Quote Today

    If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    When Heels Break Chasing the Circus Share

    Ever wonder why things don't get done as quickly as they should be here in Brunei?

    Why important tasks or information always get delayed or never reach us on time? (well..except for unruly gossips)

    Why we should never wear heels when we have errands to do when in government buildings?

    Each department hasn't a clue what the other departments are doing.

    I swear to you this isn't the first time it's happened. I was subject to the same circus-chase back in UBD when I was dealing with my course continuation.

    As you'd probably have heard, I recently landed a teaching job and being a new teacher there were administration matters I had to take care of. One of them was to fill in the Tafis form (so I can start getting paid) and send them in to the ministry. The clerk was supposed to send them in but I guessed she thought I could do that myself. I didn't mind going up Bandar - it gives me an excuse to see The Boyfriend.

    So yesterday, 1:30pm on the dot I was at the lobby of JSS (Department of Schools) booking myself a lift ride up to the 12th floor to send in a letter (not the Tafis). Letter given, I asked the clerk there if he knew where I could send the form to. He said to try the 10th floor, which is the Finance Dept.

    Off I'm down to the 10th floor,

    me: ah..slamat patang. disini kah tampat ngantar borang Tafis?
    clerk: apa tu...borang Tafis (with a puzzled look)..bukan sini tu..kita cuba tingkat 9 ah..
    me: ok bah..trima-seh..

    Off I'm down to the 9th floor, only to find it was the Books & Supplies Dept. I'm thinking, this is not right. So I decided to go down to the Reception Desk on the ground floor and asked, for sure.

    Lobby, receptionist say I'm to go to the 10th floor. I asked, "Sure?" Receptionist nodds and types away.

    Up to the 10th floor I was again, and this time I showed the form to the clerk to make sure he knows what I'm referring to.

    clerk 1: ..borang apa kan ni?...Tafis?...kita apa kan?..guru menengah kah?
    me: awu..kana suruh ngantar borang ani lapas ada surat penempatan dari UPG...tapi inda tau ngantar kemana.
    clerk 2: ..bukan sini ni..cuba kita cuba di..tin..
    clerk 1: awu bukan sini..mana kami tau ni borang ani..
    clerk: bah kita cuba ja di tingkat 4 arh UPG atu ja ah..
    me: ookkeeyy...trima-seh

    Down to the 4th floor, I shoved the Tafis (well, not exactly) into the clerk's face without a word, and the nice clerk said,

     "..borang Tafis?...bukan sini ni ah...di MOE di Berakas..blok B, tingkat 3 ah.."

    I could only smile back and say, "okey, trima-seh."

    En-route MOE, I was thinking this time shouldn't be so much of a trouble. I know where I should go, I just didn't know where Block B was. Ask receptionist, just to be sure.

    clerk: kalau borang ani, kita antar arah tingkat 1 ni ah..
    me: bukan tingkat 3?
    clerk: inda. ani untuk begaji hari tingkat 1 ni..

    I went to Block B and just to be extra safe, I asked the security desk. He, too, said I should go to the 1st floor.

    Pushed the swing doors and found a label that read, "Unit Bergaji Hari". I sighed the biggest relief and pushed my form through the small window counter.

    The lady behind the counter smiled and said,

    "...bukan sini kita ngantar borang ani..."

    I swear to you my heels broke - eventhough I wasn't wearing heels.

    clerk: borang ani kita antar arah unit keanggotaan di tingkat 3 ah..balah kanan pintu nya ah.

    So I dragged myself up to the 3rd floor, all the while swearing this would the last of my circus-chase for today or I would definitely lose it and tear the form into half.

    Bless my luck, I found the counter and for the last time asked the clerk if that was where I should send in my Tafis form. The man smiled, and to my heart's delight, he nodded.

    A simple errand speaks volume of how things get done (or not) around here in Brunei. Workers complain that people are constantly complaining about them, but can you really blame us?

    Is this the Bruneian way, even in the professional areas of how things are governed in a government institution?

    I suppose the Ministry of Home Affairs hasn't a clue what's going on in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Losing Brain Cells Share

    I don't read so much of the "serious" blogs like Huffington Post and the likes. I do sometimes but it isn't what tickles my fancy.

    My daily reads come from bloggers who write about events and experiences that they come about with and somehow makes all that related to you (the reader) as well. I like those kind of reads - it makes me think and reflect, not make me feel like I'm losing brain cells.

    Blogs I don't read and/or immediately stop reading are the kinds that babbles about how their day was, where they had lunch at and what they bought today at The Mall. Teenagers, and adults who are teenagers-at-heart, maybe, enjoy those trivial updates.

    Blogs like that make me feel like I'm getting stupider by the minute - kind of like sitting through and watching Carmen's the Perfect Catch.

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    When You Think I'm A Lazy Bum Share

    So the house looks a tad messy. And I haven't been cooking lunches or dinners for the family so often now. You must think, and I know you say, that I'm a lazy bum who have forgotten her responsibilities.

    I'm not going to make this too vague for you to comprehend.

    It's not because I have forgotten - I've only decided to become a lazy bum because I feel lately you all have "looked" at me as if I'm the maid in the house.

    So I know that I don't pay the bills, I know that I don't have to buy the groceries, and I know that I don't go to work, yet. And I understand that when you all are out at work in the morning, obviously I'd be the one doing the house chores at home. I have been doing this - but I stopped when I realize that you leave your used glasses everywhere in the house, you scatter your mail envelopes and the newspapers on the table, and you throw junks from your room into the living room, all for me to pick up and tidy up.

    That's not so much the problem - it's the fact that you deliberately do all that for me to do the cleaning up when you could have pick up after yourselves is the problem.

    And then you come home from work and see all the mess, you lash out on me and call me lazy. I understand it is stressful to see mess especially coming home from work. And you could even use the justification that since you all are at work, I should clean it all up.

    Okay, I'll admit that I'm wrong there, and I should clean it all up. And that I should cook you lunches every single day.

    But surely, in the evening, on Fridays and Sundays, the justification does not stand. Surely, the responsibilities do not only sit on my shoulder (and Mommy & Daddy) during these times.

    But still, in the evenings, on Fridays and Sundays, you still leave your used glasses everywhere, you still scatter your mail envelopes and the newspapers on the table and you still throw junks from your room into the living room.

    I don't want to complain so much, all the time, and I don't want to always have to argue about house chores with you all, all the time. All I'm asking is to not "look" at me like I'm the maid in the house because

    1) I'm not a maid;
    2) I'm not paid to work like one (if you would pay me like a maid, I'll gladly do your laundry, too); and
    3) Nobody else is helping me feed, clean and tend to Twinkle, LuluBelle and Tiny three times a day.

    You'd say it's my responsibilities.

    Sure, of course, no doubt about that.

    But where are yours?

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Will Write Soon Share



    Two weeks without a word.

    I know, I'm ashamed, too.

    I've been busy.

    It's not even an excuse.

    I have been busy.

    Mostly with my kittens.

    And my life...

    Will write soon.

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Towards Those Steps Share

    As of at the moment, I'm preparing a four/five-part "saga", in unison to the days counting to my graduation this Saturday.

    Nothing too depressing (as of my other posts have been), merely a re-collection of memories and experiences that have made me the person that I am today, of things that I have learnt and most definitely still learning from and what it means to take to the stage and receive that thin sheet of paper that will in a way, lay the path to my future.

    This may seem trivial to you, but it means a whole lot more to me because it was my journey. It is my graduation. It will be my moment.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Whatever Makes You Happy Share

    I see a tumbleweed roll across the page of my blog.

    There goes another one.

    I haven't abandon my blog - like I said before, there haven't been anything worth to write about. Not anything that I won't be able to stop myself from pushing some buttons meant not to be pushed.

    You see, people have gone sensitive a level or two higher. I'm a pretty sensitive soul, and I usually get paranoid about it. But I also am able to deem it trivial soon enough, too. It keeps me sane.

    Plus, I don't need the added stress from having to argue with people about who's wrong and who's right; who's better at something and who's not; what's a negative critique and what's a constructive one. Most of all, I don't like ruining relationships with people just over silly little sillys.

    I get it that we're susceptible to the negatives that get thrown daily into our faces to the point that it crushes us in such ways imaginable, especially when it stems from those who know us well. And I've been known to cast the first stone.

    Our emotions heed us to believe that these people prey on our weaknesses because of some personal vendetta, that every opponent, every critic must have an agenda. An agenda that spells out jealousy, envy, amour propre - our emotions tell our mind to accept these as true of the people. It finally gives us reasons to justify our vindictiveness, much characterized by rancour, that soon tells ourselves that we (I am) are right, and they (you) are wrong.

    Without a doubt, like you, I go through these stages, too. There have always been moments when I tell myself that I must be right about this, that my actions and decisions were called for, and that my reasons suffice at its basics. These are when I over-analysed everything, when I cared too much.

    But when I accepted it as it is, when I didn't bother too much about it, I soon realized one fundamental thing about human, about being an individual. It is the one thing that we have too soon forgotten about in this day and age.

    That everyone is capable of making sincerely held difference of opinions. Without any agenda, without any reason.

    You might say that a blog at Wordpress is better, I might say that a blog at Blogspot is superb. You might say that a BMW is the top-notch, I would say a Volkswagon Touareg is a prime sterling. You might say that it is your own passion, I might think it's a borrowed inspiration.

    My point is, don't be too quick to judge a person's character or assume that I've got an agenda just because of one un-informed comment. If you want to continue to believe that I must be overly envious of something, then go ahead. It's okay if you want to live in your own little world, because I sometimes do.

    Whatever makes you happy.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    I'll Keep You Safe in my Heart Share

    Day 4 (15th October 2009)

    Dear Tiny,

    Today, you went to be with God.

    As hopeful as I was when I woke up this morning, I knew somehow that you will go. But it's okay, Tiny. I know you've tried.

    Can I tell you how much I miss holding you so close to my heart, so close to my face that I can feel you breathe?

    Can I tell you how much the others miss you, because somehow they know you're not there anymore? I found it hard to keep them calm and not cry all the time.

    And can I tell you how much I love you and despite losing you today, I am still so proud of you?

    Even though my heart is broken and I can feel you missing in it, I have to tell you that I am so proud of your brother & sister today.

    And I know you are proud of them today, too.

    p/s: Sleep well, my Tiny, for I'll keep you safe in my heart, always.

    Dear God's Gifts... Share

    Day 1 (12th October 2009)

    Dear God's Gifts,

    Today, Mom brought you home and I was so excited when I looked at you three. Mom said if you were to be left out there, maybe you wouldn't survive. Nobody would have taken care of you.

    But now that you are here, I will take care of you.

    I will feed you, I will clean you, I will hold you close to my heart and I will love you every single day.

    I'm sorry if the milk wasn't warm enough,
    I'm sorry if I held you too tight.
    But it's okay if you scratched me,
    And it's okay if you pee-ed on my hand.

    I hope you see how happy I am of you,
    And I hope you see the smile I smiled,
    Everytime I feed you,
    And everytime I hold you in the palm of my hand.

    They say not all of you will likely survive,
    That even with the greatest of care,
    And the greatest of love,
    Can help you survive.

    So I pray to God every night before I close my eyes,
    And after I've tucked you in all warm & comfy,
    That you will be strong and give me a chance to love you another day.

    Darlings, I am so proud of you today.

    Day 2 (13th October 2009)

    Dear God's Gifts,

    It is so nice to see that you've grown a bit and drinking a lot more milk today.

    It is even nicer to see that you love to climb onto my palm and cuddle so calmly everytime I try to feed you. To look at your tiny face, so cute and cuddly, you know you make me very happy.

    But I'm worried about one of you. You're so small than the rest and you're not drinking as much as the others.

    Yesterday, you were okay. Today, you're looking a little bit weak. I really hope you'll get better soon. It breaks my heart to see you like that.

    Tonight, I pray for you three, and hoped for another day to love you.

    But darlings, I'm so proud of you today.

    Day 3 (14th October 2009)

    Dear God's Gift,

    Today I woke up with a dread in my heart. My tiny little one, you have become so weak.

    You still would climb onto my palm and cuddle so calmly. But why aren't you drinking. I have loved and cared for you as much as I have the others. So please don't break my heart today.

    Tonight as I lay sleeping, I  prayed to God to give me a chance to hold you in my palm another day, to care for you another day, to love you another day.

    But Tiny, I am so proud of you today.

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Our Love will Pay the Bills Share

    Don't you worry there, my honey
    We might not have any money
    But we've got our love to pay the bills.

    Maybe I think you're cute & funny
    Maybe I wanna do what bunnies do
    With you, if you know what I mean.

    Well, you might be a bit confused
    And you might be a little bruised
    But baby how we spoon like no one else.

    So I will help you read those books
    If you will soothe my worried looks
    And we will put the lonesome on the shelf.

    Let's get rich and buy our parents home in the south of France
    Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters
    And teach them how to dance.

    Let's get rich and build our house on a mountain
    Making everybody look like ants
    From way up there, you & I.

    You & I...

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    My Opinions, Where It Matters Share

    This is an old one...but I had to post it here, anyways.

    Rush of the Brunei Times was doing a piece on grassroot leadership and its role in modern Brunei and asked for opinions. So I offered some. Click on picture to read the article (dated 14th September 2009).

    My opinions do matter, afterall!

    p/s: Thanks, Rush!

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Farid, Madat was Right... Share

    No, I'm not on a hiatus.

    I haven't been writing because...

    ...there's just isn't anything important to write about at the moment...

    And, yes, Farid, what Madat said was right...

    ...there haven't been anyone around to argue with or be angry at at the moment.

    Not anyone worthy of my rantings, anyways. =D

    Was going to write about a certain someone who claims that jumping around as a ha-nun-ta-wau calls for an impressive acting...

    ...but, pissing a ha-nun-ta-wau off probably isn't a good idea.

    I piss off friends and families, just not a ha-nun-ta-wau.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    This Raya, What Social Class Do You Belong To? Share

    First of all,

    I like the festive season. Everybody gets a reason to get all dolled up and visit friends & relatives. For me, though, I like it because I get to do some people-observation. In other words, I'm gossiping with myself inside my head where no one can hear me say stuff like "She's about to blow up in that tight baju raya" or "Oh my, what thick make-up" and even ask things like, "Are you expecting?" while looking at her tummy and then getting a jerked response, "NO!" There's a drama in my head and I provide the scripts, too.

    Call me cruel - but I'm sure you do that, too.

    I guess for others this festive season is for them to show the scope of their wealth in everything. The big house, the grandeur buffet table, the crystals-adorned lightings and decoration, the size and amount of "manik" on the baju raya, the blings on the shoes and rings; and all the other glitzy paraphernalia. I will admit that that is what I look at when I'm "raya"-ing.

    Nevertheless, I'm not saying that that is necessarily a bad thing - to want to show how "kaya" you are during Raya. Besides, I'm only observing the etiquettes of the social monkeys during this month of get-together and making new acquaintances.

    If there was one thing I could nit-pick about what I don't like that people do during Raya, it would definitely have to be someone creating a division of social classes in terms of what we do (occupation) and assuming how much we're making in a year.

    Yesterday, my family and I went to an uncle's place up in Sengkurong for an openhouse-lunch. My parents were making small talk with my uncle and his wife about much-ado of nothings when another batch of family came, I assume a colleague of my uncle, who later joined the conversation. Out of formalities, my parents were introduced to the colleague, of whom was a high-ranking officer of a department in the ministry or of the sorts, I presume. So the conversation turned into a showcase of his connections with "pehin-pehin", the "dato-dato" and the likes.

    Maybe out of courtesy to not leave out my parents in the conversation, he asked what my parents do for a living. My parents are both in the education department - nothing glitzy about it but it is a noble profession. The high-ranking officer did not think so highly of it, though. In fact, he responded to my parents' answer with a "hmmph" and nothing else. Then he continued his showcase of connections with people in higher places, snubbing my parents off into oblivion.

    Later, in the car when my parents told of that incident, I told my parents that they should have said, "Oh, we are just teachers but we still make as much money as you do." My mother however, reasoned that there is no need to show your social standing because it doesn't matter. We didn't need to get that high-ranking officer's approval just so that we could be in the same social class.

    My mother has a point. I reckon this is what becoming a teacher does to a person - it gives you the power of wisdom, much wiser than that of a high-ranking officer, at least.

    That was Day 1. Wonder what else will come next?

    Christmas, I hope.

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Of Buses & Trains - What do you think? Share

    Love to see this come to fruition in the near future.

    Have something like the tube in London or the monorail in KL right here in Brunei, I'd be happy to use public transports all the time.

    Provided that it doesn't soon become synonymous with the standards of them purple buses that most Indons (no offense) always take.

    Maybe, then, we could have those Oyster cards like they use in London.

    I don't know, but there is something "cool" about carrying these card passes around all the time and topping them up with a swipe. 

    But then that's just me.

    Instead of Oyster, we could call it Kerang...or Ambuyat...or Pulut...

    I don't know..I'm just making these up.Any suggestions?

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Behind These Words....Are More Words Share

    Mankind shouldn't have been given the gift of language. Spoken or written, it was a BAD, BAD idea all the same.

    Especially when words are used by persons who do not understand the full weight of a particular word or phrase or sentence. We would have never looked so ridiculous if someone hadn't string-ed the word "freedom" with a "but" in the same sentence.

    Talk is cheap. That is why anyone can do that. It's easy to say I don't like backstabbers or I am a friendly person. It's not easy to show that in character. Despite these kinds of self-portrayal, we still talk behind people's back or ignore someone we decide not to like.
    This is the danger of using words to portray ourselves - they're not often realized in our own actions.

    Of course, the probable solution to this is that we could always add more words so that it becomes clearer. For example, I don't like backstabbers but I do it, too and I am a friendly person - only to people I like. This way, we'll save a whole load of trouble of having to ask so many questions about you because then we'll know why you're not friendly to us (because you don't like us) or why we shouldn't back-stab you (because you'll back-stab us back).

    I mean, it really makes everything less confusing for post-ape revolutions like us humans.

    And as I sit here in my four-poster bed amongst my velvet plushes, wearing my PJs, my laptop on a pillow in front of me and write away, my words portray me as the person that I am.

    I am a hypocrite - only because I know everyone else is.

    I criticize others a lot - because when I sat on a particular chair in the computer room, others criticized me.

    I can be unfriendly - because I'm upset that you're unfriendly to me.

    I don't forgive often - because when I apologized, you laughed at my face and called me a liar.

    I hold a lot of anger in me - because so many have been angry with me.

    So many negatives, and many acts have proved them. But to me, they are still just words. And surely, these do not define me, but only when according to you.

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    Terasa? Tak...aku takut je... Share


    "You tulis note tu utk sape ye?"

    "Inda nuju ke siapa-siapa. Sekadar luahan hati sja."
    "Tapi kalau ada yang terasa, barangkali note atu utk orang atu lh."
    "Tepuk dada, tanya sendiri napa terasa."

    "You tak takut ke diorang marah kat you?Gossip2 psl you kat org lain?"

    "Sukati durng lh k. Bkn aku bleh buat apa-apa."
    "Durang kn gossip arh boipren/gepren kh, arh mak-bapa durng kh, arh makcik sblah rmh kh?"
    "Manasaja lah."

    "Oh, you tak takut lh?"

    "Aku nda takut orang."
    "Aku takut pada Tuhan saja...."
    "....dan ular..."
    "...dan spider..."
    "...dan lipas."

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Benci? Tak, aku marah je... Share

    Kawan malaysia ku tanya, "Knapa diorang benci sgt kat you?"

    Aku jawab, "Ntah ah..barangkali pasal aku kritik diorang tym atu."
    "Durang nda dpt nerima kli, wlupun durng ckp durang welkom kritikan."
    "Tau tau, durng marah, trus benci lah."
    "MUNGKIN lah."

    Kawan ku kata, "Habis, you dlu kena kritik apamacam benda, you tak marah?"
    "Tak benci?"

    Aku kata, "Memang aku marah, sapa nda marah."
    "Tapi aku nda benci. Durang tetap kawan-kawanku."
    "Sukati dia lah kn kritik - barangkali dh stail nya catu."

    Kawan ku tanya,"Cemana you tau?" You reti nak nilai org ke?"

    Aku jawab,"Aku bukan org seni, bkn jugak pakar sociologist."
    "Tapi aku pandai jua menilai. Sapa2 ja pun pandai."
    "Dh jadi lumrah sifat manusia - menilai orang nda dpt lari dri sifat sendiri."
    "MUNGKIN lah."

    Kawan ku kata,"You nak kritik, you bagi nasihat lh jugak."

    Aku kata,"Klau aku kritik, aku kritik sja."
    "Ikut expectation aku lh."
    "Klau kn nasihat kan, bukan aku reti sangat psl hal atu."
    "Nanti orang ucap CAKAP TAK SERUPA BIKIN."

    Aku tambah lagi,"Lgipun, durng bkn jenis mau ndengar nasihat orang lain."
    "Yang salah, durng nda ngakun. Yang betul, durng heboh kn tlebih."
    "Klau aku nasihat, dok pintu telinga di kepit."
    "Durng kata, AKU NI APA TAU."
    "MUNGKIN lah."

    Kawan malaysia ku jawab, "Oooohhhh..."

    Aku jawab, "MUNGKIN lah. AKU NI APA TAU."


    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Proud to be a Photoshop-Freak Share

    I've been getting questions why I like Photoshop so much. The reactions were mixed - many liked what I did and then there's a handful who thinks Photoshop are for people who can't produce beautiful pictures with a shutter-click.

    It's either that, or they're just Photoshop-dumb to begin with.

    A Greek architecture in one of London's museum - I darkened the surroundings and gave the colors on the structure a feel of Roman mystique and glow. Without editing, the picture couldn't (I believe) be dramatic as it should be.

    It's ignorant of a person to say, I feel, that just because I like to edit pictures to give the colors a little " pop" here and there, that I'm not creative, that I haven't got an eye for a good picture or that I can't appreciate the real beauty in an un-edited picture. I simply feel sometimes I need to do justice to potentially beautiful pictures that otherwise would remain dull and shoved under the "Bad Stock Images" folder, never to be looked at again.

    But please don't get me wrong with this - I'm not here to justify why we should or should not edit our pictures in Photoshop. That's up to each individual's preferences.

    I played with highlight and shadow settings with this picture. I like how it turned out, especially since if gone without editing, this mosque would have look particularly dull.

    Photoshop or not, editing a picture is still editing. So you claim that the only editing you would do is to adjust color, contrast or level so you would say you're not a Photoshop-freak. Oh yeah, sure I do that,too - but I do that with Photoshop. I mean I could have just use the automated button on ACDSee - but I think that's for people who are lazy and dare I say it - uncreative with creativeness. I would feel like I'm limiting the possibilities, that's all.

    Spin it any other way you like, the bottom line is you EDIT. Just not with Photoshop.

    With that said, I can live without editing my pictures whether it's in Photoshop or any other application software. I can leave a picture that already has wonderful colors or composition, completely untouched. And yes, I do have the ability to agree with others who advocate the simplicity and the originality of pictures as being the more impressive element of a picture when compared to an edited one. But you must learn as well to agree with some of us who thinks sometimes a little editing here and there can still emulate the same "impressive" factor, all the same.

    This sunset scene I took a few weeks ago on the beach is one amongst many pictures that I have left untouched because of its sheer beauty naturally.

    I understand, nevertheless, not all will be open towards my muse. And there's no forcing it, either. My boyfriend has his mixed reactions towards my editing - sometimes he really likes it and sometime he'd say ,"Beb, that's a little too much".

    Most of the time, I'd ignore him. =p

    So call me a Photoshop-freak, whatever. Editing is still editing, even by any other name.

    Monday, August 24, 2009

    Smattering On About Nothing Important Share

    Oh you don't say?

    Why didn't you say so in the first place? We could have saved a millenium-old age of international disputes and blatant disrespect that have inflicted the human race.

    Oh wait...

    That's right - we're only humans. We're incapable of such control over such desires and temptations.

    I'm sorry...I can't nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize. I don't know if I should - ever.

    p/s: Obviously, I'm an Obama...

    Photo from Funworld Magazine.

    I Am Lemon - Feature Blog Share

    I'm feeling a little generous today. I'd like to share my space here to feature a blog that I frequently read, sometimes to get a sort of a jolt, for us people who think we're ALL THAT, needs once in a while.

    Farid Azlan Ghani's blog I Am Lemon is an outlet of life's anecdotes, particularly his, through the experiences of the realities in life. Perhaps, if he had one thing to say what his posts were all about, it would be the fact that we're humans and we're all hypocrites because we're all here for the very same reasons. But this, I only assume.. =D

    Here, I would like to post an entry from Farid's blog that I feel captures the bits of truth of human's selfishness and arrogance that inflict not just us, but by you, as well. Enjoy.

    Suara Yang Tak Mau Kau Dengar

    Ooooi orang tingkat atas

    Kalau melihat kebawah jangan setakat memandang dari sana

    Turun dan pijak bumi sini

    Supaya kau ingat dan rasa semula

    Angin semput dilaluan kecil ini

    Di sini ..ya disinilah titik mula panjat tangga mu keatas

    Dah lupa???? Baik kau ingat balik sebelum….

    Kami orang bawah tidak lagi mahu memandang mu dengan mendongak keatas

    Waktu itu nanti kau akan goyang dan jatuh

    Jatuh seperti orang yang terjun tiruk

    Terlalu laju melintasi bola mata kami

    Hingga tiada perasaan di hati kami untuk ambil tahu pun

    Sehinggalah kedebub!!! Bunyi jatuh yang melintasi telinga kami

    Terdengar jauh orang mengaduh parah

    Dan kami tercari-cari

    semangat untuk mencari

    Itupun kalau kami peduli.
    Touche, my friend, touche...

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    A Face-Lift or A Face-Down? Share

    You might have noticed a change in design. You might not.

    I spent about a week picking out a suitable theme and tweaking the HTMLs and CSS here & there (with many a great painstaking hours) and battled in arguments with gadgets developers about their gadgets failing to initialize in my blog.

    Basically it's a face-lift, or a face-down, depending on how you see it. It consists of the fewest possible widgets to still have a functioning theme.

    The best part about it is that it loads the page so much faster than before. Yes, I definitely like that.

    That's all for now. I'll post something new soon. If you're lucky, maybe I'll get something on tonight.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    On Becoming Silent on Things That DOESN"T Matter Share

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
    - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    I had only one thing in mind when I started blogging - to voice out things that matter to me. That my flair for writing would only be reserved for things that I believe makes an impact in my life and perhaps unto others who would spare a moment of their time to read it. And that my blog would only represent it as only words that decorate the meanings of what mattered to me.

    But 55 posts and dozens CSS changes later, my blog is the epitome of classic human insatisfaction and above all, trivial-ness.

    I must insist, though, that some posts have been writings of the heart and of the intellect mind that I once in a while put to good use. But for the most part, I wrote and posted because I had to. And it even had to do with the fact that I had to "compete" - this I must confess.

    Recalling when I first lost sight of what I wanted to represent, I am never sure of this. Maybe it was the lure of trying to have a blog that is very Web 2.0-ey; maybe it was the thrill in seeing how many subscribers and readers that made their ways onto my blog; maybe it was the sort of validation that my blog has better content than yours could that I was seeking, that drove me to a blind state.

    Whilst on my many hunts for ideas to write about just recently, it dawned on me that I haven't been true to myself and to the hope of what I'd like to represent through this medium. On an episode of mini-epiphany, I realized that I didn't have to write about something just because it was on every other blogs; that I didn't have to have a spectrum of colors on my blog just to show how "lovely with colors" it is; that I didn't have to constantly join online community groups to show for ; that I didn't need to tell the world that just because I know terms like DOF and HDR, I rightfully own the right to call myself a photographer or a digital art designer(in fact, that's a very lousy excuse). The truth is as it is - I'm not most things I claim to be.

    It just didn't matter, as I found out. Not to you, not to me.

    So, with this posting, I marked it the end of all the "clutters" and "trivial-ness" of what this blog was, and the next time I write a new post, it'll be on a new, fuddle-muddle-mare's-nest-of-a-hotchpotch-free blog that will only be of things that matter to me. I'm saying goodbye to unnecessary widgets and links, and making my farewells to the bird that tweets and the art that deviates.

    With that, I sincerely apologize for the flow of verbosity that may have been deemed offending and unnecessary. I offer no justification for my vile actions and even thoughts because they were simply, stoically the fruit of my selfishness and disrespect. And with this, I will try, with the original vision I had with this blog, become silent on things that doesn't matter, things that fringes on acts of selfishness and disrespect.

    And of course, as of my policy, don't expect any honey-i-love-you's and today-i-fought-with-my-boyfriend dramas - my private life has to remain, even if it is turbulent, private as it is.

    Not Following You Share

    Do you see me trying to emulate you?



    End of Story.

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Freed American Journalists - A Source of Happiness Share

    CNN's breaking news last night at around 9PM moved me to tears as Laura Ling and Euna Lee reunites with their families in a full-news-coverage, tear-filled airport reunion that was "a source of happiness" (Obama, as cited by Klustout via Twitter) for the nation and perhaps, even the world.

    As the two American journalists, who were working for Al-Gore's Current TV channel, fell into the embraces of their loved ones, the harsh possibilities that they might have to work in North Korea's labor camp for 12 years finally dissipated. This remarkable feat of freeing the inhuman imprisonment of the two journalists on March 17th and who were later charged with illegal crossing into North Korea at the China-North Korean border; and suspicions of spying on June 8th, was made possible by a rescue-mission dispatched by the Obama camp and led by former President Bill Clinton. The negotiation between Clinton and North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong II apparently lasted for 20 hours, as reported by media sources, after Clinton landed in Pyongyang on August 4th for a "surprise visit".

    I have not followed this story in detail, but I have heard of its development over the months. It was probably ignorant on my part, back then, to think and question why wasn't the US government doing anything to free them. Now, knowing Clinton and camp were amongst those on the forefront of the release efforts, it only strengthens my reasons why I still idolizes Clinton and Al Gore.

    Some have speculated that the two journalists were never in real danger in the hands of North Korea's tyrant leader. That they (the journalists) were merely "bargaining chips" in a "high stakes poker game" (source: Meek, NY Daily News) in Kim's attempt to seek political pardon and diplomatic solution, following North Korea's much opposed nuclear weapons implementation.

    In whatsoever the real issue behind the imprisonment was, nothing would have compared in horror to the ordeal through which Laura and Euna endured during their 5-month captivity. Now, safely back at home and reunited with their families, nothing is more important than that, and whatever Clinton bargained with Kim in Pyongyang just a few days ago, I just hope it doesn't come at the expense of other people and matters.

    I don't think the US needs to sit down at another table of
    "high-stakes poker game" with the North Koreans and gambles another human life or two, be it Americans or Koreans, as "bargaining chips".

    News sources and photos courtesy of the NYDailyNews.com
    © 2009 Daily News, and Kristie Lu Stout's twitter.

    Sunday, July 26, 2009

    In A Moment When I Hesitated Share

    My classification is finally out. After 4 + 1/2 years of uni, going through some of the dreaded assignments and 8am to 6pm lecture/tutorial on most days, not to mention the sleepless nights editing long essays to make sure all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted and the grammar is spot-on, my result glares at me, forcing me to accept and beckoning me to make the next move.

    Considering my academic performance while in UBD which doesn't actually add up to flawless or excellent, I know I should be lucky to get what I got. Most people will say getting a 2:2 for the degree course that I was majoring in, is a very good enough result. In fact, when I look at my friends' results who got 2:1 and tell them that I envy them, they'll say, "Liat lah course mu, lebih payah kali ah than mine."

    I never really did agree on this common misconception that being a TESL student is a much harder course to be in than any other and that entry requirements are always hard to fulfill. The only reason, I believe, why TESL course and other courses like it has a number of students you can count on your two hands, is maybe because many people have difficulties in grasping the language, or can't be bothered with learning and/or learning about the language, per se. If it was the otherwise, I bet there'd be more students enrolled in the course, then we'll have unlimited supply of local English Language teachers and CfBT would run out of business.

    Not to digress any further, the point is that I cannot help but feel that I know I could have gotten a better result than just a 2:2, regardless of the fact whether it was a TESL course or a Business Administration course. If only I made that choice to want to do better in my assignments and projects, if only I made that choice to complete them on time often, if only I was more vocal in class instead of accepting the what-is, but most of all, if only I believed in myself that I can be more than just average or good.

    If that wasn't enough of a contemplation, what I was going to do next suddenly became a vague certainty. I remembered when I first started uni, there was no doubt in my mind that I was committed into becoming an English Language teacher. That I knew right after I graduate, there was no hesitation into which career path I would dive into immediately. But as I stood in front of the elevators at Bahagian Pengambilan Guru at Ong Sum Ping, with my application forms and my certifications in hand, a thought crossed my mind and the realisation set in almost too quickly.

    "Do you really want to send in that form and go on to become a teacher?"

    "I thought you said you were meant for greater things - is all this part of that?"

    In what amount of time there was during the elevator ride up to the 4th floor, streams of thoughts began, each justifications of what I was about to do or not do. And for a moment in time, the hesitation was over-powering.

    And so, as I walked back to the car, smiling to myself for the decision I had just made earlier, I thought to myself,

    "What the hell was I thinking?! Of course I want to be an English Language teacher!"

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    OOH HAA Mendaram Besai Reunion 2009 Share

    As promised, a review of Saturday's night Malam Gempuru Segulai Sejalai on July 18th 2009. Still awaiting a contributing post from a visitor's account of the event, so watch out for this space.

    Perhaps a fruition of combined thoughts to have a community reunion that was once a regular occurrence in the days of the past. Or maybe, just an excuse to dress up and get drunk together.

    Either way, Rumah Panjai Mendaram Besai(Mendaram Besar Longhouse), Labi saw a night of celebration and a gathering of people as many as there were mosquitoes...okey, so I exaggerate. But it was, at least an upgrade from the usual crowds we'd get during Gawai or New Year.

    So, we got there close to 6:30pm which was the stated starting time for the event, and although the stage was set, music blasting through the speakers and people were already pouring into theruai, there wasn't any indication that the event would ensue right after. Perhaps, the phrase janji melayu rings true not only for the Malays. Nearing 7pm, all hopes of starting dinner soon was lost as we waited for the families from each bilik of the rumah panjai to finally make their way to the ruai, a signal so the event can get underway.

    And this was when I got called in into my family's bilik, apparently to help some aunts with their hair and make-up - which I'm no expert in. Next time, please do not suggest my name when it comes to these things, I must insist. Because of this impromptu task at hand, I missed the miring (a ceremony in which peace offerings are made to the spirits) part of the event and the speeches as well as the appreciation awards to aki-aki and eni-eni (elders) of the longhouse.

    When I finally get to go out onto the ruai (with much less than perfect results at the task) dinner was already underway. Guests flocked to the buffet table and apparently all table etiquette does not apply here - men forgot their gentlemen-ness to let the ladies and young children to the buffet table, and the ladies with our soft-and-patient nature had to wait to feast on what scraps were left(ok..so maybe not scraps). Highlights of the buffet menu: ikan pansuh (fish) and nasi pulut (rice) stuffed into buluh (bamboo stalks) and grilled over low-fire on open wooden stove; and upa' which is a traditional vegetable dish made from the shoots of the palm-oil tree.

    Immediately after the communal dinner, the night's event continued with the Kpg. Mendaram Besar Kebaya Beauty Pageant (or so to speak), and perhaps this was supposed to be the highlight of the event. A bevy of beautiful (married) maidens in pseudo-traditional kebaya attires paraded down the ruai, feasting the eyes of those who watched amidst whistle-calls of approval, very much to the delight of their husbands, too. Personally, I thought the judging criteria should have included all aspects norm of a pageant competition, like the physicals (body-shape and even how she put on her make-up and hair; and her gracefulness). After all, real beauty is not just what's in the inside - it's the inside AND the outside.

    Anyways, the question-and-answer segment of the pageant took a little too much time that people were beginning to get restless. But the pageant MC was quick to remedy this by asking the ladies to do the cat-walk down the ruai once more, and then all was well. A great addition to this part of the event would have been another pageant just for the young ladies, as well..and I already have a favorite to win..=p

    And so the night went on with fun trivial games not just for the young, but the young-at-hearts, too. Piggy-back race and three-legged race for the husbands and wives, balloon blowing and jumping frogs for the kids; and even sumpit-dart (blow-pipe dart game) and dance-off competition for the elders were just some of the lighthearted follies of the night. Of course, a longhouse celebration is never complete without the ngajats and the ngkeromong (a traditional Iban percussion music instrument), as well as the offerings of tuak (home-brewed rice wine) to guests alike.

    For those idle beings like me who prefer to watch by the sidelines, entertainment was never short of as we revel in the fun-filled and stomach-crunching noisy activities of the night. Be that as it may, this brings its own penalties, too - hours of sitting on hard wooden floor and the constant re-adjustment of how one would sit will take its toll on even the strongest knees.

    Taking the meaning of "delay" to new heights, Malam Gempuru Segulai Sejalai promised to wrap up its show at the stroke of midnight. But at the ungodly hour of 4 in the morning, Game No. 8/9 was still underway, and many of the night's audience have all but dwindled to mushroom-groups here and there. Despite this, those who opted to stay up carried on with the fun and games, for some, no doubt, aided by the tuak.
    Whether or not this was just an excuse to dress up and get drunk, a longhouse gathering matters, and perhaps a necessity for us, especially if it resonates with the fact that a family get-together is always a time of fun in each other's company...and a whole load of tuak!

    OOH HAA!

    To see more photos of the night, click here and try here & here, too.
    Blog Widget by LinkWithin