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

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    On Kids and Greenbacks Share

    Good to know, some things we can agree on...

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Tree Planting at Badas Forest Reserve - June 17th Share

    Wednesday morning woke up early and tagged my boyfriend and cousin Mona along for a tree-planting activity at Badas. Maw told me about the event and I figured there wasn't any reason not to go since it's in Seria. And besides, it's a cause that I actually want to be a part of.

    I must admit that before this, I haven't a clue about the Million Trees Project (yes, I am ashamed), which is a project initiated by ISB (International School Brunei) in support of the Heart of Borneo project that was launched in March 2007. The Million Trees Project has a number of individual projects of tree-planting and forest conservation across Borneo. The one that I took part in was the Badas Tree Planting Project and aims to see about 50, 000 trees planted in and around the Badas Triangle by October 2009.

    Initially, Maw invited me to the 12th June batch of Brunei Bloggers and British High Comm. personnels going to Badas but I couldn't make it. So, Maznah was kind enough to let me tag along for the 17th June batch comprising of Standard Chartered personnels, BARA members and of course mission staff of the British High Comm.

    Let me just tell you why we arrived so late at Badas Forest Reserve - so late that they were less than 10 little trees left to plant. I knew that we were suppose to go to Badas and automatically I'm thinking it has got to be that little junction just on the highway of Seria-Lumut with the signpost that actually says "Badas". So, at about 8.50am we started our journey to the end of Badas, and en-route, we met with a nice lady from the British High Comm. stopping next to our car telling us how she was a bit lost. Well, guess what? We were, too. And to think I know my way around Badas?!
    Soon enough there were three other cars following the lost convoy trying to figure out where exactly the reserve should be. After a good 45 minutes searching for the reserve and making our way back to the highway, we were then told that the junction to the reserve was further up nearer to Lumut, to where most of the forest fires were concentrated at. If only someone had told us to look for the ISB signboard, life would have been much easier...
    With the nice lady earlier and the Australian High Commissioner leading the way to the reserve, we found the correct junction as indicated by the ISB signboard in the picture above, we finally arrived just shy of minutes away from the last batches of trees to plant. The drive in to the reserve was quite a far one..or maybe it wasn't but the many dips and turns we did to avoid rough patches probably made it seemed like an hour.

    Anyways, when we got there the Standard Chartered people were already taking group photos after planting their batches of trees - I started feeling hmm maybe I should have just bailed out of there to avoid embarassment of not planting ANY at all. I was just about to turn around when my cousin Mona said "Oh, we'll just say we're from RTB." So we hung near and around Syukri and the reporter like flies, pretending to be part of the crew...
    Eventually, Mona and I found two not yet planted trees nearby and asked a nice lad from one of the mission staff if we could do those. He was nice enough to show us how to do it, too "first, you tear the plastic from the bottom and then...."
    So, I only got to plant one tree but at least I GOT to plant a tree. Where were you?!
    Yes, I'm extremely proud of my tree - I hope you get to grow to be the biggest and the tallest of them all...heheh. I must tell you that I went down on my knees and planted that one tree without using gloves - I clawed, I filled and I patted at that ashened soil with my two bare hands.

    Onto facts of the project:
    The Badas Tree Planting Project is currently in its 2nd phase that will see the 50 000th tree planted by HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah as its completion by October this year. Phase One was completed just October last year with the 1000th tree planted by HRH Prince of Wales and the 1001st tree by HRH Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah. Since its launch, many have joined in the effort to re-habilitate the forest cover in and around the Badas Triangle that was destroyed by forest fires back in 1998. Through participation of schools and other institutions, the Badas Forest Reserve is slowly enjoying the rise in population of indigenous trees like the Agathis Borneensis (tulong) and the Drybalanops Rappa (kapur paya), which were/are provided by the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Pr
    imary Resources on an area of plus-minus 10 hectares of heath (kerangas - in Iban that literally means "soil that cannot grow rice") soil.

    * * * * *

    Eventhough I only got to plant "eyy" tree, I can't help but boast about the fact that at least I was part of something that is worth boasting about. I mean, how many of us drive past the forest area along the Seria/Lumut highway, worry about the fires and the haze but do nothing?

    At the end of the day, with dirt-laden fingernails and hands, I feel a little lighter with guilt from the many open-burnings I may have started and the many trees I may have etched "I love ..." on before. When I got home, though, and tell of the tree I planted that morning to my mother and expecting a pat on the back for my good job, all that she quipped was,

    "Nanam pokok di Badas, mau ah...di suruh nanam pokok/bunga di rumah, payah di suruh..."

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Gawai Lunch Party 7th June '09 Share

    I'm officially exhausted from this week's activities - please just let me snuggle up into my wonderful bed and plushy pillows for at least this weekend, eh...

    I'm not really a social person or one who goes out for leisure much (unless it's a vacation), so you must forgive my rantings for now. Sorry, too for not updating the blog recently.

    Anyways, I promised that I'll post something about the Gawai Lunch Party my family and I hosted few weekends ago. There isn't much to blog about actually because I was on my feet most of the time, not to entertain the guests but to do things like refilling the buffet table, picking up used plates and glasses, as well as the occasional bar-tending to serve tuak. Thanks to a couple of borrowed amahs, I didn't have to do the washing up.

    Since it was school day the next day (party was on Sunday), we decided to make it as a Gawai Lunch, instead of the usual late afternoon/dinner session. So basically it
    was to be from lunch time till about 6pm, although some guests did stay till over 9pm for karaoke-ing and more booze.

    The first two hours of the lunch wa
    s pretty quiet and slow, which was reserved for neighbors and colleagues of my parents. A long-time family friend and a lecturer to both my father and I, Alan Chamberlain, also came by, which was a highlight for me since he and his family will be going back to Australia soon. A glass of tuak and a couple (or three) of Heinekin, Alan is still good to go - driving, that is.

    At around 3pm, things got pretty hectic as relatives from Tutong arrived, and I don't think I ever sat d
    own to rest for at least 2 hours after that time. It was probably bad-hosting for my part, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves, nevertheless. And besides, the Ethnic Room pretty much did its function to entertain guests who stowed themselves away back there to a session of karaoke and booze at the bar.

    As much as I would like to invite as many of my friends to the party then, I think I was glad I didn't because there was no way I could entertain them all. Heck, I even left my boyfriend alone for quite some time because I was so busy - bless him for being so understanding and patient. A few of my good friends did come and I let myself to rest just to be with them for a while.Besides the karaoke, booze, buffet table and the occasional clown making a raucous, the other highlight of the party was the part when I MC-ed the free Easi game, which was an idea I borrowed from during Cahaya's birthday party. What a response you'll get from people when you wave a free $5 Easi recharge card in front of them. It was kind of funny to see the guests all huddled up around me with the handphones ready and *103* already typed in - I felt like the world was mine and I control these people (okey, dramatic much). We had 6 $5 Easi cards and one grand prize worth $10 Easi up for grabs.
    And thank you to all those who adored what I was wearing that day. Initially, I was supposed to wear the traditional Iban maiden costume with the headdress and what-nots. But somehow, we couldn't find the complete set in our stash of stuff in the trunks. So basically I had to make do with what I can find.

    After the last guests left at around 9pm, it was mixed feelings for me - glad that the day is finally over, frustrated with the cleaning up after that. I've always hated that part of the after-party because it would always only be me, mum and daddy doing the cleaning up. I think I'm not so much upset about the cleaning up, I'm just annoyed by how "some people" just don't think to help out at least a little just because they've got school the next day.

    Nevertheless, all was still good. Family functions like these are always fun to have. In fact, I'm thinking of having a birthday party because I haven't had one for ages. Who should I invite, though? What if I hosted another free Easi recharge game again, would anyone volunteer to come? Haha...

    Anyways, for more pictures of the party, you can go here or here. There's another one here, but I wouldn't recommend it because there's too many photos of Bom-Bom. Haha!

    P/S: Easi recharge cards sponsored by Madart & me!

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Still Busy... Share

    Dear Readers,

    Sorry for the long absence of new posts. I just recently got the new router in place but I'm still busy cleaning up the aftermath of the party and all these days. I will soon post about the Gawai Party last Sunday and others as soon as I get my brainwaves working again.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Router-in-Place Excites Me Share

    New router in place!

    No more waiting in line to use the cable!

    Gosh, I'm so happy!

    Cyberworld, I've missed you too much!

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    My Word Against Yours Share

    After the much annoying incident with my hard disk experiencing a very much annoying glitch, I was left with little to no available space to save files I have on my laptop. So a file-housekeeping was called for.

    Whilst doing all that here and there, I came across this piece of um shall I say, written frustration I had filed way back before. It seems trivial now, even hilarious, reading it. But, then, it was nothing of the sorts. I was genuinely furious and unsatisfied with what the situation held for at that time. And so I thought I'd give it a post here just for the fun of it. (",)

    This was way back when I was holding a certain high-position responsibility and someone ruffled my feathers in the wrong way:

    "Somebody once told me that I’m strong-headed, that I will defend my word against others. That my denial-mode is to fight back.

    Funny – don’t we all?

    I don’t blame you entirely. Little is your knowledge of how far I’m stretching the definition of ‘fighting back’. Verbally going against is just one of it.

    So quick of you to make judgments. Here’s one specifically for you then – HYPOCRITES. So I made mistakes but who’s to say you didn’t as well?

    “Restructure your words”

    “Let us do our work”

    “I’m not trying to take your place”


    Restructure my words? This coming from a person who beats around the bush…and still squirrels wouldn’t come running out. Psst…hey “guru” of appropriate sentence formation, get a load of your own “I want” phrases and while you’re at it, why don’t you kick down a chair or two.

    Printed a couple of paperwork and stamp-pressed a bunch of books, and BAAANNNG! Suddenly, I’m accused of doing everything. Sure, I can follow in the footsteps of my “oh-so-wise-and-wonderful-ex-mentor” – sit at the meeting table, put on a strict face and do absolutely NOTHING. Now, wouldn’t that be great? The top-most post and nothing to do…now, if only I can get them to pay me for my services – or lack of…and of course I’m not lifting a finger!

    Dare you to say I’m not doing my job right.

    I didn’t choose this job in this first place but I can deliver. If you can’t stand up and face the people who scrutinize your every move, turn away. If you’re not willing to accept my criticisms, stop criticizing me. If you can’t fight back, then you’re no better than I am.

    It will be my word against yours."

    Yes, as you may see, office politics is a b*tch...

    Monday, June 1, 2009

    Gawai Fest Share

    Tis the season to be...
    drinking tuak!

    Happy Gawai
    to all!
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