A really dumb dolly

On the up: Very lovely beds
On the down: Forgetting to order all the parts...

I am really dumb sometimes man.


I saw this BOOOOOOOOOTIFUL bed in Ikea that I just had to have. So I ordered it, paid for it and waited for when it would be all delivered and perfectly set up in my new room.

Ben and I had to run errands while it was being delivered though so his nice designer dude looked after the Ikea people while we were out. We got a text from Cyril to say that the bed was all set up.


So I traipsed back and up the stairs and opened my bedroom expecting to see a replica of that Very Boootiful Bed in my bedroom. But but but, there was this whole chunk of it missing.

I screamed, "It's the wrong bed!"

Ben shouted back, "Har?!??!!?" and ran upstairs to look.

I stood in the middle of my room and pouted and sulked and said, "It's supposed to come with a prettee shelf thing on the back."

Ben said, "That comes separately lah. You have to buy it separately."

I said, "Are you sure or not?! Do you know which one I'm talking about? It's like this and this and this and this and this."

And Ben just kept nodding his head, yah yah yah yah.

Man, that made me feel really, really dumb. I was all, "Oh." I mean, you can't really say very much can you.

It made me feel so damn annoyed and disappointed the rest of the evening. And the kiam siap Hokkien part of me kept thinking, Aiyo shit now I have to go order the other part, and then pay the delivery charge again.

Cheh, really potong stim liao.

House Dolly

On the up: Moving out
On the down: Moving all my crap...

Yay! Dolly moves out this week... I haven't even started packing all my crap yet, but somehow it will happen. It will!

I have been there to clean up and scrub the bathroom floors already though. Now, I don't mind cleaning if it's my own of my family's or my friends' dirt, but not when it's some strangers' leftover dirt - you may as well be cleaning a public bathroom!

I was obsessively scrubbing my bathroom for over 1 1/2 hours until Ben had to come and tell me to STOP ALREADY. And I know it's going to take me forever to get used to using a bathroom that's not mine. I am a princess, I KNOW. Then again, it shouldn't really bother me, after having gone to boarding school for 5 years, and shared showers with about 30 other people!

But there's the fun part of going out to buy heaps of cool new things. Like a new beautiful bed! Yay!! *loves beds loves pillows loves sleeeeeep*

And I still have to figure out a way of packing my stuff and bringing it over. Oh the tedium. There'll be pictures later!

Single Dolly

On the up: Being single
On the down: Being home on a Friday night

Pooh bear wanted to go out and play tonight, but I had to say no because my back's all out after another spine realignment today (and I can't do anything except sit or lie down or walk like an old lady). And if I can't wear my killer heels and my new killer dress and dance, then I'd rather NOT go out and be a wallflower.

Some more, cannot drink or eat anything fun... so I can't very well go out and just drink water can I!

So I came home. And I'm writing in my blog like a little old spinster. Oh my god, I so don't want to end up like some spinsters that I know.

The upside of being single though is that it is just so damn nice to be able to flirt to the maxest max alltheway with people guiltfree again. You never appreciate that until you're in one of those really proper relationships. bleah.

So the toss up:

Singledom or spinsterhood.

Oh my god I sooo don't want to end up like some spinsters I know... And I can't say that enough times

*feels crap and slightly worried*

KMT Dolly

On the up: KMT
On the down: Wanting to buy everything there and not having enough cash

It's been a while since I posted posery pictures so I think it's about time I update the world and show them just
(See even good old Henry (to my left) looks like he agrees).

This was taken at Kechara Mystical Treasures' opening, which you MUST visit and buy something from, if you haven't already, because it is SO GORGEOUS and there is a giant giant beautiful Tara there. Seeeeeeeeeee!

It was totally packed out on the day. Like, the whole wide world was there, so people had to go squat outside to offer incense (evil cancer causing smelly cigarettes) to themselves.

I really LUUUURVE this photo because it's so candid and everyone's just CAUGHT.

Kennie leh, seriously looks CHAN. He needs to go to a spa, and then sleep like a hundred hours. And wash his hair. And go on a diet. And sit ups. Poor Kennie.

And and and, what's that? Ben's smiling?! And relaxed? And not looking like he's about to fall over from sleep-food-deprivation? He looks so celebriteeeee here!

Beng Kooi looks incredibly evil. Like we caught her when the evilness peeked out for a split second.

And you can even spot me in the window reflection absorbed in a very lond deep meaningful conversation with Joe, probably about all the work that I haven't done.

We had some Very Important Lady officiate the opening, but I swear that up until that day I'd never heard of her and had no idea who she was. It was so super nice of her to come though.

But really, what was most fun was seeing everyone there, and just that big old cushy comfy everyone-loves-the-world kind of feeling you get from events like these.

Dolly on a sugar high

On the up: Good health
On the down: Eating all the wrong crap

So I'm finally, after 26 years, learning what it means to eat properly and sleep properly. All the acupuncture is working magic. Now, I wake up at 6am and actually GET OUT OF BED.

And move around.

And function like a normal human being.

And now my sugar levels are going back up to normal, and my blood pressure is getting stable again. And my knees don't feel like like it's been run down by a million vehicles on the PLUS highway.

Wow, so this is how it feels like to be normal.

So the diet restrictions over the past week have been good for me after all (well, it better be when all you get to eat are steamed veggies and rice!). And I haven't even put on any weight after all those hundreds of sweets I've been stuffing in my face, and all the carbs that I've been encouraged to eat. Atkins got it all wrong with that crap protein diet, man. All you need is a big fat bowl of rice to get well.

And and and, the doctor even said today that I CAN EAT CAKE.

But the weird thing though is that I don't even crave anything. I just eat when I need to eat, and don't eat when it's not time to eat. And I'm not grumpy, or hungry, or gastric-y, or tired.

Seriously seriously, go get some needles poked into you, eat nothing but candy and steamed veggies, and you will turn into a superheroine.

Spiritual-seeker Dolly

On the up: The spiritual power places of China
On the down: The limits of a poncey digital camera

There are waaaaay too many photos of China to post up here, so I've loaded most of the best ones online.

Click here for Beijing pix
Wu Tai Shan pix
Kumbum pix.

And that isn't the whole lot! We have well over 1500 photos from the trip and if I were to upload them all, I wouldn't be able to do anything else for a week.

So heck, what do you know? After all that destruction from the Cultural Revolution, there are still so many treasures there... which made us all super sad to think of how much more there could have been.

For all their hating of the Dalai Lama, and religion and anything remotely good for your spiritual path, there sure are plenty of totally amazing, amazing, amazing power places there. You just can't believe how big the Tibetan Buddhist influence was there - all the most beautiful antique Buddha statues of Tsongkhapa, Tara, Yamantaka, everyone and everyone and everyone, the super ancient temples, and the monks and nuns which still pursue their spiritual practice in quiet pockets around the country.

The Buddhas have their own little secret holiday getaway up in the hills of China!

We went to three main places (though there are still plenty to be discovered): Beijing, where we visited temples that were frequented by Emperors and the royal families; Wu Tai Shan, a cluster of five mountains that are known to be the abode of Manjushri, Wisdom Buddha; and Kumbum Monastery, the birthplace of Buddha Je Tsongkhapa, whose lineage (Gelugpa) we follow back at home.

And pictures say a thousand words blah blah, so I've picked some of my best best best favourite photos ever to sum up the trip:


Big, lovely, golden Lama Tsongkhapa in Yung He Gung temple, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Beijing, which was the place of worship of Emperor Qian Long, during the Qing dynasty (yah okay, that didn't mean anything to me either when I first went. Qian Long? Who?). Apparently, when this statue was first made, he looked really stern and unhappy, so they called in some really really really really ancient old crafstman dude, 80+ years, crippled, old and could barely or something. He climbs all the way up on a ladder with a hammer, and bangs two dents into the sides of Tsongkhapa's mouth and now he's happy again!

I can't remember what this was, but I like it anyway because it was a very quiet moment and place in a very crowded temple. And well - with that giant incense holder and giant prayer wheel, it just makes you feel all spiritual cosy!

I was fascinated by staircases and doors the whole trip and half my pictures are arty farty ones of doors and windows and staircases from all sorts of angles. There's something so quintessentially Chinese about red doors!

You wouldn't really believe that in the middle of all those millions of pesky bicycles and rude, loud, spitting Chinese people, there is this beautiful quiet temple (Miaoying Temple) with a very precious stupa/pagoda tucked off in the back. We were the only people visiting that temple day so got a full run of the place. It was like being waaaaaaaaay back then, and you could almost forget you were in smelly Beijing.

And in that temple, was this bighugeenormous room FILLED TO THE BRIM with antique Buddhas - big ones, small ones, peaceful ones, warthful ones, female ones, male ones, fat ones, thin ones. They wouldn't let us take photos and there were these two gnomes guarding the hall and shouting at me everytime I took my camera out, but I SNUCK A SHOT anyway. so meh!

Yes okay, so even we got a bit pagoda'd out after a bit but this one was especially lovely because it was set in a little island in the middle of one of Beijing's biggest parks.


Wu Tai Shan

Really, really, I freak out when I see nuns. They are all just so neat! And I swear I've never seen an ugly nun. This was at the largest temple in Wu Tai Shan, where heaps of different monks and nuns and pilgrims from all traditions go to do prayers and prostrations. I ran around sneaking photos of all the Sangha doing their prayers. I'm sure they don't mind. It's like you could point a big fat lens in their face while they're reciting mantras and they don't bat an eyelid.

See, I like, really really really like red doors.

Okay, so I have this big fascination with the Sangha at the moment. Even seeing their robes hanging out to dry makes me get all bubbly and want to cry all over the place like a faucet. I think it's the idea that it's so "normal" for them to be hanging their robes out to dry, but it's this casualness that makes it so wonderful - that they are so humble about their monastic living, and how dedicating their whole lives to the benefit of other beings is just so everday and "normal" for them.
Monks' shoes made me freak out too. In the Buddhist tradition, the presence of a monk's shoes, especially the shoes of your own spiritual teacher, signifiy the presence of your teacher. When Lamas pass away, people put a pair of his shoes on his teaching throne, to signify that he will reincarnate again to teach.

There were 1500+ steps to climb to get up to a very sacred cave, associated with Buddha Vajrayogini. We panted, and huffed and puffed and sweated and screamed and almost wanted to push each other off the edge of the stairs because it was so damn tough. And then we saw this monk prostrating his way to the top. We shut up real fast.

Tibet, recreated on a Chinese mountain. Look look! It was so neat how everything was really Tibetan but also really Chinese at the same time - the way the prayer hall is arranged, the monks' prayer robes and the pujas. LOVES! Most of the temples are quite quiet and small now (there are often restrictions on how many monks a monastery can have.... some weird Chinese thing lah, go figure!) so it's really nice to see something dynamic like a puja session, where Dharma comes alive again.

We found this really old, beat-up looking monastery away from the madding crowd; it was probably the only place in Wu Tai Shan without a million tourists. It was so old you wouldn't believe but definitely one of our favourites because of its age. It was literally all crumbling and falling apart but it had a really comfortable, happy energy, a kind of simpleness to living.

Kumbum Monastery

Kumbum really felt like a little Tibetan version of old, old institutions like Cambridge and Oxford. It's been around for about 600 years now, and you can really feel it in the air! There's only about 600 monks now (compared to what used to be 3000) so it's a bit sad that there's such a lid on spiritual practice but there's a kind of lovely busy energy there anyway. The oldness of everything really reminds you that this region of China actually used to be Tibet where spirituality flourished, and that Buddha Je Tsongkhapa (often known as the second Buddha) really was here.

The devotion of people there was probably what was most overwhelming. People travel for months and months just to go there to do prostrations and pray at the temples. There's so much ardent faith in a very quiet but powerful way. It's also very personal and deep, and part of the fun of being there is wondering what every individual's personal spiritual story is.

Debate sessions! Debating is an integral part of learning in the Gelugpa schoolf of Tibetan Buddhism, and monasteries always have that as part of their curriculum. They only have debate sessions twice a week in Kumbum but we managed to catch a session. They all flew into the debate courtyard with their monks' hats and robes and it was SOOO Hogwarts, for real!

The nicest thing about being in all these places is just seeing random monks dotted about everywhere, like it's just totally normal for them to be sitting on a ledge just thinking about stuff. It makes me sooo almost want to go shave my head, don some robes and be a holy schmoly lovely nun for awhile................................

.......................but when I told Rinpoche this, he told me no way. I'm not going to be a nun in this lifetime, it's not my path, and even if I want to be a nun I won't be allowed to. In his words, "You have to have a fabulous life this lifetime. That's where your work is."

Ho hum, well I ain't complaining.

I still freak out radiogoogoo radiogaga nuts when I see Sangha tho!

Diet Dolly

On the up: Health and weight loss
On the down: Sweets and needles

After all that deliciously soggy Chinese good, which led to a wonderful, pain-inflicting bout of gastric, I lost 3 kilos.

Who said I can't lose weight as quickly as I put it on? I can lose it faster, damnit. All it takes is starvation and a serious case of acid in my tums.

But heck, that ain't healthy! (I could have told you that! said the voice in my head).

I have joined the cult that everyone I know has joined and am now seeing a Chinese doctor/acupuncturist about why the hell my insides are all fucked up and why my knee STILL feels like a lorry just drove over it.

So now he's put me on some godawful life-is-a-misery diet which, coupled with the acupuncture looks to bringing all the bits inside back to a level playing ground. Start back at basics then, so things can (re)figure out how they're actually supposed to work, and stop screwing me up thank you very much.

So this means:
no protein at all (no mean, no eggs, no dairy, no soya, no beans, no nuts)
no alcohol
no heaty food
no cooling food (not even fruit!)
no tea, coffee and cold drinks

When I heard I said, "What the hell else is there left to eat?!"

Sharon assured me I could still eat vegetables and rice.



Also, there is some very strange theory about sugar levels so I have to eat a whole tonne of sweets - like 8 sweets, EVERY FRICKING HOUR.

There is a logical explanation for this but I can't talk about it because just thinking about sweets makes me want to vomit. Apparently though, it won't make me put on weight... so we shall see how it goes in 50 days, and if I'm as big as a boat I am going to SCREAM and burn down his shop lot.

no sex
no alcohol
no exercise
and I must sleep on my back, straight as plank.

This is SO not fun. bleaaaaaaaaaaaargh.

But I am a hypocondriac and a sucker and I will believe anything so I'm going to do these 100 days. I have will power, I do! Just you watch!

Some people SERIOUSLY need to stop being so goddamn self-righteous.

(And I don't care how "attached" or "self-cherishing" I sound by saying this)

Poor Bitch

On the up: Clean toilets
On the down: China

Dolly is back from China! And everything about the trip was amazing and wonderful except for the China part - but that's a very long story and will have to be written when I'm in a better writing mood.

Now I've got gastric (I blame it on China because it made me lose my appetite, so I didn't eat, so I got gastric) so I feel nicely pathetic and whingey. Poor bitch.

Took 870 photos in 8 days though so they will all be up soon, completely with stories about what it's like to visit the Buddhas' exclusive holiday homes up in the hills.


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