Sunday, April 30, 2006

One Day Sale.

I get cranky when I don't get to buy the things I want!!

My relatives from Perth, Australia were here for the weekend. They're probably boarding the plane by now as I'm writing this. Being a a gracious host as I always am, I'm usually the one taking them around, sightseeing, shopping and eating. Not that I can drive, but dad can. I'm just the tour guide and I'm happy to be one. I guess it's in the family's blood to be helpful. They were actually here for business in Sabah and they decided to drop by here for a couple of days before going home. Yesterday, Aunt Teresa decided to go shopping at Sunshine Square to get her list of things before going home today. It's usual. I mean, there's always going to be a list when you're coming to Penang. How can you not have a list of things to buy when you come to Penang?! We have everything here in this beautiful tropical sun island!

I was picked to accompany her and poh poh. Poh poh's been here for the past few weekends. Her children thought it'd be best for her to leave the house on weekends and let her stay with ah chiu. That way, she can attend church and she can tag along if there was something fun to do. Living in Balik Pulau isn't the best place to find fun. Trust me on that. I grew up there. Unless, of course you're new to the place, you like durian and if we were living in one of those traditional houses in the midst of the forest. Balik Pulau can just turn into a tiny little heaven given the ircumstances like that. By the way, the durian season is said to be in May. Anyone interested? Come to my place and we can have durian. I have a distant uncle who owns a durian orchard. Nothing free but much more cheaper.

Alrite, back to shopping. So, me being the only child at home at that time, I was forced to accompany them cause I'm best known to knowing every turn and corner a mall has. Let's say, I'm a frequent shopper. Considering that there wasn't anything much on her list, the nearest mall we could go to was Sunshine Square. The best place for grocery shopping and for housewives to get daily fresh supply of food. But it's usually the wet market that gets credit fro fresh clean food and I just can't see why. Have you been to a wet market lately? Do you think it's clean and fresh? The smell of rotten fish and meat don't make it look all fresh to me. Somehow, I'm still a faithful shopper at the old traditional wet market. I grew up following my grandmothers and mother to the wet market. I can say that there's a little attraction there.

Anyway, as far as I know, no one took the initiative to inform me that there was a one day sale at SS. I kind of figured that out when I saw the parking area of SS congested and the sight of shoppers, literally, rushing out with their purchases looking as if that there might be a possibility of them getting robbed.

Matt : Dad, is there a one-day sale that I don't know off?
Dad : (hesitantly) I think so.
Matt : How come you didn't tell me?
Dad : I don't see it was necessary.

That's dad when it comes to shopping. He'll try his best to keep it away from me. He knows his son is a shopaholic and there's nothing he can do to cure me. He brought me along anyway. I guess he wouldn't wanna be stuck with two old ladies in a shopping mall full of old ladies! He had to drag me along.

Shoppers rushing to get the while-stock-lasts products. Shoppers giving each other hateful stares as one wins the other to the queue at the cashier. Shoppers snatching discounted products off the shelves. Literally tearing the place apart. There's no mercy. This is how it's like when it comes to irressistable prices during a one day sale. Being a shopping escort, I dutifully browsed around the racks and shelves. So many things. So cheap!! Lady shoppers were as quick as thieves in choosing assorted Triumph bras that were only RM10! It was kind of scary. I wouldn't wanna get myself into the little world of women.

As I've said before, the staff of SS aren't really the best polite bunch. Ask them to get you the size you need, they frown. Ask them to get several pieces of your size, they grumble. And when you don't buy after trying, they curse you behind their backs. That's SS staff. Be careful. SS will never be my 1st option/choice of shopping mall if I wanted to get stuff other than household items. Cause you don't need shop assistance when it's household items.

My eyes dutifully browsed and checked out attractive prices. One thing for coming from a poor family, I gotta say I do have taste. At least that what I think. Everything that I see nice are usually beyond me fiscally. I held up a black Bonia shoe to find that it costs RM350. I saw a pair of Nike (I didn't even know it was Nike when I saw it) sandals which was priced around RM200. There was only 20% discount for both. It's kind of stupid if you ask me.

I'm a very thrifty person despite my ability and my desire to shop! I guess I was just brought up like that. Eventhough I may have the money (which is often I don't) I don't just simply splurge wthout consideration. Honestly, brands are silly to me. It may seems nice and cool to have it at times, but I don't go for that. RM79.90 for a Topshop T-shirt is way to expensive for me! RM100++ for a pair of shoes or jeans just makes me hate the fashion world at times. It's just expensive because it's branded. Pretty silly to me. I go for cheap stuff. Anything that I can fit in (considering my size) will be good enough for me. Brand doesn't matter to me at all.

Somewhere in the midst of deranged shoppers and expensive goods, there were still some irresistable prices. I spotted a Goggle T-shirt with really nice words printed across it which was priced at about RM39.90 with a 20% discount. I can't remember what exactly the words were but i think it went something like, "Doesn't mix around easily" or something. It was ok for me. I also saw a pair of black Bata shoes which was about RM25 only. Unfortunately, they ran out of my size. I ended getting myself an orange (my favourite colour) t-shirt by Cheetah. Wasn't my best option but it was on the tray and I got attracted to its colour. Plus, it was only RM20.

So I asked dad whether I could get that Goggle t-shirt or not. He relented after my persuasion, or rather, my explanation of my definition of the word 'expensive'. I was waiting for Aunt Teresa to finish shopping in the belts department so that I could proceed to the Goggle's department when I stupidly used dad's mobile to ring mum up. I was thinking that she might be interested to come shopping with me for another time since it was a one-day sale. Instead, her voice changed abruptly as soon as she heard the words "shopping" and "sale" coming out of my mouth. "Do you really think it's necessary? I've already told you my situation this month and for the months to come for that matter. Financally tight, Matt. If it isn't necessary, then don't fall into the arms of sales temptations," she said before hanging up.

She was right! I hate it when parents are right. Being the obedient son as I am (rebellious at times), I adhered to her what she said and thought about it. I wasn't in a dire need for new clothes or pants, neither was I in dire need of shoes. Broken and battered they might be, but they're still wearable. Had a short bitch-fit and gave up at the thought of my parents being more disappointed than I am when they couldn't provide fot their child. Especially the avaricious one. "Give them a break," I heard my little conscious self of me whisper. I still got a little cranky over the sales that I wasn't able to get anything. I mumbled and grumbled to myself, trying to get my mind off it by doing something else like... collecting free tuna upon every RM120 of purchase. Aunt Teresa was the one shopping, not me.

I love sales if I'm rich. I hate sales when I'm poor. Which is now.

Don't invite me for shopping trips anymore if you can't give me the money to shop with you. Who knows what I might do when I get cranky. I know it'll be rather nasty.

It's not that easy to control myself.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Flight.

Hot make-outs in the plane lavatory.

Teary-eyed drama before boarding the plane.

Actions scenes under the plane.

Lost luggages in the airport.

Getting lost in K.L. (or at least, a shopping mall).

Having an adventure of our own, exploring the city by ourselves.

Delayed flights.

Sadly, none of the abovesaid happened to either Grace or me when we were in K.L. on Tuesday. That were some of the things I was hoping for to happen during our unsupervised one day trip to K.L. It turned out to be well-planned and there was already Grace to come pick us up when we arrived at the new terminal (LCCT terminal) of the K.L. Airport after getting off the red painted AirAsia plane, with the words '' painted in white across it. However, there was a little attention-seeking thing that we both did when we landed in the airport. I pushed Grace around on the trolley when we waited for Grace to arrive. She was complaining about her aching leg and I told her to sit on the trolley. I got bored, and I started pushing her around. Of course, we didn't did the Avril Lavigne-in-the-mall kinda stunt. Just around the whole terminal when everyone couldn't help but stare in awe. It wasn't a big deal.

The flight on AirAsia wasn't a very pleasant one. But there was some funny things I did. You can't blame two teenagers wanting to have some fun or at least creating scene. Just for some laughs and memories. The flight attendants on the plane when we were going was just plain nasty. They were obnoxious and proud. Impolite and bitchy. They actually did nothing in particular to me for me to judge them. But one of them did announce that mobile phones were prohibited on the plane and that a fine of RM600 or jail could be slapped against you after she got fed up of telling a guy to switch his off for only once. And after she made her sarcastic announcement over the microphone of the plane, she walked down the aisle looking like a peacock. I got disgusted and I told Grace, "OMG, look at her. So obnoxious and proud. I'm gonna slap that freaking proud smile off her face!" Grace laughed in agreement! I wonder what got into her cause she was laughing all way long at every little thing I said.

Of course I did crack little jokes along the way. Honestly, I'm not the kind who cracks great jokes that can easily cause anyone to fall flat on the floor, holding his stomach and laugh. At least, that's what the impression Edward gives me whenever I crack a joke and he just gives me that you're-not-funny stare. Somehow, Grace seems to think otherwise. My hands were so itchy and I couldn't help myself but to toch everything I see. I dug the backseat pockets and found a bunch of things like the vomit bag, advertisements and more advertisements. Both of us were just being crazy on the flight and we kept changing places, taking all the vomit bags with us. I got 6 in my bag by the time we actually settled down. Not counting the one we found with chewing gum stuck in it. Ewe. I know that thing is kind of disgusting but we were doing it out of our unsatisfaction towards the flight attendants. Just thought it should compensate with their bad service. Those vomit bags look like bags from Dunkin' Doughnuts and as I counted them, I held it up and said, "Let's go get doughnuts later!" which was enough to send Grace into another fit of hers!

No doubts, they were attempts of acting or creating a scene in the plane. I think we're a little bit too influenced by movies. I mean, we see alot of movies (romantic, action, horror, thriller and etc.) that revolves around the plain. With the lack of flying experience, we thought it would be fun to have our own. I actually suggested to Grace that I was going to go down on one knee and ask her to marry me when we were on the queue before boarding. We would have our own Korean based like drama. "You don't have a ring," she said. "Oh ok," I replied and shut the idea off my mind. It was all just an idea. On flight, I suggested that we both go into the lavatory and pretend that we just made out. We were just going to pretend. I wasn't keen on doing it with my sister. Grace thought it was disgusting. There were some other few ideas that we both could only laugh at in our minds.

Matt : Why not I fake barfing and you start to panick and you call for help.
Grace : That's a good idea! *laughs*
Matt : Then when she actually comes, you tell her to help me.

Grace : And when she finds out you're faking, she'll be so cross!

That wasn't the best idea. So she had another one. We were both having this let's-make-a-scene idea the whole time were 50000
feet (I think. Isn't that what they always say?) above the ground.

Grace : You know, we should've gotten a fake mobile and use it on air.
Matt : Yea yea! Then I'll pretend like I was having a conversation.
Grace : That lady who made the announcement will notice and she'll ask you to turn it off.

Matt : Then I'll ignore her and continue doing it.

Grace : Then I'll say that I'm sorry but you're mentally illand that's just your toy.

Matt : That's a seemingly good idea! *laughs*

Grace : *laughs*
Matt : You know, we could actually be fined for indecent exposure.
Grace : ....

I did switch off my mobile dutifully while we were on air. I waited till the last minute to only switch it off. Iwas still taking pictures. You know, the picture-taking-freak side of me. Another thing that one of the filght attendants (they were all females) did gave me a bad impression towards them. They were pushing the food cart along the aisle and Grace and I thought they were for free. Cause the time when we went to Perth, Australia, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines gave us free food (or we paid for the food together along when we pruchased the flicght tickets). Thankfully, the person siiting behind us ordered first before we did. "That would be RM23, sir," said the flight attendant. Both of us got our eyes widened and immediately kicked out the idea of ordering anything. Grace dug the backseat pocket and found the menu. The prices were absolutely unreasonable! RM7 for an instant cup of noodles!! We're Penangites, and Penangites don't pay THAT much for an instant cup of noodle. Anyway, that wasn't what the flight attendat did.

When the cart came to our seat, we just said no. At that exact moment, the pilot turned on the safety belt sign and the plane suddenly starts shivering. The flight attendant was about to walk away from our seat and I asked her, "Are we going to die?". Of course, I was just fooling around. I expected a polite (I don't mind a little sarcasm with it) reply but instead, what a little kid gets for asking an age old queston was a cold stare and ignorance. She must think that I'm nuts but isn't it in her requirements to answer all questions? "Let's go file a report on AirAsia!" Grace said almost immediately after the flight attendant walked away. We both sat back and laughed again.

Other than that, we couldn't do anything else but to sit and laugh about the ideas. I could tell that Grace was kinda tensed about her interview the next day. Lucky for her, I was there to ease here of her tension and make her laugh. Anyway, we were flying during the night. There wasn't anything to see outside the window and plus, my mobile was switched off. There wasn't alot of pictures to take.

Monday, April 24, 2006

All Packed.

"Hurry up or you're gonna be late!" yelled mom. Her voice, surprisingly, could still be heard through that thick wooden bedroom door of mine. "Yeah, hold on a minute. I'm just gonna say goodbye to my computer!" I yelled back. Here I am, all ready. Clean and fresh. Excited! The bags are waiting on my bed, Grace is cleaning her teeth (we have braces) and mom keeps rushing us. I was just going to listen to Elizabethtown's Soundtrack for one last time before I leave because I don't have a CD of it and I'm kind of addicted to it. Satisfying last-minute addiction, I guess.

I've got everything - except for snacks - clean pair of socks and jeans and briefs, two T-shirts, deodorant, toothbrush, discman, chargers, mobile phone, towel, headphones, wallet, I.C., money and flight tickets. Packed and ready to go! I know it's just for a day, but it wouldn't hurt if I brought extra things to keep me entertained. Who knows, we could be stuck in one of the heavily congested highways of Kuala Lumpur. I'll have something to listen to, if that ever happens, wouldn't I?

Oh well, I guess I'd better make a move. Mom prefers that we be there early in case of any complications during boarding or whatever that might happen. I'm not much of a traveller (although I love to travel very much!) - except for that one time the whole family went to Perth, Australia after a lifetime's saving - so I wouldn't know much about boarding the plane and custom or whatever they have there. This would make my third plane ride throughout my whole 16 years of life.

I think I really need to make a move now. I'll miss the plane if I stay on longer (I've always wanted to say that!). I'll just say goodbye to the computer and shut it down until I come back on Wednesday morning, that is. I'm hoping to take a lot of pictures! But let's not forget about Grace's university interview. That's our main objective.

See ya!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

8 Years Old. #2

As I slipped my age old pillows and bolsters into the new sheets that poh poh handmade for me, I suddenly came to notice how small the size was now compared to the time when I first held it in my hands which was about 12 years ago. Believe it or not, as much as I'm a teenager who gets influenced by the westerners and their lifestyles through the shows I watch and the things I read, I still am a typical Chinese boy who sometimes think that keeping the tradition and the culture alive is an important thing to do! Or maybe it's just the 'sentimental fool' part of me that's been keeping my baby bolsters and pillows all these while. Either way, I still love them lying around on my bed. I wouldn't go to the extend of "I can't live without them" cause I really CAN live without them!

So there I was, slipping them in, pondering about Edmund's birthday tomorrow. About him being 8. Time has passed by so quickly between us. Like my bolsters and pillows, he's slowly shedding off his baby sheets and growing up steadfastly. Looking back at time, I still remember clearly the day, about eight years ago, when I was hanging around the hospital all day long when mom was in the emergency room. I tapped my feet rythmically, sitting outside the ER looking across the floor, waiting patiently for the arrival of a new member to the family . Getting up most of the time to peek through the rectangular glass window, hoping to see something was what I could not control to do! The feeling was weird. Exciting. Afraid. Nervous. Hoping. I don't even know who this new person might be and yet, there I was, waiting for his arrival.

"I wonder how he's going to look like?"

"Would we become good friends?"

"What if I hate him?"

All sorts of questions ran through my immatured eight year old mind while I paced across the empty hall. I was sent home that night after visiting mom in her childbed. The doctor showed me the hearbeat of that unknown creature in mom's stomach. I was thrilled to feel it moving inside. Watching mom's expression of pain while we said goodbye was just as painful. Apparently, there were some complications and the baby wasn't in a hurry to come out. I left the hospital with Grace that night, feeling disappointed.

I was woken with the news that Edmund has arrived! Rushing down to the hospital with dad was one of the most happiest waiting time of my life. Mom was already in her ward and she was sleeping. We couldn't see the baby except for certain visiting hours when they'll be "displayed". Dad told us that we almost lost that creature when he's umbilical cord got entangled around his neck and his heartbeat got fainter and fainter by the minute. Mom was rushed to the ER and had an incision (I know I'm hopeless with medical terms) and thus the creature was saved and was brought to this world.

After that, I never thought his arrival/appearance into my life or OUR lives made such a huge difference. Today, he is still that same tiny little creature who almost couldn't make it to see the world that came out from mom's womb. He's alive and well. Annoying and irritating most of the time. Noisy and loud. Selfish and greedy. He's fun and he longs for fun. Lazy and very very manja. He's a quick learner yet ridiculously stubborn. Mom, dad and Grace said that he inherited most of my traits. "He's just exactly like you when you were at his age! Exactly alike!" mom always says. Admittedly, I can tell from all the nastiness of an 8 year old brat.

He's learning new things everyday, from the people around him. He copies my lines, steals me erasers, begs me to let him play games on the computer, screams and yells at me for upsetting him, hits me when I scold him and above all, he loves me. I can say he's a very very lucky boy. He has a loving family who loves him more than anything! being the youngest one certainly has given him a certain amount of power to have a final say or have it HIS way. Stamping his feet and screaming at the top of his voice while he "extracts" crocodile tears can easily show him off as a spoilt brat.

Today, that little creature eight years ago, is my brother whom I know by the name of Edmund. I love him as much as I love my other family members. He knows me as the stern and disciplined one. He knows that he has no other brother but me. I know he was the perfect Edmund all along. I knew we were going to be great brothers. Every step he takes, every time he falls, I'm there to watch over him and catch him. He's mistakes are always great lessons to be learnt. I'm there to show him that and also to learn myself. I'm priviledged and thankful to God that he gave me this precious gift when I was 8. Making me see myself once again through Edmund was God's plan after all. Realising my own mistakes as I watch his, I learn.

I'm honored to be his big brother. He calls me
koko (brother in Hokkien) and I call him by (lose the ED) "mund". We've been living our lives together for the past eight years. I can't imgaine a life without him. Occasionally, I'll also bring to the awareness of other family members with, "If Edmund wasn't here...". I've learned to appreciate him the way he is. I've learned to accept his presence in my live. I've never been jealous of him (but he does get jealous when Grace or me gets mom's attenton). I believe that our brotherhood is strong (despite the yelling and the screaming and the I-hate-my-younger-brother routine). I know him throught and through. Character-wise and attitude-wise. I'm just one of the 4 potter he readily has to teach him new things in life.

He turns eight today and I'd like to wish him a big "Happy Birthday and may God bless you!"

I love my brother. Protect and guide him, I will!

Cleaning and Webcam.

On Friday, I somehow managed to launch my cleaning self and technically, filled one of my rainy afternoons cleaning mom's room and my room, in preparation of the, let's call it, post housewarming tomorrow. Dust my cupboards, shelves and table. Although I'm fully aware that my health condition (asthma) doesn't really allow me to befriend my worst enemy, dust, I'm oddly attarcted to cleaning. Especially when it has a little to do with decorating or interior design. I may not have the best idea around, but at least I have an idea to what interior designing is. Sadly enough for me, I'm usually (financially) incapable to afford any ideas of my own. But what does it matter? I work with what I got.

I changed my wardrobe, literally. I mean, I changed the position of the things in my wardrobe. Now that my briefs are facing north, I think I can go to sleep peacefully at night. LOL. I seriously don't indulge myself with excessive feng-shui knowledge. I just made that briefs facing north thing up. I don't even know where my briefs are facing. I'm just trying to say that I'm not like the other regular teenage guys out there who needs their moms to yell at them to clean up their room or worse, who needs their mom to do the cleaning up for them because they're so f-ing lazy to at least clean up their own mess. I am lazy when it comes to homework, but when it's housework, I don't know why I enjoy doing most of the things. I was probably brought up the hard way.

As for mom's room, I did some alteration to her personal altar. Kept those dust-collecting, thick Bibles that were left lying around at both ends of the Mother Mary portrait. I couldn't care less what she might say when she gets back home. I just needed to clear everything that was an eye-sore to me! I didn't have the time to venture into either her wardrobe or dad's. But I did a little sprucing up at her dressing table and the numerous shelves that came along with the cabinet. Shift her perfumes a little to the left, and her make-ups a little to the right, and her daily lotions a little to the back. Took out her jewellery box for little displays and wiped her mirror. Akak changed her current simple blue bed sheets to bright pink floral motif sheets with laces hanging low from it, covering the bed legs while I arranged her wedding photos on her bed-head and VOILA! That was about it. Everything had to be detailed and thus, it took me quite long.

I saw that Grace managed her room well and I stayed out of it. Dust a little in her room and left. She had alot of displays of stuffed animals and dolls. Me messing with those will definitely send me spinning into the hospital bed.

I continued a little cleaning today with the outside TV set cabinet. I arranged my DVDs in an orderly manner and hid all the hideous wires that were sticking out from the TV to the different consoles/players. But got carried away with the insertion of Desperate Housewives DVD Season 2 Episode 5. I ended up sitting in front of the TV with the damped rag on my hands, watching Desperate Housewives until I got distracted again by Carina's constant nudging through MSN to webcam with me.

Adrian and Carina got themselves a webcam last week and we've been practically webcamming with each other from then on. I get some company when I'm alone in my room and in return, they get to flaunt their EXPENSIVE Logitech webcam with a internal built-in microphone and flash around to me. At least that's what I heard. My webcam, however, to be compared, is nothing as good as their's. It doesn't really matter. Mine is still in good shape and is still usable. No hurry for a better one. But there's definitely been a little debate going on between mom and dad whether or not to get me a new monitor. The other family members have also hopped on along with us in our little webcam wagon and it gives them the creepers to see Adrian on the other line with pink skin. Pink is not my color! To them, this whole webcam conference thing is something new and yet to be explored and needs a little getting used to. Not to mention my other aunties have not left themselves behind with sudden (secret) purchases of webcams too from ah chiu.

I think I'd better stop here and AT LEAST try to pack my bags for the KL trip. It's Edmund's big day tomorrow. Until then, let's call it a day.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Shopping - Second Attempt.

After our failed attempt to get Edmund a gift for his birthday this Sunday, Grace decided to go for another shopping spree. It wasn't exactly our best choice of shopping mall but it was near from the house and we were looking for something cheap - not expensive kinda way. With all those Bangladesh and Malay (I'm not a racist at all but these people are the ones that look like they have nothing better to do than to HANG OUT and just crowd the place up with their free-ness) people loitering around and it being notoriously known for its piracy goods and , Bukit Jambul doesn't sound that bad for once.

We proceeded with the plan. I meet up with Grace at her workplace (which is just a walk away from BJ) and dad gave us a lift since he was on his way to work also. Dad dropped us at the main entrance of the mall and we got on to our watch-hunting (Grace is still persistent to get a watch for him). BJ was obviously well-known for its cheap goods and it's not really hard to get yourself a great bargain if you were like me, a Penangite who knows how to sweet-talk his way through.

After a little bit of BJ air, we stopped by our first watch shop. Looked around and saw some really ok watches for an 8 year old. It's always fun when it comes to shopping with Grace. We talk alot while we linger/stride along the empty walkways of the malls, with the onlooking salesperson standing at the entrance of their respective shops, looking like they're going to run out of business anytime soon due to the lack of customers. We discuss about issues, both personal and social. When I'm shopping with her, the sight of a rude or an unwelcoming salesperson will automatically forbid us from entering a particular shop even if it everything on the shelves were free. Both of us just don't agree to the impoliteness of a salesperson.

I'm getting off track again. We did found a perfect watch for him in the first shop but Grace wasn't in a hurry to get it. Grace wanted to a little more browsing for other watches in other shops. We left the shop with a simple smile and a polite 'Thank you' to the salesman who was kind enough to open one of his glass shelves to let us have a closer view of the watches we wanted. We walked and talked and went into shops after shops. At our third stop - excluding all those stops we made when we see something intereting through the display window - and after much convincing when she saw that the first shop was the only one that had the one we were looking for, we went back to the first shop. The salesman was happy to see us back in such a short time. We got what we came for.

We were supposed to call dad after we finished but... that thought kinda slipped off our minds with the temptations of cheap goods all over the place. We decided to stay a little longer. Since Grace is working now and that she has a little earning she can afford to splurge on herself if she actually wants to. Sadly, she's the thrifty one amongst us three siblings, despite the times she keeps telling me about how many things she could buy (for her and for me) if she had all the money in the world. She's been really careful in her expenditure lately. Maybe it's because of the upcoming KL trip and she plans to go shopping? I think I've heard her mentioned something about shopping in KL throughout the whole time when we were walking together.

The sudden change of course from watch-shopping to window shopping resulted both of us in getting each ourselves a bag, with our own oney, of course. I spent about RM70 altogether for my bag. WE couldn't help it. I fell in love with the bag (a huge light-beige coloured sling bag that really stresses on the "ragged" fashion nowadays) I saw and she needed a new bag. I don't see no harm to it. Not to say that I'm a trend disciple (definitely not!), but the size of the bag was really big. The ragged look was just an extra bonus to the size. Added with a little convincing from the saleswoman, I couldn't help but to draw my wallet out slowly.

When the saleswoman handed over to me my purchase and my receipt with the change, it made me realise that this was the first time I was spending so much on myself since... since... I don't know when! Can you believe it? It's like, I haven't bought anything for myself after such a - as long as I can remember- time! I was pleased and Grace though the bag wasn't bad at all. We thought we could bring it to KL this Monday night (our flight is at 10 p.m.) fully aware that our bags would be somewhat outdated in that city.

Speaking of which, Grace is packing her share of things in (just) a luggage we are going to bring, besides other personal stuff in our own bags. I'm going to have to start packing also, I think.

Wait a minute, I still have to attend school on Monday! *gasps* That means, I still have my History essayS to complete. I guess the packing will have to wait.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Too Early.

My afternoons these past few days have been nothing but rain, rain and rain. It does give a cooling effect to the atmosphere. I keep myself busy, thinking about my upcoming KL trip, thinking about redecorating the house, blogging, internet surfing, downloading and watching The O.C and Desperate Housewives to put my mind off worrying stuff like exams and the rain.

Edmund's birthday is this Sunday and we still haven't got him a gift. Dad had asked Father Francis Anthony (Cathedral Of The Holy Spirit's Parish Priest) if he could come over to our house for blessing. Dad thought that the house needed a blessing "renewal" after the renovation. He also thought that with the increasing amount of times we've been quarelling amongst ourselves, the house seriosuly needs blessings. Dad asked Father FA to pick a date when he's free and when he'll be able to come over to bless our home. Coincidentally, Father FA poked at the box bearing the number 23 under the April page of his calender, when we asked him when was he free. That's the only time he's going to be free, according to him. So, Sunday it is!

It clashes with Edmund's birthday and since we couldn't celebrate birthdays, we thought we could celebrate the blessing in conjunction with Edmund's birthday as well. No cake, no singing of songs, no candles, but just a small gathering of immediate family members with some food thrown in. We invited Mr. Gerard (the choir master) since he was so eager to see our renovated home after so long and this blessing could be the perfect time. He was happy to come upon invitation.

After three months of residing in our home, let's just say, things are a bit in a mess. Since I'm the free-est (by free-est, I mean, sitting at home all day long in front of the computer!) member of the family, I was given the responsibility to "clear up" the home. I haven't been doing much as you can see. I haven't switched to my over-obsessive-cleaning Bree Van De Kamp mode yet. When I do, the whole house would be sparkling clean and I'll be soaking wet in sweat! LOL. That's the way things are around here. I still think ti's too early to do anything with the house. By the time it's Sunday, it'll be back to square one.

And I haven't been busy packing for my KL trip neither. I think it's too early also. Why not just sit back and relax? My afternoons consists of me lying on my bed with Elizabethtown Soundtrack playing on my computer, staring into space, and thinking about a whole lot of stuff. I know, it's relaxing.

I guess that's just my style. Not wanting to do anything while I have the time in my hand. Waiting till the last minute arrives then I'll be rushing like hell. Last minute man, I am!

Appreciate Your Parents.

A pouting teenager with his arms folded, walking beside his mom, who was smiling gleefully came pass my attention. Another teenager with a reload card in her left hand while her mobile was in the other and her eyes glued to her mobile screen, walking along with her mother who was at that time, looked like she was scolding her child also caught my attention. I was shopping for a gift for Edmund last night with Grace.

Apparently, teenagers these days are not happy to be coming out with their mom anymore. The first mother seemed to be unaware of the situation that her child was in. She most probably thinks that they're spending the time of their lives with the smile she has spread over her face. Unless she was Bree Van Dee kamp, then it'll be totally a different story. The second mother, however, looks like she has taken full advantage/opportunity of this little (only) outing she had with her daughter to scold her on her mistakes. The daughter seems to be doing a pretty good job at ignoring her mother.

When it's like this, I guess both party needs to be blame. I think, lack of communication is the main problem here. If the mother was to be more opened with her child, I'm sure the child will do the same. If you ask me, despite of times that misunderstanding runs around freely like a little child in our lives, I have no problems communicating with mom. When it comes to shopping or whetever else outing for that matters, I'm best off with mom. Being out with my mom allows me to really spend quality time with her. I don't go out with mom wearing my sour-faced mask, telling the whole world that I hate to be caught walking with her! In fact, I'm happier when I'm with mom compared to friends (excluding Edward). No offence, but I just prefer mom. After all she's like the walking ATM machine of mine! She pays for movies, food and other stuff when I'm with her. I'd have to pay for myself if I'm out with my friends. You choose!

What I'm trying to say is, I was once also, a peer-pressured teenager where I loathed the thought of meeting my parents in public places. In short, I was embarassed of my parents. growing up in a Catholic community taught me to change. There was actually nothing to be embarassed about my parents. They may not be cool. They might not have won the Parents Of The Year Award, but they're still my beloved parents. Now, I'll usually go on a parade with my parents, especially mom! I'm happy when my friends see me going out with my old folks, although it makes me look like a total retard and a loser, I couldn't be less bothered about it! So, to teenagers out there who are embarassed of your parents, please think again. Don't waste this wonderful teenage life of yours shunning your parents. Acknowledge their presence and open up to them. Parents are shy as well, you know. I did ask my parents once, if they were pressured by me to be cool or "in". Thank God, they said no!

It's a blessing that most of us (teens) have loving parents who care about us. Ther may be times when we just feel like hating them to the max! There may be times when it looks to us that everything that they're doing is not right! We, as children have to take this into consideration that, they're not perfect people. Everyone has their weaknesses. So do us! Mistakes are meant to be forgiven, just like they forgave us when we stole our friend's pencil on the third day of school. It's not in the nature for parents to say, "I'm sorry" but as children, we have to see that we forgive them. They're usually so troubled about their own parents, money, mortgage, debts and us! I say, let's give them a break. be independant once in a while and relieve them of their burdens (I'm not telling you to run away from home) and be a good kid that they can out their trust on. Take the time to appreciate them.

For starters, try this. Invite your mom/dad for a little outing whether it's shopping or fishing. Take the opportunity to talk to them. Lay out your opinions. Express your love and care. It'll work wonders on your parents!

If you think acting like the I-hate-my-mom Marissa Cooper (she just became a lesbian in Season 2) from The O.C. is cool, NO. It's an absolute disgrace to our Asian saociety

Think about this, parents are going to be with us for the rest of our lives, but they won't be here forever. Don't ignore the PARENTS!

Matt : You see all those teenagers who looks so gloomy being out with their parents?
Grace : Yeah.
Matt : Thank God, I'm not like them.

Grace : You was.

Matt : I was.
Grace : You're different. That's good.

8 Year Old.

Grace and I went shopping last night at Gurney. Considering that both of us were free and the mall would be actually peaceful and quiet without teenagers (cause it's a school night), we decided to drive down to Gurney Plaza to look for a gift for Edmund's birthday. Edmund's birthday (23/4) falls on this Sunday. No celebration, due to kong kong's recent passing. It has been 49 days already today. Neither one of us are to celebrate our birthdays this year. It's like a period of mourning or rather, in respect of the dead that we do not celebrate anything this whole year. Chinese tradition. But getting him a gift for his 8th birthday doesn't sound all that bad.

A full hour of walking resulted in nothing. We just couldn't figure out a decent gift for that little git at home. Toys are a big no no for us because we think he's too grown up for those toys that'll probably break in his hands in about a month. Trying to get something educational sounds kind of ridiculous seeing that studies definitely doesn't come first on an 8 year old's list of wanted things! Then Grace suggested a watch. I was okay with it. As the matter of fact, I'm pretty ok with anything. As long as he likes it, I'll be happy. But Grace thinks otherwise. "Why get him something that he likes but is useless?" she says. I might just pick out a toy (I was having the thought of getting him a Bionicle!) that I could afford and make him happy. Grace insisted on a watch.

Roaming like a couple of lost souls in Gurney, searching for a watch shop, at night wasn't the best way to spend your weeknight. We didn't have trouble looking for a watch shop or two. But we did have trouble looking for a good and CHEAP (literally) one! hey, after all, we're living in Penang, everything IS suppose to fall in that category! All the children watches we saw ranges from RM70 - RM80. For one thing, we're no reach to people to afford such expensive watches. Second thing, he's just a kid! We can't trust
fully him with an RM80 watch strapped to his wrist while he plays one of his ball games!! He'll probably break it. Third thing, with a responsibilty of an 8 year old, we gave him an account of 2 weeks before he loses the watch. Expensive watches are totally out of the question! We gave up and Grace said that she'll go to another watch shop that she knows and will try to find one for Edmund in time for his birthday.

We surrendered to our thirsts and went to get ice-creams before going up to the 7th floor car park to where our car was parked. I wasn't craving for an ice-cream that time, unlike Grace was. But I did have a sudden craving for root beer with a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream! A&W was te place! Although, I have to say, A&W in Gurney looks more like a hangout place for losers besides the fact that they make great floats! The atmosphere is close to the atmosphere of a funeral parlour, the colours in the restaurant are as dull as the colours of my skin and the s I got my float while Grace was halfway through her ice-cream, licking endlessly. I dug in on my root beer with Vanilla ice-cream topping while we made our way through the empty escalators in Gurney, listening to the soft music played.

We made it back home through the heavy traffic under the rain, empty handed. It's probably a usual thing for us both already by now when it comes to gift shopping. We can barely find a thing. Even if it's for Christmas or Birthdays. Grace and I are hopeless gift shoppers!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

School Extended.

My life's slowly taking a turning point from good to bad. Still in the 'bad' category. Yesterday, I saw the new timetable of the school. The dreaded piece of paper caught my eye when one of my classmates was about to post it on the notice board at the back of the class. I stopped him and snatched the paper (as if not allowing him - or rather, not allowing reality - to post it on the board) away from him to take a closer look. It was true! Evidently, in black and white, printed, right in front of my eyes! That principal has successfully done it. He extended the timetable!

I took the paper away from him to go photostate another copy for myself. To have a clearer view of it and to brawl over the paper like some sicko who just got his results and is not happy over it. Staring at it aimlessly, thinking about all those things I could've done with that extended time (15 minutes extra). Pretty much nothing at all. But the thought of sitting in class, almost not paying any attention at all to what the teacher might be saying, for another extra 15 minutes seems to be horrifying. I mean, everytime, before the long hand of the battery operated clock hung above the blackboard of the class reaches the number '4', I'd be already waiting with both my eyes afixed to it, watching it tick away down to the second the bell might ring. And now, another extra 15 minutes is like forever in the class!

Unfortunately, there's no escaping from it, unless, of course, if I transfer to another school. Until then, I'll just have to face the music.

On a brighter note, Grace got a phone call yesterday from Malaya University asking her to come for an interview next Tuesday (25/4). Excited she is about the interview! She'll have to take a bus or fly down to Kuala Lumpur for the interview, then. I offered her my acquaintance, for sure. Who wouldn't want a free trip down to KL although it's just for less than 24hours. She bought my idea and told mom about the news as sson as she got home.

Airflight tickets have been bought for the both of us. I'm going to KL next Monday night and will be back on Wednesday morning! Sadly enough, I still have to attend school on Monday.

Oh well, it doesn't really matter now. We're going to KL, unsupervised! It'll be like an adventure outing. LOL. Finding our ways through the bustling city of KL? Nothing interesting...

Seeing Red (Pink).

Phew. Rummaging through all my computer softwares and hardwares sure wasn't an easy task. Especially when I'm in a hurry to install something and I have to look for a single CD above all my software CDs which are stashed away in a box in the cupboards above my bed. Was sweating all over until I managed to let go a handful of CDs off to switch the air-conditioning on.

I was busy replacing my monitor when I got a phone call from Carina asking if the Chinese character writing program was usable on my computer and that she would like to come over tonight to use it to complete her work. My monitor screen (the traditional big, fat one the size of a TV) has been giving me a tint of pink these past couple of days. Yeah, PINK. A whole tint of pink, screwing up my eyes. I've gotten so fed up - with the endless banging of frustration at the monitor itself - that I decided to go hunt for my old one (much smaller but same traditional one) to replace it with this pink screen, thinking that by doing so, it'll eat up the whole afternoon of mine. I got the phone call as soon as I switched on the computer to see if the old monitor was still working.

A couple of years back, mom spent almost a fortune to purchase this thing called 'PenPower Handwriting' for Edmund to practice on his Chinese calligraphy but he never used it. So it's stuck with me. I never use it for calligraphy writing, but for the occasional scribbles on Paint when I'm bored. Carina used it once for her work and it worked beautifully!

So she came to me (almost pleading-ly), hoping to use it tonight and my first answer was a NO. Since after my major reformatting of the computer somewhere in December, I wasn't bothered to reinstall the 'PenPower Handwriting' program, since noone ever uses it.

Carina : Hey, Matt, is your Chinese writing program still working?
Matt : Yeah, but it's not installed.
Carina : Can I come over tonight to complete my work? I have some Chinese writing.
Matt : Uhh, I dunno, it'd be a trouble for me to install it and fix it and...
Carina : Nevermind. Fine. It's okay.
Matt : But if you still insist, I'd have to install it for you.
Carina : No need. No need.
Matt : What other alternative do you have then?
Carina : Don't worry!

And then she hung up on me. I was still busy adjusting the contrast of the monitor screen and I coldn't be bothered about someone else's problem at that time. After a few minutes of contemplating about how selfish I was and what a jerk I was towards her, I decided to call her back. There wasn't any pick up at the other end. I wan't very proud of myself and I desperately try calling her back. But she kind of reached me at the wrong time. It's always wrong time when a guy is repairing his computer and when everything in a big mess in the room! I was still selfish and inconsiderate. Dad's words came haunting me for the next few minutes I tried to reach her, "When people come to you for help, you should never say no, cause that someone might have seen that you're capable in helping them in a particular matter. For your case, it's usually computer related. Always offer a helping hand."

I was freaking out until I called kai ma. When kai ma picked up, I quickly told her that Carina can come over anytime and I'd be ready to help her out. She said ok and that she'll bring her over after her tuition class. Upon hung up, I immediately went to search for the program that I hardly use to install it back again and fill up the already limited space in my computer. With the word 'family' etched across my brains all the time, I pulled through the installation. It was all in Chinese for God's sake! I clicked away blindly!

After a few hours of installation and seeing through that tiny screen of my old monitor, I got fed up once more and decided to switch back to the pink tinted one. I did, and now, I'm typing through pink tinted screen. That monitor was far too small for me to handle. I'd rather see a pink screen than to see a small, tiny screen.

Carina's coming over anytime soon. Hope she's not mad.

By the way, it's raining now and the sky is so very dark.

And my mobile's broken again. The cheap replaced batteries aren't half as good as the original one. It's so infuriating just thinking baout it!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Saturday Afternoon.

After recovering from all that I-got-my-BRATs-applictaion-accepted fever, I got settled down for the day with a refreshing shower, getting rid of last night's remains from sleep. I was staring at the mail for quite some time, reading the 'congratulations' letter, the forms, the schedule for the workshop and the rules and regulations for the workshop, going through it over and over again. Close to a few hundred times, I can say. After that, I spent my whole day in front of the computer doing... OK, I'm not sure what I was doing. Although I did have a few attempts of pulling myself away and actually trying to open the almost-Bible-thick History book of mine, which apparantly, brought to nothing but more time on the computer and more disgust on the opened, untouched book on the desk.

By the time it was 4.30p.m. I realised that I've spent quite a load of time on the computer, surfing. My eyes dread the sight of another flicker of light from the monitor screen and my ears would bleed at another sound of the keyboard being typed at. I needed a break from the computer. So I decided to take a walk out of my room. Had a little chit-chat with akak over some hot milo in my hands, since we were the only ones at home then. Had a few laughs and I decided to watch a movie. Considering that I still had un-watched DVDs in the TV-set cupboard. Browsed a little and Elizabethtown was my pick. The perfect show for a peaceful, quiet, lonely, rainy afternoon. Yeap, that's right. Me and the TV only.

I closed the sliding door of as it was beginning to turn into a downpour and the clouds just looked promising for a dark day. I inserted the DVD into the player, sat back and relax. Akak wasn't invited to the party I was holding to celebrate the peace around with the TV. She was busy cleaning the kitchen anyway. I was so looking forward to an afternoon to myself. I am selfish, I know. Elizabethtown was a movie that I've longed to watch since the day I bought it, but never got around to it, considering that it was never a perfect time to do so. But today seemed rather perfect for a show like that. With the sound of rain crashing on the roof of the houses and with the chilliness of a cold day in December, I could almost fall asleep. Unfortuntaely, good things never last, at least, not for long.

Not even half an hour through the movie, the door bell rang. I couldn't be bothered to peek through peep-hole of the door to see who it was and I just quickly unlocked it, so engrossed with the movie that I almost flew across the room to get to the door and back. Grace and dad materialised in front of me. They were from the chiropractor's, getting treatment for Grace's wrist. So there I was, half watching them at the door and half still watching Claire (Kirsten Dunst) talking to Drew (Orlando Bloom) on the plane, thinking, "Great, there goes my afternoon."

Grace, however, took the liberty to not make my assumption wrong, said something about the show.

Grace : What movie is this?
Matt : Elizabethtown.
Grace : Awww, what a boring movie! Why are you watching such a slow and boring movie anyway?
Matt : Cause I can and I understand. Not to mention sentimental and romantic.
Grace : Yeah, right.

Taking in account of what she said, she wasn't invited to my party of celebrating peace with the TV anymore. She went to take an afternoon nap while dad stood at the hallway watching the movie. It's not that he was punished or anything, but the hallway could easily see the TV. It's where all of us stands when we want to catch a glimpse of a movie but we're not sure if it's interesting or that we're busy. That's for all the standing-in-the-hallway-watching-the-TV routine. Not long for that, dad sat down on the floor beside me (we haven't got ourselves a couch yet). I felt weird. Just plain weird.

Matt : What are you doing?
Dad : What? I'm watching a movie. Are you not allowing me?
Matt : Umm... no.
Dad : Alright then.
Matt : But it's a very very boring and slow movie. You robably wouldn't understand it. It's romance.
Dad : Are you suggesting that I'm stupid?
Matt : No.

And there he was, till the last 30 minutes of the movie. We didn't talk. And I wasn't sure if he understood the movie entirely. To add up to the level of weirdness and awkwardness at that time, Elizabethtown was almost, so close, to a father and son movie. When Drew saw his dad lying in the coffin, I was so afraid that MY dad might say something connected to his death in the future. Not that I can't answer, but NOT at that time. Don't get me wrong (lately, whatever I'm saying seems to come out in a different, more offensive way) . I really do have a strong bond and relationship between dad and me. We're honest to each other. But often, ideas and opinions of two different man are the cause of all quarrels. Now, that's when toleraation and respect comes running along into our lives! But watching a romance movie with your dad could be really different.

Then, it dawned on me again. Great! I'm stuck watching a romance movie now with my old man. Worse than watching The Fog with mom! I'm a bigger loser than I think I am! While others weren't invited to my celebration of peace (with the TV only), dad invited himself and indeed, made himself comfy. But after all, it wasn't as bad as you think it would be (or as I said it). It was just allright. Not the best companion for a romance movie but it was ok. Oh well, not that I have anything against family members... but certain genres of movies are only suitable watching with a family member.

Morning Breakfast.

"You've got mail! There you go," dad said stepping out of the escalator of our 5-storey condominium at the second floor as he handed over to me a huge, rectangular envelope with the unmistakable Star sign and the words imprinted after it read : STAR PUBLICATIONS (MALAYSIA) BERHAD, printed boldly across the top left corner of the envelope which is now wrinkled all over and folded at the edges by the postman's determination to shove the big envelope in through the tiny hole of my mail box. It was addressed to me and my house address was handwritten neatly at the heart of the front envelope with a blue ball-point pen. I beamed at the sight of the STAR sign when the envelope reached my hand while I was standing at the doorway of the house.

"Oh, my! It's from The STAR!" I said gleefully, holding it in my hands. Dad couldn't be bothered much as he had a basket full of the daily purchases of fresh greens from the wet market on his hand, eagerly trying to get into the house, while I was afixed at the doorway holding the envelope, trying to digest whatI was looking at. Then, feeling like a little six year old at the sight of his Christmas gifts under the tree, I rushed into the house and frantically looked for a letter opener.

I'm always happy when I recieve mail with my name written all over the envelope! The thrill of knowing that it's mine and that it was sent specifically to me. The satisfaction! It's most probably due to the fact that growing up as a kid in my household, I've never received any mail posted specifically to me. Excluding that one part of my childhood life when I was 10 where my B.M. teacher made us send letters to one another as a class activity as she was teaching us on how to write an informal letter. Recieving my classmate's copied letter from an essay book was fun! It gave me the impression that Mr. Postman is a really nice guy and he does his job to send our letters to one another. That was the only time I recieved any form of mails. Not until now that I'm serving in the Lectors Ministry in church, my duty roster is sent to me every month. That's the only mail I receive nowadays. Having friends who technically don't celebrate what I celebrate, greetings of warm wishes in the forms of cards are some of the things I'll never dream of. Let's not hope too much. Enough about my sad childhoood life that doesn't recieve any forms of mail.

So, I found the letter opener beside the TV at the living room and hurriedly tore the opening. I was so excited! "Could it be a RM50 note that I won with my numerous sending of pictures to the Thumbnai section of the STAR? Coud it be that I've won the RM999999 competition? This is exciting!" I thought to myself, while I carefully opened the envelope hoping not to tear anything apart that's inside. The anticipation and anxiety was definitely there.

It turns out to be nothing from what I've imagined. No cash or cheque that's worth a thousand. It was better.

"Dear BRAT-to-be, CONGRATULATIONS! You have been selected to attend Tha Star BRATs Workshop from 28th - 31st May 2006 (Sun - Wed) at Motel Sri Pantai, Penang." as I read it out aloud for dad, akak and poh poh (she's here for the weekend), I couldn't help but smile at every word that was coming out of my mouth. Yay! My application got in! I was jumping over the moon to hear this!! I sent in my application - an essay that I had to write about myself, family, school and friends in not more than a thousand words, I think - about a month ago. After all that's happened, with kong kong's passing, I kind of forgot about it already. Just a couple of days ago, when I decided to read the newspapers (out of sheer boredness), only I remembered about my application. I had kind of given up hope on it, thinking that there's no reply for such a long time and my essay's probably one of the worst they've recieved. Talk about self-esteem, I've got none.

But now, this! I am a new man! LOL. I was speechless! I never thought I could be picked! You probably think that, "OMG, it's just BRATs! Why the hell am I making such a big deal out of it?" Well, I've gotta say I'm not much of an achiever in my whole schooling life. I'm not one of those over-achieving teens who excels in sports, academic or publicly known for their smartness and talent. I'm the kind who enters all competition with the hopes of winning but never does, the kind who put himself out there but usually fail miserably, the kind who is unknown. Getting into this made me feel proud (and good) about myself. Made me feel that my essay was probably interesting that someone could like it. Made me feel I did something good for myself once in a while. This is just one of my very rare and very few personal achievements! Yes, I'm very very positive now. I'm learning day by day!

I was kind of taken aback by dad's silence after I read to him the contents of my letter. After I read to him that a fee of RM120 needs to be paid for accomodation and food. "Couldn't you at least feel proud?" I said, frustratedly. He gave me that smile, sort of a giggle, that exposes his yellow teeth, that always make me feel that everything was alright. "Do you have RM120?" he asked me. "No" I replied looking at him. "That means I've gotta pay, right?" he joked and it ended with poh poh's and mine's laughter with him smiling. "Hurry up, let's go for breakfast! We're gonna be late if you're still standing there and dream," he said.

I got a quick glance of the rest of the pieces of forms and rules that needs to be filled and followed before I left it on my desk and grabbed my mobile to go breakfast with dad and Edmund at the nearby coffeeshop. After ordering porridge (for the carbohydrate fix in the morning) from the freaky man who tried hitting on mom, I sat down at one of the many dirty tables in the coffeeshop. Yes, the man was so old and horny (and he's married, but usually seen holding hands with other women in public places) that he couldn't control himself. He got silent after dad showed up at mom's side while she was buying porridge one day. That's so gross. But what can I say, he makes good porridge. LOL. While we were waiting to be served - the usual thing you do after ordering when you're in Penang hawkers, I asked dad, "So, am I going to the workshop?" "Why of course you are! You got picked," he said as Edmund's food arrived at our table.

That morning, breakfast was served hot with happiness!

Suddenly I feel like reading The Star : The People's Paper.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holy Thursday.

Here I am, in front of the computer, in my air-conditioned, messy, four-walled bedroom, with the neck-tie hanging off my left arm which is covered till the wrist with white cotton sleeve. The neck-tie is not for me, it's dad's. I'm just helping him to tie it. And I'm dressed in my usual choir outfit. Pure white, long-sleeved Brooks Brothers shirt, slacks, white socks and a handkerchief in my left pocket. The handkerchief was my own addition. We'll be wearing another layer of our choir rhobes later, though. It's just a formality to dress according to the code.

We're obviously going to church. It's Holy Thursday, according to the Catholic calender. The day of the Last Supper, where Jesus had his last meal with his disciples and there will be this Washing Of The Feet ceremony during mass later. All according to the scriptures, of course. I'm all ready for church while mom and dad are still changing. The big thing today is that they're going to be appointed as Communion Ministers in the church in the witness of the whole congregation. That explains the neck-tie that dad is suppose to wear.

I, for one, wouldn't know much about being Communion Ministers - the guys dressed in white and who gives out the Holy Eucharist at the feet of the sarcrasty (how'd you spell this word?) - cause I'm not going to be one anytime soon. But what I do know is that they're pretty excited. Excited in a spiritual sense. The installation of the new Communion Ministers is later. I just feel so happy for the both of them. They're finally getting involved in church.

Getting chosen/elected to become a Communion Minister is a very honourable thing, from what I heard lah. Not any ordinary person could get elected for this. Don't know how mom and dad got in?

Prayers, perhaps?

Now, if you'd please excuse me. I gotta go fix dad's neck-tie for him. =P. Here I go again, another sweating frenzy.

PS : I realise all my sudden Catholic terms and words, but I have not time to get into more detailed explanation. When I'm free.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Skip School.

Here I am, after my morning post. If you were wondering, I did go all the way down to school earlier just now. Sitting in the perfumed car on the way down to school had me thinking for a bit. I was shocked to see all the "signs" that were unevidently (I took it as unevidently) stopping me from attending school today. While I was sitting on the co-driver seat, looking out the windshield at the flashing lights and passing images of homes, cars, bikes, people and trees under the (only) light source of the many lamp posts along the whole road, I summed up all the "signs" I was having this morning.
  1. The sports event itself was a big factor for me to not attend school.
  2. I brought the wrong books to school - I packed my books for Tuesday, not Wednesday.
  3. Wasn't even sure I was wearing the right attire as I couldn't spot another person with the same attire.
  4. I had to stay back after school for co-curricular activites which I'm totally not fond off.
  5. I missed last night's North Shore on TV and the only time I could catch its repeat is later at 2 p.m.
  6. I still haven't finish with Aiman's pen drive which he reluctantly passed it to me last week to fill it up with songs he requested. Couldn't face him.
So I thought to myself, "I probably shouldn't attend school with all these signs I'm seeing. Maybe there was going to be an explosion today? Assasination perhaps?" Before the car reached the school gate, I hurriedly shot dad the question (or request) that I've been battling with myself whether to ask dad or not through the whole ride to school.

Matt : (whispers) Can I skip school today?
Dad : What? I can't hear you.
Matt : (softly) Can I skip school today?
Dad : What! Why?
Matt : Ummm...
Dad : But you said you weren't gonna go tomorrow.
Matt : Ok ok, I'll go tomorrow. Just not today.
Dad : (silent)

The reason why I said I wasn't going to go tomorrow is cause I won't be going on Friday cause it's Good Friday then. The sports event is still on on Thursday and you know me, not really into all these stuff and if there was a chance to run away from it, I will. I was thinking of a four day self-declared holiday in a stretch. But things seem to happen out of my expectations, I guess I'll just have to take it.

Riding in the car back home was awkward. Neither did dad nor me make a sound throughout the 30 minutes journey from school to home and vice versa. He looked as stern as he always do when he's cross, and his silence only adds up to the intense feeling I was having after being so bold to shoot the question at him a mile before we reached school. I broke the ice, like I always do. Silence scares the hell out of me.

Matt : Are you mad?
Dad : No. (mumbles) Why would I be mad...
Matt : I don't know, you look mad. Is it because I skipped school?
Dad : No.
Matt : Are you sure?
Dad : (laughs a little, showing his yellow, almost-rotted line of uneven teeth)

I think I heard him mumbling something like "skip" and "school". But his smile assured me he was alright.

But I've got a pretty bad feeling about this. The principal's most probably going to announce his changes today during assembly and will so suddenly come up with a new rule for punishing all absentees when he sees the surprising number of absentees during a sports event. I'm not the only one who would skip silly sport events in school!

The Morning Post.

Before you continue reading this post, please look at the time of this post. Yeap, that's right. I'm posting this at 5.10 a.m.. Not that it's a big deal to anyone, but it is kind of something to me. It could be my earliest post ever, yet. The reason I say earliest is that... Oh wait, I think I just heard akak's alarm ring... is that I didn't stay up till 5 in the morning staring through the online space but woke up at 4.40 a.m.. I kind of went to bed last night before dinner at about 6p.m.. After that, I couldn't remember a thing.

Not until my friend, Jack, texted me (at this freaking hour of the day!). I jumped out of the bed as soon as the sound of my text tune - which happens to be Jay Chou's Fa Ru Xue - reached my ear. I was pissed off at him for disturbing my sleep but, at the same time, I realised I haven't done anything at all since my sudden knockout on the bed. I haven't packed my bags for today, haven't even taken a shower, missed dinner and Edward online. At that moment, going back to bed sounds ridiculous. So I pulled my ever heavy bag from beneath my desk to the chair to see what book was needed for the day to only realise that there's not going to be much of a study today since there's going to be some sickly sports event that I eagerly need to get away from. So I sat down in front of my computer to come here again.

Right now, my breath stinks a whole lot - a totally undescripable smell, my neck hurts (wasn't sure how I slept last night, the sheets and pillows are all messed up and everywhere), my body stink of expired sweat (I live in Penang, sun paradise, what do you expect? We sweat all the time!), I'm kind of hungry and dad just walked in on me, giving him an impression that I stayed up all night. He's very very aware of me and computer. My bladder is also filled with pee and it's going to burst anytime soon. But I've gotta hold on. Going out from my room, however, means shower, brushing my teeth and getting ready for school. No rush in that. The night is still as dark as before. Somehow, not cold.

It's Asia, I'm talking about. We don't have sunrise at a time like this!

My knockout was probably due to lack of sleep the night before and also due to me working on my Add. Maths equations. I couldn't take it anymore and the best way to get away from it is to go to sleep since Edmund was occupying the computer yesterday, playing Luxor. I thought someone would wake me up for dinner, but noone did. They let me strode off in my dream horse for the rest of the night, without even bothering to wake me up. Or maybe they did, I couldn't possibly realise.

Anyway, I think I'd better go get things going for the day. My breath is beginning to become intolerable! Urgh, gotta go prepare for school. I never thought I'd have to say this phrase in my blog. Never though the day would come. And now, it's here. We'll have to put on our sports attire for today, but we are still required to change after the sports event. Silly isn't it? As I've said before, if there was a locker room... Imagine me in the tight, shrunken, team house t-shirt. Ewe!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Night Before.

It's a public holiday today. Noone's at home but me and Carina. Adrian and Carina spent the night over at my place. Adrian, Edmund and dad had gone to the swimming pool (I live in a condominium that has facilities as such but never well maintained). Speaking of pools, when was the last time I actually dipped my feet into the 5metre deep clear, chlorine-filled, blue water? Hmm... Can't remember. Nevermind. So Carina just woke up - look at the time! - and she's having breakfast now outside the kitchen with her eyes glued to the TV. While mom and Grace had gone out with ah chiu and poh poh (she spent the night over at ah chiu's) to bed-shopping. They're being pretty secretive about it. I bet they're hiding something. But, who cares?

Carina and I spent the night watching The Fog on DVD, UNTIL... mom got back from ah chiu's and joined us for the movie, which was just about to start. The only reason Adrian did not join us was cause he fell asleep by 11p.m. You probably might be wondering, "What's up with all those spending-the-night-over-at-someone-else's-house is all about?". Well, firstly, we live in Penang, a very very small island if it was measured in the World Map. Almost unnoticed. Secondly, my whole family basically lives in the same district. Not a very far distance to get to another's house. From poh poh's to my house to ah chiu's and to kai ma's, it's all just a simple route. In short, we're not living far away from each other.

Back to the story. So I just let the DVD into the player when mom rang the doorbell. We were already sitted comfortably on the floor (we have yet to get ourselves a couch after moving in after the renovations) and mum decided to budge in with us. It was about 12.15a.m. at that time.

Matt : Aren't you sleepy yet?
Mom : I'd like to watch the show also, if you mind?

Matt : Don't you need to go to sleep?

Mom : Can I join y'all then?

Matt : Fine.

What more can I say? Being the sensitive mom as she is, I can't possibly say no. She made herself comfy in between us. The movie went well, with the occasional toilet breaks. To my surprise, mom actually understood the movie. Well, she's always asking questions in movies, even in the cinemas. She'll come out of a movie to be only asking more questions and always saying, "I don't even understand the movie," in Hokkien while she scratches her head and scrunches her face. We'll always think twice before asking her out for a movie or inviting her to join us in a show, unless it was that kind of family-bonding thing. But she did understand the movie well last night. Except for one part when Nick Castle (played by Tom Welling) had "wild sex" with Elizabeth (played by Maggie Grace) over at his place.

Mom : Aiyer, it's a dirty show lah!
Matt : Mom, please!
Mom : Holy week, and you're watching this kind of show!

Matt : Who would've known they inserted this kind of scene in a horror movie?
Mom : (continues to watch, silently)

Matt : You sure you're not sleepy?

Mom : I had alot of rest today. I wasn't working, remember?

Matt : Oh...

Overall, the movie was nice. It had a visible story line, considering that I'm not much of a good movie interpreter. I'll usually be corrected by Grace on storylines of movies. Jumping moments, there was, but it wasn't that scary. My favourite part was when Stevie Wayne (Selma Blair) almost drowned in her car and the lady ghost got hold of her leg. That was like a scarier version of Little Mermaid. LOL. And the way Aunt Connie
and Big Dan (or whatever their name was) died was awesome! Burnt to their bones! Gruesomely cool. Carina pulled out from the movie at 1.30 a.m. She went to bed and left me with mom. It's either she was afraid or that she was really sleepy. Either way, I was stuck with mom.

Not exactly what I had in mind of a good night movie, despite the all the thing I've said about being with the family is important and bla bla bla. It felt as awkward as can be, at first. But I got used to it. It was normal. No biggie. I guess this adds another point for me to being a loser. I guess you can tell by now that I'm not the kind of rebellous kid towards my mom. We're pretty close together if you were to ask. No communication problem, there. Grace is closer to dad and they can relate to each other more. Same as me and mom. We can relate through food, opinions on religions, attitude and etc etc. Edmund? He's still looking for someone to click with. However, mom and dad loves us all equally!

Conclusion : I keep having loser nights, lately.

Monday, April 10, 2006


It's official, I am a loser! A 200pound of useless fat walking around with the words L.O.S.E.R burnt on my forehead. At the age of 16, I spent my 2 weekend nights in bed with mom and akak. Don't worry, not that kind of I-shagged-my-mom-and-akak in bed, but rather a different one. How much more of a loser can I be compared to people like Seth Cohen or Ryan Atwood. Oh, I'm so caught up with that show.

I was forced to spend the night over at poh poh's. You know, after kong kong's
passing, mom's been spending alot of time there. WE've been spending alot of time there. Offering her our moral support and companionship at the loss of a beloved husband. That's the best we could do. Well, I'm the black sheep of the family in this case. I haven't spent a night up there since after the news about certain "appearances". I just freaked at the sound of spending the night there. Mom and dad, however, being the pushy parents as they are, wasn't keen on letting me go that time. Using sarcasm on me, mom gets it her way.

Mom with her sarcastic face.

Mom : If you don't wanna spend the night there with us, we'll just have to come home again tonight.
Matt : What for? There's nothing to be worried about.

Mom: I have my reasons of worrying. I can't leave you alone at home although you're 16.
Matt : It's not like I can drive and runaway. It's not like I can drink and get myself drunk also.

Mom : I have my reasons lah! If you don't wanna go, why do you care so much? As long as everything goes your way, shouldn't you be happy already?

Matt : Grrr... Fine... fine... I'll pack my bags.

By that time, I'm already ticked off by her constant sarcasm. Making me feel guilty. I can't hide my pouting face and my anger with the extra force applied to closing doors and drawers and slamming of things on the table. She knows, but she just keeps quite and let me get on with my steam.

At the end, I spent the night at poh poh's on the mattress i
n the living room of her tiny, rented, 3-bedroom apartment. Mom was lying on the mattress at that time talking to poh poh, discussing family issues. I went to sleep beside her, covering my face with the pillow, thinking that she'll be sleeping with dad in the room after this. Woke up in the morning feeling chilly and cold with a slight head disorder due to the lack of blanket and pillows at poh poh's to only find mom covered from head to toe with her blanket. LOL. She had extra pillows under her blanket and here I was thinking there wasn't any other extra. She woke up as soon as she heard me talking with Hui Yi asking questioning her about school. "OMG, I'm 16 and I just spent the night on the same bed with my mom," I said immediately as I saw her opened her eyes, ending my sentence with a sinister laugh. "Don't be stupid lah!" she said, hitting me with her extra pillows that was warmed under her the whole night. At times when you think you're parents have no idea to what you're blabbering about, they always manage to prove you wrong.

In the case of akak. She spent the night in my room, last night. Grace and mom decided to leave us all on a Sunday night to spend the night over at poh poh's. This isn't the first time, mind you. Akak decided to spend the night in my room cause our bed are those kind of bed that has an extra pull-out bed under to accomodate the whole family. I, of course has the upper bed while the pull-out bed was meant for Edmund. He never uses it as he's still sleeping with mom and dad at the near age of 9 (his birthday is April 23rd). Although I have to say I didn't quite gave him a chance, cause he's always sleeping early which usually disrupts me from using the computer. Once the bed's pulled out, there's no more space for my chair. I'll usually shoo him away or persuade him to go back sleeping with mom and dad, squeezed in between the both of them.

For the sake of saving electricity (don't know how much it can save), akak decided to sleep in my bedroom. I was of course fine with it. We're not having an affair, if that's what you have in mind. We're practically like brothers and sisters. She's been working for us for about 5years now. I can practically cal her the nanny. Just for the record, Grace also spends her nights in my room with me at times also. Akak and me was also planning to at least watch an episode of The O.C. (yes, she's crazy about the show also, after I made her watch it one day) before we remembered that we had to catch the repeat of America's Next Top Model on Channel V!

Akak, my TV watching mate.

Before my eyes closed, with the little amount of thinking I could manage, I thought to myself again, "Oh man, I'm spending a night, for the second time this week with someone who's not my girlfriend." =P. I'm not in a hurry to be spending the night with my girlfriend (if I ever come around to have one), I was just comparing myself with the characters from The O.C., I guess. Besides, my religion has taught me better than to have pre-marital sex. Girlfriends on the other hand is a big no no for me. Studies comes first. The only girl I spend every night with and most of my time with is my computer. LOL.

Hey, I'm totally fine with being a loser. A very comfortable spot to be right now.