (aka massive cup of strong tea) out of her hands and into the snow inspired her to write Blood Brothers (she also quipped, "Most people in this world are strangers. Wow that's very wise, I just made that up!"), horrific baby-eating mother hamsters with male names, and even how she hated her most popular song The Way I Am as it was written during a lonely time in her life and was more of a wish but happy couples would always tell her it was their wedding song (however now that she's happily married, she sees the song in a different light).
Ingrid Michaelson at Corner Hotel, Melbourne
What I didn't know was that her support act, Greg Laswell, was also her husband! He joined her onstage for a duet for The Light in Me.
Ingrid Michaelson at Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Ingrid Michaelson at Corner Hotel, Melbourne
For You And I, a random guy named Elliot was plucked from the crowd to provide the male vocals (Ingrid explained that her husband was asleep backstage!).
Ingrid Michaelson at Corner Hotel, Melbourne
And as Ingrid played us her stunning rendition of Can't Help Falling in Love on the piano to end her set, it was clear that the crowd along with I had fallen in love with her.

  1. Soldier
  2. Parachute
  3. Corner of Your Heart
  4. Do It Now
  5. Blood Brothers
  6. Ghost
  7. The Light in Me (with Greg Laswell)
  8. The Way I Am
  9. Skinny Love (Bon Iver cover)
  10. Maybe
  11. This is War
  12. The Chain

  13. Encore:
  14. You And I
  15. Be OK
  16. Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 256 - Catching up with Jo and chawanmushi

I can't remember exactly how long it's been, but it's been many weeks, if not months, since I've been able to catch up properly with Joanne with zero interruptions.

So today's smile is simple - spending hours tonight idly chatting away with my best friend, laughing over quips that we share, and swapping travel stories and updates.

Oh there were also two helpings of chawanmushi (which is a rare find in Melbourne) mmmmm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 255 - Hanson are in Australia and weird looking Snowflake

  1. They're here they're here! They're on Australian soil!!!

  2. I've been battling with a very uncomfortable bloated tummy for half of today, and while I sipped on some peppermint tea, I almost choked from the crazy giggles when I saw Snowflake looking like.... this.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 254 - Little street gardens

I'm going to admit that today's smile is kinda lame.

It's this:

On my way to work as I was waiting at the traffic lights, I watched a few men transporting potted plants into planter boxes that dot along Swanston St, and it made me immensely happy to see some greenery in the city. I love it, just in time for spring!
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