Monthly Archives: March 2008

Vivienne on Reena

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IT MUST be wonderful thing to be an artist, because even the artistically challenged know how to appreciate creative genius and beauty.

Aesthetics do count for plenty, no matter how much intelligence an artist wants to inject into his work. Doesn’t matter if the audience doesn’t identify with the emotions motivating those painterly expressions, or do not make suitable academic comments on the artist’s style, etc.

If you look at my profile, you will see a painting of a woman with her hands behind her head. The generous view of her cleavage is enhanced by the way her head is inclined to her right. The only colour used in the painting, aside from black and white (which is supposedly a non-colour) is a vivid lime-ish green.

This is Reena – both the name of the painting, and the muse. She is the wife of artist Khairul Azmir Shoib – one of Malaysia’s upcoming contemporary artists, and one of my favourites (I do admit the heavy influence of Tim Burton and other artists like Dave McKean can obscure his own personal touches to some of his work, but he’s good, no doubt about it).

I love this painting. I love the way the woman is depicted in a tardy gown, her wings tattered and her face bearing a slightly world-weary expression; yet in spite of it all, there is a sensuality emanating from the picture.

For me, Khairul, or Meme, as he is known, is a consummate artist, constantly telling a story in all his works. He speaks not only through colour and stroke, or the expressions and movements of his subjects; the diminutive and soft-spoken chap occasionally pens his thoughts, words and phrases on his paintings, to sort of guide the viewer along.

Meme is not known for the ubiquitous landscape works, neither is he a portrait artist in the most conventional sense. His works are quirky, although often exuding a dark and sombre feel resulting from the choice of colour and imagery. Think Dave McKean, and you will know what I mean. Yet, they are compelling — at least to me.

There are many other artists (or rather, their works) that I totally adore (Jai, Bayu and the entire Matahati outfit, I-Lan, Kok Hooi, Eston, Marvin, Latiff, Kon Yit, Nadia, Ivan, Bee Ling, and the list goes on…) but the reason I have chosen to highlight Meme in this post is because credit must be given to the creator of my profile picture.

Incidentally, ‘Reena’ was the first painting by a local artist that I had wanted so badly to acquire, but lacked the funds to do so. I found out eventually that Nabil (of NN Gallery) bought it.. oh well, at least it is in good hands.

This, I guess, is as close as I can get to owning ‘Reena’. That’s good enough for a poor woman with sometimes expensive tastes.

Check out more of Meme’s work and thoughts at http://verame.blogspot.com/

Turning Tide

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I STILL haven’t installed the site meter yet, but at least I’ve figured out what I want this blog to be about.

It’s about life – mine, anyway, and the people and incidences that revolve around it.

Like our 12th general election, for instance.

Yesterday was certainly a historic day for Malaysians. Finally, the people have spoken – the ruling government, BN, no longer has 2/3 majority, and the opposition has been given a bigger mandate. Looks like Malaysia has had enough of the lies from Badawi’s regime. Serves the BN right for being so complacent and cocky and for playing dirty.

Now, the state of Selangor has fallen into the hands of the opposition.

And, amazingly, PJ Utara – with perhaps the largest constituency of voters in the country – fell wholesale into the hands of the DAP.

The last two weeks saw me working the campaign trail. Each day, despite having to devote more coverage to the BN, I still witnessed how the opposition increasingly drew more supporters to its cause – not that they had to try too hard; too much had happened in the country for the rakyat to ever look at the government with the same rose-tinted shades again.

It tickled me that the company I work for – always known for being extremely right-wing – has now become a left-wing paper, considering its location on what has become opposition soil. The ball-carrier of the Barisan Nasional, particularly the MCA, has now found itself on the other end of the stick.

Now that Chew Mei Fun and her posse are out, and Tony Pua (winning by a thumping 20, 000 majority!) and his band of merry men are in, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the best.

Truly, PJ Utara has taken the lead for a change, with all three seats falling into the DAP’s hands. I’m dead certain the Barisan is still reeling at the shock of their bitter defeat.

Then again, the whole nation is recovering from the shock of the landslide change in the overall scheme of things.

Ultimately, all the people want, as a result of good governance, is peace, justice and equal rights for all, regardless of race and creed.

Something About Jaya

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I’ve taken another baby step towards blogging today, and it’s all because of Jaya.

Jaya’s quite a bundle of fun, and although it doesn’t seem like it, this flirtatious chick with the coy smile is quite a blog whiz.

What really surprised me was that she even blogged at all!

Unsurprisingly, though, Jaya’s blog is titled For Vain and Valid Reasons. Very apt, specially where Jaya’s concerned.

My first impression of Jaya was that she was a vain pot. I wasn’t wrong. But, her vanity is justified, valid, even, considering the expert she is in the beauty department.

Jaya has great complexion, is always flawlessly made up, and never leaves home without make-up in her bag. We sometimes catch her preening or checking her make-up in her compact mirror. Some people might think that’s excessive, but I think that fully explains why you’ll never catch her with running mascara, smudged eyeliner, unevenly rouged cheeks or untinted lips. How many women can even look like that? I’m still trying to figure out how not to look like a raccoon at the end of a working day! Maybe I’ll ask her for tips on which mascara to use.

That she was a flirt, was something I found out eventually. But that just adds to her allure, I think. And speaking as a woman, I find her flirtation rather amusing simply because she applies age-old tactics, such as the naughty little girl smile, the sidewise glance, and the cute giggle. It’s not too overdone, I feel, not like some other people we both know (maybe someday I’ll blog about her – I know Jaya will).

For all that flirting expertise, she seems to attract the strangest men. There’s this dude in the office that comes round to hover behind her when she works – a real geeky looking chap whom we never in our wildest imaginations thought would even get the slightest whiff of Jaya’s attention. Then there’s this this Bengali dude that’s gone out his way to get her attention by volunteering to help her out when her car stalled in the Pavilion parking lot for more than a day. In a twist of events, his car then stalled, and she had to bail him out. Poor dude, he doesn’t know how far off the mark he is. And her former landlord?..quite sleazy, I have to say, and an old sleazebag, at that.

There are more weird men in Jaya’s list, but she’s got her share of the nicer ones, too. For one that complains about not feeling loved, our friend recently came to the office only to find that she received a huge bottle of Kenzo perfume from some bloke in the UK. Very nice. But then we suffered the permeating reek of Kenzo for the next few days after that.

Today, she got poked by quite a yummy looking guy on Facebook. Not bad.

She seems demure, but behind the sweetie-pie facade lurks a firebrand that ignites easily with the right trigger. Just about a month ago, she put a certain missy in her place for making false claims about her assets (some people can be a little too full of themselves). We thought they were going to get into an argument.

Today, she gave that same missy a piece of her mind for royally insulting her. Needless to say, the young missy (who, incidentally tries to act too old for her age, and thinks too highly of herself) shut up immediately. Good ol’ Jaya. I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

But, back to my baby steps.

Thanks to Jaya, I now have a clock on my site. Tomorrow, I’ll see if I can put in a site meter. If I fail, I’ll know who to look for for some advice.

What’s in a Name?

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Frankly, it was Christy who inspired the name of this blog. Hey, it could’ve sounded worse.

He had actually suggested I call it BabiGirl@HotGoddess.com. How ludicrous!

But, I quite liked the BabiGirl bit, particularly since I was the one who coined him the name Babi Boy not too long ago.

Right. Moving along now, I used to have a blog, which I eventually abandoned. Kinda gets tiring, all this writing, especially since I already write for a living.

So why did I bother with a blog in the first place eh? Not sure; maybe it was peer pressure, or the need to vent.

I have to admit, though, that peer pressure has motivated me to start blogging yet again. Can’t tell how long this one’s gonna last before I abandon it.

But, first things first – I’ve gotta try and figure out what this blog is gonna be about. And THEN we’ll talk about how long I’ll keep up with it.

Wish me luck.