I’m always a little lost after finishing a really good book, the kind that ruins your sleeping patterns, the kind you bring everywhere in case you get a chance to read half a page. That book for me over the past few days was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Yes, it’s super-hyped and I came across it because it’s being turned into a movie, but it was definitely a page-turner that had me sleeping after 2 in the morning. (I knew it was bit extreme when I got home on New Year’s Day at 2am, showered, and continued reading until 3:30, but then people have read books non-stop in crazier ways.)

Now I come to the point about what happens when you finish said book. I finished Gone Girl yesterday afternoon and after closing the book I didn’t really know what to do with myself. In my hands were 463 pages I’d devoted all my spare time to, and now it was over. I could’ve just put it away and carried on with my life — I did wonder, What did I do before reading this book? — but instead I did what I usually do: I jumped straight on the computer to continue my Gone Girl fascination.

Finally, I could read the interviews with Flynn that had been labelled with spoiler alerts. Now I could click through galleries with casting options for the two leads, Nick and Amy Dunne, when the movie goes into production. (I tried to avoid my computer during the reading period because I’d read one review that advised to be careful when Googling the book in case any twists were ruined.)

I guess this is why people join book clubs. When I’d finished, all I wanted to do was talk about it some more, but I only know one person who is just about to start Gone Girl. So now I’m going to wait (not so) patiently until I can discuss it with her. For the moment, I’ll just flick through the pages of my copy and think about it constantly until I can talk about it with my friend. Or until I get wrapped up in another un-put-down-able book.

p.s. Thanks to my talented friend Vanessa for creating my new blog header!


Anyone who has ever attempted to spring clean probably knows that you learn a lot about yourself during the process.

Over the Christmas break I’ve tried to de-clutter my room, and thus my life, but it hasn’t been easy. It turns out my obsession with magazines started many, many years ago, to the point where I have random clippings from 2002 and heaps of articles on celebrities I had crushes on or was interested in as a new teenager. As a result, cleaning takes a lot longer because I’m the kind of person who has to go through everything before deciding I’m going to part with it for good. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt about myself through this process:

  • I had the biggest crush on Dean Geyer, who was an Australian Idol finalist in 2006 (note the picture above. Those articles will now see the inside of the recycling bin).
  • I have accumulated  a lot of Teen Vogue magazines. And I can’t seem to part with them, probably because everything I know about fashion I know from Teen Vogue. Good thing they’re petite-sized for easier storing.
  • I also had a massive crush on Jeremy Sumpter, who played Peter Pan in the 2003 film.
  • A lot of my (practically non-existent) pocket money was spent on glittery makeup. Glitter lip gloss. Glitter nail polish. Glitter eye shadow. Glitter hair gel. Glitter body cream.
  • I’ve loved stationery from an early age. When I was in primary school, it was all about the diaries available from Morning Glory-type shops that had different pages you could swap with friends. You could also thin sheets of stickers with random Asian cartoons on them. Ah, they were the days.
  • My high school friends and I used to exchange ‘locker letters,’ which was basically mail we slipped into girls’ lockers. They were written on the aforementioned Asian stationery paper.

Aside from all the weird and random things I’ve come across in my room, gathered over the course of 10 years, I was kind of surprised to discover that I’d chosen out my career path from a pretty early age. Then again, the only other thing I wanted to be apart from an entertainment reporter/journalist was a marine biologist, and as I hated science, that was never going to happen.

The other bonus of doing a mass clean? Going through a whole box of old birthday cards and finding $140.

I don’t usually make resolutions for the new year. Actually, that’s a lie — like everyone else, I do the usual ‘Be healthier,’ ‘Read more books,’ ‘Stop hoarding so much.’ This year, I’ve decided to categorise my resolutions and make them a little more specific. And by posting them here, there may be one person who sees them and can check up on me from time to time. So here goes:

  • Food resolutions: Cut out the sugar from my morning latte, and drink more green tea.
  • Entertainment/pop culture resolutions: Catch up on critically-acclaimed TV shows like Breaking Bad and Parks and Recreation. Sit down and watch iconic ’80s films, like Dirty Dancing and all the John Hughes flicks. Maybe even some Star Wars. Read more (yes, had to slip this one in).
  • Work resolution: Work smarter, not harder. (Totally read this somewhere else and ripped it off.)
  • Health resolutions: Finish off my Zumba 10-class pass, and don’t buy another. Perhaps join the local gym. Swim more with my friend Jacquii. Walk my dog.
  • Lifestyle resolutions: Limit computer/Internet/technology time at home, because sitting in front of a computer for my day job from 7am to 4pm (and beyond) is enough. Tidy my room, and keep it that way. Learn how to (finally) cook, and face my fear of hot oil jumping out at me when food hits the wok. Take more initiative when it comes to meeting up with friends. Go on a holiday — an overseas one. Pay this blog a little more attention, even if no one’s reading.
  • Beauty/style resolutions: Wear more bright lipstick because there’s no point having so much if I don’t do anything with it. Have lots of fun with colourful and printed clothes. Get into trends I’m interested in before they stop being trendy.

These are just some of the resolutions I’ve come up with. I think they’re pretty reasonable. I’m not sure how many of them I’ll get through, but at least I’ve already started the room-cleaning thing, which led me to throw out a whole bag of makeup I’ve had since my primary school days. (Turns out glitter lip gloss doesn’t have super-long shelf life.)

At least for the moment.

I know this is far from being an important issue, but as someone who very rarely gets a haircut, it’s hard to be prepared for a haircut that’s nothing like what you envisioned it would be. And I don’t think my requests were too out there or anything — I wanted about 10cm off the length and my fringe to be chopped back in. The end result is about 20cm off the length and a style that makes me look more than my mum than I’d like. (Not saying my mum is ugly. I just don’t like having the same hair as her.)

I’ve never had fancy haircuts because I love braiding my hair and trying out different styles. With dead straight Asian hair it’s already hard enough for me to get smooth plaits without random bits of hair poking out, so I like layers to be minimal and length to be long-enough-to-do-something-with-it. Now my length’s gone, for the next few months I’ll have to part with the high buns and side-to-side French plaits I’ve been wearing on high rotation lately. Massive SIGH.

Sure, my hair now looks ‘fresh’ and ‘different’ — because that’s exactly what it is. There’s really no other way it can be described. Oh, maybe ‘short’. I guess this will push me to be more creative with bob-length hair. And I’m sure I’ll appreciate the shorter drying time. At least I still have my sisters’ hair to braid, even though they don’t seem to appreciate my styling skills as much as I wish they did.

p.s. The other thing I’m a bit devastated about is the timing. I’m seeing Usher in concert on Monday night, and even though the likelihood of him spotting me in Row K from the stage is slimmer than a toothpick, if he were to see me I would’ve preferred it to be with my long hair. Maybe it’s because as I typed this I was listening to “There Goes My Baby” where he sings, “Like waterfalls your hair falls down to your waist.” A LONG HAIR reference.

I accidentally got into the bad habit of not reading. I’ve never been a huge bookworm, but last year I (unsuccessfully) made it my New Year’s Resolution to read at least one book a month. I think it started well, but ended badly, as most resolutions do. So I carried the resolution over to this year, and as it’s only March and I’ve already read two books, I guess I’m not doing too badly.

I’ve noticed a pattern for how I choose books. Obviously, much-hyped books go to the top of my reading list (such as The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson), as do books that I know are going to be turned into movies. (I used to do that thing where you go to the library and pluck a random book off the shelf just because it looks interesting. I probably never made it past 23 pages.)

That’s why I’ve already read Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (you’ve probably heard that the movie will star Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz) and am about to start reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which recently confirmed Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the lead role, Katniss Everdeen, in the upcoming movie version. I also borrowed out Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro a month ago but didn’t finish reading it. (It was a large print copy and that was doing weird things to my head.)

I’d like to join a book club, but at the moment I like that I get to choose what I’m reading. Not that I actually know what it’s like to be in a book club. I think I’d also like to join one because I love that post-book conversation where you gush or complain about the writing, story etc.

Here’s one thing people are often surprised to discover about me if they know my mum, my aunts and the food they cook: I actually can’t. I’m not proud of the fact that if I don’t make 2-minute noodles for a month I forget how to, or that I burned eggs I tried to fry for dinner during the two weeks my parents and brother were away last year. (I also had to cook for my sisters — we had to call in reinforcements.)

Anyway, aside from highlighting that I’ll probably make a lousy wife, my dad, for some strange reason, gets annoyed that I love watching cooking reality shows like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules despite my Mageirocophobia. He’s actually quite into cooking himself and says the only cooking shows worth watching are the ones where you actually learn how to cook, like the one with Luke Nguyen. (I’m not complaining that Dad likes to watch this show — he knows how to make this really delicious pork neck thing now.) Dad doesn’t understand the entertainment value in watching other people stress out about food or attempt to make Adriano Zumbo macarons. He doesn’t understand that I don’t watch these shows because they make me want to learn how to cook. He doesn’t understand that I love eating and that that’s my relationship to food, and that if I didn’t love eating, well obviously I wouldn’t be interested in such shows.

And I’m sure that out of 1.5 million Australian viewers, I’m not the only person who watches these shows and can’t cook. I’m sure.

When I started this blog back in April 2010 … nothing happened. And almost a year later, nothing has happened. Except I finally remembered the password and how to log into this thing. In my head I do have plans for this blog. And hopefully soon, some of those plans will turn into something. For now, I hope you’re not annoyed that you wasted 27 seconds reading this!