We’ve all been affected by the Covid-19 situation, though thanks to having had a 7-year head start in pivoting my business online, any impact on my bottom line has been minimal. (If you’ve followed me long enough you’d know that I quit my restaurant and subsequently most of my market operations when my special needs child Noah came home from the hospital in 2013.)
While I’m doing okay, I can’t help but process the unfolding situation with lockdowns and curfews through the lens…
I can’t even remember how long I’d been with the NRMA; for years and years, I’d faithfully paid for roadside assistance and used them for my comprehensive car insurance without a thought about switching.
Because, frankly, I was just too complacent about shopping around for better prices. I took it in good faith when they told me I was on the maximum no-claim bonus rate, plus their customer service had always been top-notch, I thought.
That was until about a month ago, when I had a flat battery as I was headed out at 7.30am, and had to call for…
It all started with cancelled travel plans. I was meant to be in Hong Kong to give a keynote speech about Southeast Asian Street Food and Cultural Identity. The coronavirus pandemic put paid to that, at least for the foreseeable future.
Then my weekly Char Kway Teow pop-up stall got cancelled indefinitely — again, courtesy of Covid-19.
Another week, another hilarious error of culinary judgement by people who clearly have no right to be paid for their food “expertise”.
We all remember the legendary “crispy rendang” episode of MasterChef UK, where the judges eliminated Malaysian contestant Zaleha Olpin because her chicken rendang skin wasn’t crispy (which is like giving your friendly Italian neighbourhood joint a one-star Google Review because their pepperoni pizza didn’t come smothered with curry sauce).
And that time Australian cooking show Good Chef Bad Chef demonstrated how to cook a Malaysian nasi lemak (steamed coconut rice with sambal etc.) …
It’s easy for me to keep track of how long I’ve been doing live videos — I started right after Noah was born. I had just given birth via emergency caesarean and was still recovering at Westmead Hospital when an email from Google Australia showed up in my inbox.
Google wanted to set up a meeting with me about their soon-to-be-launched new platform, Hangouts-on-Air — they wanted to pitch the idea of using it to do live cooking videos, so I hopped on a video call with them from the neonatal ICU waiting room a few days later.
One of the measures of whether a restaurant’s food is good is whether it’s “authentic” — a term that’s a particular favourite of armchair food critics the world over.
Now, as a former Malaysian restaurateur and professional cook, I’ve received my fair share of accolades and criticisms about my own food over the last 27 years.
I generally ignore the opinion and scorecard ratings of self-appointed experts (ie. most Instagrammers and food bloggers) who have never cooked a plate of food for willing, paying customers themselves, and who seem to think we restaurateurs are basically a bunch of soulless, talentless…
After 7 years of zero child support, yet refusing to hand over full parental responsibility of baby Noah — our severely disabled child with Down Syndrome that he wants nothing to do with — to me, thus costing me thousands in legal fees while I tried to take the high road and keep quiet on this ongoing battle, I have just sent this message to my ex-husband, Tommy Shonquist Jr. of Omaha, Nebraska.
I will, of course, be sharing more in due course; in the meantime, Tommy Shonquist Jr, wherever you are, please check your mailbox since you clearly aren’t receiving my messages, judging from your silence. And if you’re a friend of Tommy’s please be sure to let him know!
Ever since I wrote about my experience with Believe Music’s fake copyright claims on my YouTube videos, I’ve had MANY of you reach out to me privately with your own stories. Intriguingly, while Believe had previously ignored all my attempts to communicate with them, they suddenly got back to me via email soon after I published my story. This was what they said —
Dear Mrs Jackie M,
We have been informed of a YouTube Content Id problem that affects your videos.
Do not hesitate to dispute a claim that you found invalid via your…
Heads-up — if you’re reading this and expecting my usual snark, you are going to be disappointed.
I published my previous post late on Wednesday night, and I woke up on Thursday morning to this message -
Robb Demarest — Jackie, I apologize for hurting and being insensitive to your feelings. You deserved much better treatment, and I was wrong. I should have said this a long time ago. I’m sorry.
I didn’t respond immediately, but frankly, I felt it was grossly inadequate, and I was somewhat suspicious of his motives.
More messages trickled in during the day, until finally…
Every now and again, I get an email from YouTube that some random company has claimed that they own the copyright to the music used in my cooking videos.
Now, I have over 350 videos on my YouTube channel. Every piece of music I use to accompany these videos is legally obtained — they’re either copyright-free with source and credit given, or they’re music for which a licence has been paid by the numerous video editors I’ve used over the years.
In said email, YouTube is gracious enough to tell me that I’m “not in trouble”, just that any ad…