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

    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.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Fruit of 4 + Half Years of English!!! Share

    Only this picture describes how I'm feeling right now...
    To quell it, I updated my profile and edited a post.

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    I speak CSS & XHTMLs Share

    I think I spent so much time tweaking my blog's templates instead of sticking to the pre-designed layout themes that the whole technicals of it isn't so Greek anymore.

    Languages I understand:

    1. English

    2. Malay

    3. Iban

    4. CSS Properties & XHTMLs

    Home-bound from Kent Share

    SO...everybody now knows my sister Nita, who has been away to Kent for almost two years is now on Brunei soil.
    Nita coming through those arrival gates, finally...and yes she looks like she's 'grown' a bit now

    We actually meant not to reveal this little detail I think because we wanted it to be a little surprise for all those who have been waiting for her return since God-knows-when. But as faith would have it, my aunt's family stopped by our place the night Nita arrived and then the next day, my mother couldn''t keep a secret and ended up telling my other aunt that she's here and that's how things went down as a surprise-bummer. And that's why we brought her to kampung last night as well - if not, it'll be a week later before all the others get to see her.

    Anyways, my behind hurts and is flattened from those many hours of sitting down on hardwood floor watching the young and the old become uh..the young and old. Will post a little bit about it soon...

    For now, I have to catch some zzzzzz...

    Oh, btw, Nita will be here until September comes dawning, so there's plenty of time to catch up with her, people. No need to rush - just take a number and wait in line...

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Help My Imagination Out Share

    I know this one's old news but I just had to post this here. It's not everyday my comments get featured on Brunei's Number 2 Best Photo Blogs.
    It is probably safe to say who wouldn't know Jan Shim. For years he has dazzled us with some of the most awe-inspiring, makes-you-want-to-buy-a-dSLR kind of pictures. In one way or the other, you have stumbled upon his work of photo-art through your regular purchase of Easi recharge cards, corporate ads, magazine covers (BiG) and the Brunei Times, amongst many other mediums.

    Jan's photoblog, Shimworld not only offers you a gallery of incredible pictures to marvel at, but the best thing about Jan's photos, to me, is that they tell a story. Jan isn't content with just clicking away at a few pictures and then post them on his blog without some sort of a storyline just for the sake of showing how dSLR-savvy he can be with his camera and the paraphernalia.

    Personally, this is what attracts me to a beautiful photo, something that tells a story. A beautiful photo without a story is just that - a beautiful photo. You may argue that art is objective and that beauty is relative and even inject the cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words.

    A universal philosophy - I do not contest this.

    But a little caption to it or even a short, exclusive title offers viewers a little insight to what the photographer was thinking when the picture was taken. For me, that is how I would take on when I see a beautiful photo because without so much of title I wouldn't know what the photographer was trying to encapture when he/she took the picture.

    Yes, a picture does say a thousand words...but a picture with a little story (caption)o
    r a title, a sort of cohesive narrative, helps you understand the emotions, the motives, the passion of the composition.

    Oh, I've digressed.

    A critique to budding (hopeful) photographers, you may say, but I do not wish to critilyze negatively, only share how I appreciate art (and photography). Maybe this is just false modesty, but I know you probably don't completely agree with me. After all, there's that cliche again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Okey, I'll stop with the cliches...Below's a little "giggle-bite" you might enjoy:

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Friends and Friends-of-Friends on Facebook Share

    My little sister recently asked me how many friends have I got in my Facebook account?

    me: Just a little under 300...why you asked?

    lil sis: ..kwn ku ada dalam (..my friend has about...) 700 over...

    My little sister, being a newly-instated-teenager at 12 years of age, I understand the "coolness" of having 700-and-counting friends may seem to her, to solidify your standings as one of the "popular" kids in school.

    I may try to put rhyme or reason as to why I only have less than 300 friends (on Facebook). Here's a list of it:

    1. I'm still new to Facebook. I just started Facebooking last year...give me time to find my friends, okay?

    2. I always reject friend requests because I don't consider them as "Friends".

    3. Nobody wants to be my friend, I guess...

    I mean, I could stretch the list if I wanted to.

    But you see, while Facebook really does help you "bridge" connections with long-lost friends and the highly-addictive wall status lets you post something that screams attention, the intention of finding friends and friends-of-friends to add to the number is, to me, hopelessly a waste of my precious time.

    Surely I don't need to have 697 friends to show for, especially when 567 of them, I don't even know by their real names, sadly even, haven't ever met at all.

    After all, I don't want to have to greet and post something on the walls of 697 friends on their birthdays...what kind of Facebook friend would I be, then?

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    E47 Very Limited Edition Share

    My boyfriend has a D90, my cousin Mona has a Canon 450D.

    I shall not go without one, too.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    On being All Grown Up at 24 Share

    Happy birthday to me!
    Happy fourth of July to America!

    I'm 24 years young now! I guess I have to start being more responsible than usual now like cook for the family more, do the family's laundry or generate my own pocket monOH LOOK A COOKIE...

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Financial Vows...To Try & Stick With Share

    In light of my recent brush with a financial hiccup, I've made myself a list of 10 financial decisions that I plan to stick to when the cash start rolling in soon. I sure don't want to put myself in that similar situation I was in just weeks ago. I balled my eyes from crying too much for a week.

    Within the 5 years of securing a job, I vow to try (emphasis on the "try") and stick to the 10 Financial Decisions. They aren't in a particular order, so I'd take it any other way.

    I will not...:

    1. Take out a car loan on my future classy Champagne/Sleek Black Touareg R50.

    2. (if I do get a loan on the Touareg) Start making the car workshop a favorite to-go-to-place to "pimp my ride" with rotating thingys on the wheels spinning rims and chrome stylings.

    3. Go out on an impulse to buy myself a high-tech but user-friendly dSLR/SLR NIKON camera (read: NIKON - I don't do other brands).
    Apparently, from a recent mini-epiphany, I realized I'm not into photography - instead digital art & canvas art tickles my fancy.

    To one day, do a quick browse of my wardrobe and "inadvertently" justify getting a complete wardrobe collection update.

    5. Scrap my now-going-archaic Clevo laptop and take (another!) loan on a brand new Apple iMac in White.

    6. Spend too much on decorating and re-decorating my still-wonderful-royal-purple-wall room with upgrades on furniture, art decos and the likes.

    7. Hop on a plane to Rome/Prague/New Zealand/Galapagos anytime soon.

    8. Dote on my little sister Maya and shower her with her A-Z list of things that she asks for.

    9. Be an Imelda and splurge on stacks of new shoe collection and getting that very special pair of Louboutin shoe.

    10. Be duped by some bank personnel into getting a Mastercard to "enjoy personalized financial rewards" - be it Standard, Gold or Platinum.

    * * * * *

    There! That's quite a list and for me to able to stick to that is an amazing feat all by itself.

    I just realized, too, I think I just described my Wishlist... (...heart's palpitating, 2nd thoughts..mmm maybe that wasn't a good idea...)

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    No Hate, Just Love for Bencinta Share

    I absolutely heart this song by Faizal Tahir. Before I was a fanatical fan of this song, I didn't think much of it. But after seeing (and hearing) Aqim's cover of it during the AF7 finale concert (yes, I sometimes watch this show), I fell in love with Bencinta, i.e Benci + Cinta (Hate+Love).

    The lyrics are powerful enough to even shed you to tears, if you're already primed for that kind of situation. Add to that the mesmerizing performance by Aqim that literally sent chills up my spine solidified the new-found "infatuation" with that song. Btw, I thought Aqim should have been the champ that night and I'm sure Adlin (AF7 judge panel) would agree with me on that.

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