Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Meet the Fosters.

As I've mentioned in the previous post, I had 2 foreign friends - imported all the way from Thailand - with me for the past week for a brief duration of 4 days. Originally, I cringed at the mention of Thailand students coming instead of what I (and everyone else) had in mind - foreign students from the Western countries. Honestly, I've never had an encounter with Siamese ever before in my entire life. So it's not a surprise when what I initially had in mind of them were skimpily dressed people with dirt on their faces and fingertips coming from a small village of only a mere 500 families, where everyone knew each other and bicycles were the main means of transport and computers were a far sight. Plus those torn clothing and worn-out slippers. I was more worried about their communication skills that I thought they'd probably be fumbling with their English vocabulary, pausing for moments and scratching their heads while looking at the sky, trying to figure out the next word to stumble out from their parched lips.

Forgive me for having such perceptions but I really can't help it.

Thankfully though, my ultimate fears didn't come true. In fact, Jack and Ton (annoyingly enough, they all seem to have at least one single-syllable nickname!) were nothing short when it comes to communicating with their English. Of course, there's the expected occasional stutter, what-is-that-word moments and the heavy accents but other than that, they're fine young Siamese people who have successfully changed my perception of them! Fortunately for me too, as I found out later, it's not their first time in Penang. Ton (pronounced as Toh-n) was only here last October. So there wasn't any need for me to take them sightseeing anymore, considering that they've been to all the tourist spots in Penang. All we did was laze around shopping malls that were close by. I did manage to bring them to the cinema for a little cinematic experience. Mr. Bean's Holiday was the best I could come up with - a really easy-going movie without long dialogues or complicated plots.

After all, they would probably have trouble grappling with the storyline without the aid of Siam subtitles, which, in this case didn't require much! Mr. Bean's antics are pretty much self-explanatory.

Coming from a not-so-popular southern part of Thailand, Ranong, a province well-known for its fishing industry, they're not as outdated as what I would've expected. My two foreign friends, apparently, are both computer persons too, much to my delight! Jack, a guitar fanatic, spends most of his time online chatting and learning new guitar pieces while Ton, on the other hand, a football fanatic, spends most of his time playing games, online or otherwise. Football game that is. Still, they're both not fans of the entertainment industry. At least not the English one. They churn down more on their local music and movie industry rather than the international one. Maybe they're just doing their bid on supporting their local entertainment industry or that it's in their nature not to be attracted to the outside world. The last English movie Jack remembers watching was American Pie and I'm assuming it's the 1st movie! Though, they both did watch Shutter (my favorite horror flick!) before, nodding they're head knowingly when I mentioned!

You see, the both of them are pretty much rich kids. What I initially thought were their houses - little huts build from planks hidden at the mouth of caves where they live off natural resources (bat droppings?!) - were actually 4 storeyed brick houses, complete with Playstations even. They sound more like bungalows to me, despite Jack refusing to admit that it's a bungalow. Another thing about these Thai children is that they (obviously!) come from a well-off family (preferably born with a silver spoon in their mouth!) who are not hesitant to splurge invest all the money they have on their child's education. From what they mentioned, both Jack's and Ton's parents are sending them out of Thailand to pursue their studies in the near future! Jack will be proceeding to America (for real!) for a year under the student exchange program while Ton will be heading out to Penang, Malaysia again in May to continue his studies in a Chinese school. Dad says it's because they think that the prospects of studying overseas seem brighter for them.

Did I mention? They're parents are businessmen and businesswomen!

When I questioned them about their experience at our school, what they said weren't exactly surprising. Claiming that the school students were noisy, bombarding the two poor creatures with multiple questions and that at one point they began to find it irritating. Whereas the condition of the school was fairly identical to theirs. Mind you, my school has one of the most notorious toilets compared to other schools and surprisingly, these people didn't find it all that weird or smelly! Vandalism happens at their school too - liquid paper marks across the table, broken windows and broken doors. I'm beginning to think that all schools practically encounter the same problems on vigorous vandals, boastful bullies and truancy, just to name a few. To take in into comparison also, Ton mentioned that their weather, over at Thailand, is much more hotter than what we're experiencing now, which, to us Malaysians is already intolerable to even step out of the house without sunblock.

In short, having them over for as short as 3 days (to be exact) was a refreshing experience. There was definitely a lot of cultural information exchange, which I find hard to remember at this moment. Picking up a few new Thai words (apart from the ubiquitous savadeekha that everyone knows!) as well, mom was more than delighted to have them over. Generally, Thai people are polite and well mannered - just like the Japanese - with their very warm gestures of greetings and expressing of emotions. Friendly and warm, nonetheless. Rich, no doubt! Honestly, I don't think if I can cope up with all the bows and hand gestures! Dad, in return, playing the foster dad received a bag of rice (uncooked, of course) together with a pack of cashew nuts as souvenirs from Thailand. Well, if this is really a part of Thailand they're portraying, I'd want to visit Thailand in no time.

Either way, mom was already eager and looking forward to being the next foster parent, when the opportunity comes.

P.S. : Apparently, mom has made a new acquaintance in Thailand - Ton's mom) when she called over to thank mom for housing her son. Guess where the family will be going for the next holiday cum shopping trip!

Sheer Tiredness.

Phew. At last, some free and alone time after a hectic couple of weeks. Really. Last night was the first night since I-can't-remember-when I managed to get to bed before the clock struck twelve - and that too needed a lot of contemplating with the books and computer before I actually forced myself to bed. Couldn't remember how long it took before I began salivating all over the pillow but I'm sure it didn't take long for me to fall into the comfort of the bed and the blanket. As far as I can remember, the circles around my eyes were growing alarmingly larger by the day and most of the time, I found myself unable to keep awake (or sane, for that matter!), especially in classes and in the car, where everyone in the family has been complaining about my inadequate and annoying snoring. My immune system wasn't doing much good either after my little episode with the medicine. Yeah, I've recovered but I still feel vulnerable and weak with an awful lot of nauseating moments in the car. I mean, it's only the least to expect with all that disorientated sleep hours, right?

Urgh. School hasn't been really easy on me either. Mind you, I still have quite a number of unwritten essays that's worth a couple of weeks old and mathematical graphs that still requires a lot of fumbling with the rulers and scales and endless calculations. I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and complete them. At this point, I'm really not sure if I'm just giving excuses to myself and allowing myself to neglect my studies or that I really don't have the time to sit down and complete my work. I'll take a little bit of both, thank you. After all, it's not like I put all my time in doing things that I love - editing pictures or blogging - instead of ploughing through History essays. Which reminds me, I just got a bad comment from Mrs. Tan, my almost-expressionless History teacher who speaks with such a monotonous tone, claiming that I've become more talkative than I was last year, resulting me in almost failing my recent history test. She wants me to take note about this matter and wishes to see improvement in the months to come. Oh my. This only proves that I'm falling behind in studies as well.

Recent gossip around the school has also revealed that the school's taking another point of revelation, with the principal planning to upgrade the school status, allowing all the power he needs to cast out any student he wishes, with a flick of a finger, I assume. Further speculation proved that he has the intention to cast out all the bad apples of the school, namely, me. Judging by his speeches during assemblies
, I can tell he won't hesitate in discarding the bad ones out of school - and he'll be taking action by the end of the 1st term examinations. If this isn't a depressing piece of news, I don't know what is. I'm just hoping what I hear remains as unsubstantiated news, which I strongly doubt to be unlikely, seeing how most of the fussy old teachers have been mentioning about this matter everytime they curse under their breathe of misbehaviours. I guess I'd better prepare my bags and start packing while I await the letter from the principal himself, sending me off to another new school. Hey, I can cope well with a new environment and I definitely can see the brighter side of things!

Back to being busy, I haven't got much time in my hands ever since that week in KL. I don't even have the time to chow down on some of the latest music release (oh, I'm so far behind on the latest news!). Barely even have the time to spend it in front of the computer to blog or even check my emails. Besides the usual rushing from sports house practices and boring tuition classes that take up pretty much of my time, I was tied down with a pair of Siamese twins friends for the past week. Couldn't remember (apparently, those little hours of sleep I get has been making me forget quite a lot of things too lately!) how I actually volunteered to be a foster family for those exports all the way from Thailand, but I landed with two of them. They were here under a homestay program for about 4 days to attend our school and to experience a different culture of the students here. So basically, the 4 days were just spent roaming the malls - shopping wasn't on their list since, as I've found out from them, the things here are more expensive than the ones back home! We did manage to bond a little and made new friends along the way.

After that tedious 4 days which I only managed skimp through with dangerously insufficient sleep, I still had to attend the school's annual cross-country. Admittedly, I was hoping to be excused from the run, seeing that I was one of the few students who generously volunteered to be foster families for the school's homestay program. The least they could do was offer some allowance, you know. As harsh as it is, the school didn't give special attention to us and expected us to show up like every other student at the designated place. Like last year, Edward made me attend it, with helpless pleas of needing someone to run walk with, instead of being trampled by thousands of testosterone-charged students. Only this year, he showed up and the school changed the venue to a whole run around the Botanical Garden and further which adds up to an excruciating 6km to complete in less than hour! Of course, we completed the track in less than 2 hours (I think!), treading tiredly and dreadfully till the end where we cooled of, puffing and heaving, grasping for fresh air! Mind you, this is coming from a person who doesn't exercise regularly. What happened the rest of the day is available over at his blog. Plus, he provides better pictures than I did!

Just when I thought I had a day off on Sunday, I didn't. I still had to attend a Taoist ritual at amah's after church which was at 7 a.m.. The ritual, as I understood, was to invite the ancestral spirits, apparently to me, living in an old, battered, and blackened plaque lying at the altar in amah's house, to the clan house where a new plaque baring the names of the ancestors will be the spirits' new haunting place home. The ritual, carried out by the Taoist priest was naturally long and boring considering the fact that I don't exactly understand all those prayers recited in weird languages. The main reason the ritual was held was to aid amah in easing her burden of cooking up a ridiculously large feast for the dead every time a significant date approaches. Being herself, she was fairly displeased about the matter as she no longer has a reason to come up with 'a feast fit for a king' anymore and everyone knows her passion is cooking. Sadly, for her, she had to adhere to the voice of her children as one.

So the ritual itself took up the entire morning while Edmund's altar server's meeting in church got me spending my Sunday afternoon toiling in the car seat, struggling to find a comfortable position to sleep in, resulting me in being frustrated instead of getting any nap at all. Besides school being one of my major worries, church is also holding a long list of celebration in the week to come. It's the ending of Lent season and it's going to end with days more commonly known to people like Good Friday and Easter. A whole long list of masses to attend, some of which I have my duty as a Lector rostered. Just last night, I did my confession, in preparation for the celebrations to come. Next weekend too, we have cheng beng (qingming) which I am expected to follow the family to ancestors' tombs to do some clearing up and some offering. As I've mentioned before, we Catholics are (unfortunately) allowed to fulfill filial piety with joss sticks and all, without praying to any of their Gods.

So I guess I won't be seeing any rest anytime soon. Sigh.

P.S. : My limbs are still aching from Saturday's cross country and I still feel sleepy in school!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Caffeine Craving.

All my life, I've grown up being skeptical when it comes to packeted '3 in 1' Milo or any other beverages for that matter. Probably because I had one bad encounter with it when all I did was to run it over with some hot water and started sipping it. The bitterness that took me unconsciously (luckily, there wasn't any spitting involved!) got me traumatized that I grew up thinking that making your own cup of Milo tastes better than that come in skimpy little packets promising satisfaction in a jiffy. Yea right. Growing up in a proverbial Chinese family too, where the grandparents and parents sit around at the dining-table sipping kopi-o (black coffee) every single morning chatting over some kiam pia (cream crackers - dipped in the coffee) or u char kway to satisfy their daily dose of caffeine to start the day, I was never attracted to coffee. Not even when it's freshly brewed by amah in her old heritage house. Which is a surprising thing actually, seeing that Grace and Edmund both share the same liking towards kopi-o in the night with dad. Though, I can vaguely remember that there was one time when I requested nothing else but Nescafe every night before bed, when dad usually had his cup of coffee after his night smokes. Apparently, that didn't last long.

But lately, my perspective's beginning to change.

Well, not exactly perspective, but for the past five days that I spent in KL, I never missed a day without Starbucks with Grace. Every mall we visited, we stopped for Starbucks (and for the free Wi-Fi as well!). Of course, being youngsters as we are, we didn't go for the heavy stuff every day. In fact, we had our favorite, Mocha Frappuccino. I tried the new Caramel Macchiato once but I didn't quite liked it, so we went back to frappuccinos instead. Grace got addicted to the mocha on the 2nd day of my visit and decided she should have it at least once a day for as long as I was there. So yeah, we did and we enjoyed all the time spent snuggling on the couches at Starbucks, either fiddling with the laptop, digging in into some good magazine, people-watching (it happens to be a promising sport!) and listening to the iPod. Good times, I tell ya! Which is why discovering a very convenient way of getting a cup of mocha which only requires a run through hot water just a couple of days ago was absolutely priceless, prior to my sudden craving liking towards mocha.

Whoever knew I would find comfort in those little '3 in 1' packets of Mocha, results of Milo added with coffee. Seriously. Those little babies work wonders when you add two teaspoons of condensed milk, add some hot water and you get yourself a nice hot cup of mocha. I know this isn't the real deal, but it's as close as I can get and I'll savor it. The fun doesn't just stop here. Instead of adding hot water, replace it with ice and two tablespoons of condensed milk. Throw it into the blender to blend it and you'll have your very own Mocha Frappuccino! I made akak do it the other day and it wasn't too shabby. Another thing that I've been hooked onto is the Nescafe '3 in 1' too. I remember back in those days, when Nescafe was still new in the market, the Nescafe that I had had to be self-made where it requires one to add in the sugar and the creamer manually. I can still remember always asking for permission to add the creamer as the sight of it turning color never failed to amuse me! Well, that was then. '3 in 1' Nescafe seems more convenient now.

I suppose those '3 in 1' packets aren't that bad after all. I'm afraid I'm going to have to start collecting coffee mugs from now on. Who knows I'll end up brewing my own. I love the sound of that.

Gee. Am I being addicted to caffeine?

P.S: I've never been affected by drinking coffee in the night. People say it helps keep you awake. Not for me.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I Live On Medicine.

It's true. I need to be constantly medicated in order to stay alive. Acute bronchitis, I say.

I'm back from KL with a bad cough and flu (damn, I'm vulnerable!). Nasal and throat infection, more likely. Irritation of the throat makes me cough - uncontrollably most of the time - while the nose keeps getting stuffed from time to time and constantly emits fluids that needs a huge amount of tissue to be blown out. It got worse after yesterday's Bukit Merah outing. Funny though, I didn't know I still had it in me to trudge around all day under the blazing sun, barefooted and soaking wet while hiking up to the top of rides, carrying floats that fits 2 bums and sliding them down, thereafter loosing my voice for screaming. I guess that must've taken it's toll on me. Visited the local hospital last night and was prescribed with the usual four types of tablets causing another dent in mom's purse after the KL trip. Zyrtec for the nose, Bricanyl for the bloody phlegm, Rulid as anitibiotic and Copastin for cough (I'm just playin' doctor here).

But I'm really helpless at times like this. It's not like I want to get sick but it's just the way of my life that I need drugs to survive. I checked the records with the hospital of my last visit and it was November last year. I could see through the messy scribbles of a doctor in the record file that she flipped through that showed 4 to 5 visits to the hospital in total last year, all with the time frame of a 3 to 4 months in between and all with the same medicine prescribed. So I guess it's still an understatement that I take drugs to live. Which just gives me an idea actually. I could just do a life investment on these medicine and take them from time to time, now couldn't I? Sure saves a hell a lot on the consultation charged by doctors. I can even be my own doctor then. I don't get any other kinds of sickness actually. It's all the same. Flu, cough and sometimes fever. Anything further, it's the lungs and I'll be looking at a heavy bill on admission.

Bah. Wonder if I'll have to live this way for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gathering of Pictures.

Federal Hotel.

The setting. Quite grand, if you ask me.

Nuffnang, was there.

5xmom's pink laptop was there too albeit encountering some technical difficulties.

I met Albert...

Autographs from celeb bloggers.

Lisan, my BRATs-mate from lisansscribbles who was there as well! She's going to write something about this for BRATs by the end of the month!

Ahpek - so warm and friendly. Almost like a father!

Kidchan! One of the person I most looked forward to meeting that night!

The towering giant tiger, ShaolinTiger!

Unexpected turnout was Charles, from What Women Want! I don't think he was a blogger, though.

Boss Stewie, the person responsible for Nuffnang too!

Wingz - the boss of the night. Main organizer, man!

After party gathering of celeb bloggers! All there.

Finally, the main group photo from shaolintiger!

P.S. : This is definitely an obligatory post. I saw a lot of other people there, most of which I have not the guts to ask for a photo or even talk with. The number of blogs that I read is limited too, so I didn't know who was who back then. Nevertheless, it was great meeting everyone that I have and haven't met. It was fabulous itself to even get to attend the party.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This Is A Non-Smoking Area, Please.

I think I'm going to get lungs cancer very soon, suffering from second-hand smoking. Seriously. I never felt so chocked and suffocated like there's a plastic bag covering my face before. There in KL, I'm practically gasping for fresh air every moment. Let's just say, I can see more smokers there in KL than I do here in Penang. Well, try walking along the pathway between the water-fountain display and the row of food outlets on a busy Saturday afternoon and see how much the youngsters sitting along the sidewalks, clogging the entrance into Suria KLCC, smoke their way to the grave, puffing clouds of dangerous smoke into the passers'-by faces and making the air quality in KL worse than it already is. Tell me, do these hippie youngsters with baggy pants, backwards cap and heavy metal chains strapped over their neck and wrists think it's cool to destroy their God-given lungs? Might as well just use a knife and stab the chest to puncture the lungs and die a slow and painful death. I think they deserve it it saves a lot of other people's lives and the atmosphere as well.

You know, I really can't do anything if they think that inhaling toxic substances to decorate their lungs makes them look any more macho but hell, I'm not going to be responsible for such inane acts! Neither should anyone else who loves their own body! I mean, they have obviously turned the entire area into a free-smoking zone, exposing naive little children, pregnant wo
men and even men to an unhealthy lifestyle. Endangering someone else's life is a big enough deal for me that they should be dealt with severely. KL is already, as it is, suffering the consequences from the insane development of men, with air pollution as one of the main social issues - haze, for instance. Yet, there are still these inconsiderate and uncivilized bastards people in the community roaming free with their pack of cigarettes, tearing down the little pieces of Mother Nature left in the big city. Figuratively speaking, of course. But that's just one thing. What about the impression it gives to tourists? I don't think portraying Malaysian youth wasting their time smoking below the famed Petronas Twin Towers is a good way to show a promising and healthy generation to foreigners! Do you?

Like that wasn't enough. People in KL even practices smoking in public toilets. Especially the ones in shopping malls. It could easily mislead you to thinking that you might've stepped into an underground pub with dim lights and blown bulbs where pot's on a free flow and alcohol's on the house upon entering public toilets instead of entering, well, public toilets. The stench of splattered urine stained all over the toilet bowl is horrible by itself that I sometimes need to hold my breath. Added with the chocking smoke from guys in the next cubicle or the cubicle after, enjoying their cigarette while making unimaginable splashing sounds (ahem) or disgusting fart sounds, it wouldn't be a surprise if I went breathless and possibly found blanked out on the floor against the cubicle door. Am I the only person who's affected by these? Or maybe people should really consider installing water sprinklers in toilets from now on then smokers would think twice before lighting that cigarette while they let go. Gives me some peace of mind while urinating as well.

And in KL, public smoking just isn't enough. My uncle (tai yi's husband) practices indoor smoking, which is only worse than public smoking! My, he is one heavy smoker! He practically smokes all over the house - the bathroom, kitchen, at the dining table, living room and hallways. There wasn't anything bad about my 5 days stay at her home except the part where I almost choked on smoke. Really. Her whole house was so filled with smoke that I was surprised no one rang the fire station yet. Grace told me it was normal that they all suffer from second-hand smoking and they can't do anything about it. After all, he is the master of the house. I tried escaping the smoke by locking myself in the room with Grace's laptop but it got more suffocated than I thought it would that I had to open the windows to breathe. That time, I already started coughing and my nose was beginning to itch. Not that I'm complaining but shouldn't the man be at least a little more considerate? At least for his children. Heck, dad was a former smoker and he never smoked in the house or in front of his children all his life. He did it in the balcony with the doors shut and has decided to stopped exactly a year ago.

Still, this remains as only an observation from a Penang fella'. Maybe I'm too old-fashioned or maybe I'm just not used to the culture here in the big city but either way, I'm not giving in to such intolerable cruelty and am not looking forward to bending my principles and beliefs. In short, I'm still not accepting it. Though, I' m not discriminating all smokers as dad was previously one. It's just that, smokers should really be more considerate about where they smoke. They should consider who's live they're putting in danger by their simple act of puffing a cigarette or two. Nonetheless, I strongly disapprove of young smokers. Broken backgrounds cannot be a pathetic excuse for such misdemeanor. For once, I think the education system is sufficient enough to stop them bloody teenagers from destroying their life. Peer pressure might be acceptable but it still remains as a personal choice which happens to be a really really bad one to be hooked on smoking. It really doesn't make you look and cooler, more macho, manlier or whatever reasons this teens have in mind to even pick up the first cigarette. Damn it!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My iPod Shuffle was RM35!

I didn't mention this before but I hitched a ride with 5xmom from Penang to KL for the highly anticipated Bloggers Together Gather Party held at Federal Hotel. Things were kinda last minute (thank God 5xmom was there to get a seat for me at the last couple of days) and I was busy being anxious, nervous and was busy packing for the trip that I didn't have the time to post anything. The party was one of the most amazing parties I've ever been, speaking from an inexperienced, unpopular kid at school and anywhere else for that matter. It was so much fun to meet some of the many famous bloggers out there in the blogosphere in real life. Just to name a few that I was really looking forward to meet and whom I managed to meet were kidchan, shaolintiger, wingz, lin peh, boss stewie (met him during PBM actually but didn't have the chance to talk) and oh so many more that I can't remember! A few unexpected people for me was yvonnefoong, Charles (from What Women Want), ah pek, cocka and also albert, who left because he didn't even registered for the party and also Jeff Ooi (he's on Wikipedia?!).

It was really exciting for me to meet these people in real life. See the person behind the wonderful blogs. Despite being busy greeting all her fans and being a fan herself, 5xmom was kind enough to introduce me to certain bloggers that I didn't know or didn't recognize. The sponsors for the night were great nonetheless. Kudos to the organizing team for getting such wonderful sponsors and for putting up such a great event (there was even a a banner made for the party itself!). I mean, at one point, they were giving out RM30 Digi reload coupons for the first 10 Digi users to be up on stage! They even had 3 days 2 nights hotel stay, free movie ticket passes, goody bags with items from sponsors and the best of all, an iPod shuffle which was won by me through texting something my details to TNB real quickly! Now, if that's not cool, I don't know what is! Probably because I was one of the youngest bloggers there that speed texting came as a skill. But I did won and became the subject of envy for a few minutes and that was enough to get the night going for me. Having a short conversation with kidchan was an added bonus I was really looking forward to!

The new baby, iPod Shuffle! Damn Apple for coming up with such sleek designs!

At the end of the day, I had taiyi picked me up after the event and will be staying at her house till Wednesday before I go back for Penang. In other words, I had a great time at the party (couldn't thank 5xmom enough!) and I'll be spending half of my one week mid-term holidays at KL. Oh, and I have an iPod shuffle to show off keep me occupied.

P.S: Sorry for the lack of links as I'm doing this from Grace's laptop where none of my subscriptions or bookmarks are. Will have to wait to get back to my own computer for that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Elements of the Season.

Blooming pink flowers coloring the roads that look like sakuras, making it feel like spring.

The bu lang sai (lion dance). I didn't see one this year though.

Red decorations. Especially red chinese lanterns and gold ornaments.

Temple visiting. Buddhists, of course. Mine's only for photography purposes.

The inevitable hot weather. Fuuh.

Dangling china imports sold at wet markets.


Reminiscent. Remembering the ancestors. Fulfilling filial piety.


Mandarin oranges (kam). Loads of it.


Lots of love.

Poker cards. Gambling.

A daredevil, albeit a little brainless.

Firecrackers. Ahh, the comforting sounds of explosions.

Visiting (even the farthest relative).

And collecting "ang paus" from them.

And the most important of all, unity.

P.S: I figured that it'll take till next year if I were to edit these photos. So I'm just posting things as they are.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Apparently, there's been some sort of a meme fever going on around the blogosphere. Everywhere you see people tagging each other. It's like freaking unbreakable chain-mails, minus the curse of death or bad luck for eternity, of course. This time, it was Adelyn who tagged me back. Revenge? Here goes.

a) List 20 random facts about yourself.
  1. I'm emotionally unstable. I get intimidated, envious and depressed very easily for utterly appalling reasons that I can't even imagine sometimes. I get very disturbed. Vulnerable? I'm still working on it.
  2. I turn easily to movies, food, music, camera and computer for comfort. Love 'em all even if I'm not mourning.
  3. I love McDonald's Double Cheeseburger.
  4. I (love to) spend more time with my family than I do with friends.
  5. I still enjoy cartoons. Spongebob Squarepants, Fairly Odd Parents, Tom & Jerry and the likes for I believe that being matured includes being able to enjoy yourself without the fear of what the community might say. Those who call you childish for watching cartoons, no brainers. Really.
  6. I'm opinionated and I do have certain principals for life.
  7. I'm basically a neat-freak (almost a perfectionist). But that only comes when I don't feel lazy. I do have my books sorted out nicely in my school bag and I don't leave my room in a mess. Can barely stand a messy table.
  8. I'm not the typical smart-alec who works my ass off for an A in Additional Mathematics (and other subjects as well!). More like the person with the empty tin for a head. Seriously. No basic General Knowledge, no idea of any political issue and I barely have any knowledge to support me in whatever I believe in (despite being opinionated - shame on me!). The whole package stuck punched with a huge DUMBASS.
  9. I don't have guts. Really. My heart starts beating ten fold when I witness an accident or someone passing out even. I panic and my system automatically shuts off. No guts for gut-wrenching rides either! Carina's the daredevil in the family, alongside with Grace.
  10. I have bad memory. Really bad, especially when it comes to remembering events or responsibilities. People might die one day because of my incompetence.
  11. I'm a true procrastinator and a sloth. Delays. Delays. Delays.
  12. I practically practice (almost all) the 7 Deadly Sins and break the Ten Commandments very often.
  13. I can be very nasty when I'm provoked - intentionally or unintentionally.
  14. I'm a sentimental fool. I do keep the proverbial "box of old love letters under the bed in the rusty and old metal biscuit box". Only here, my "love letters" are objects that holds certain meanings (souvenirs from holidays, for instance) and it's kept in a little box that previously held mooncakes.
  15. I'm a sucker for romantic movies and movies that generally has a good meaning in it. Think Bridget Jones, Lakehouse, Eight Below, Brokeback Mountain, The Holiday, Elizabethtown and anything else that falls into the same category.
  16. I enjoy listening to the Top 100 on the Billboard Countdown, new stuff on American Top 40, TRL or the Pop Inc Chart but I secretly crave for materials like Jim Brickman, Miles Davis, Rachel Portman, Hans Zimmer and Kenny G. On the more soothing vocals, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Robin Thicke, Josh Groban, Norah Jones, John Legend, Lucie Silvas and Joshua Radin. Oh, and I'm a very big fan of movie soundtracks too.
  17. I'm more in touch with my feminine side. Some people have said that I should've been Grace and vice versa. I like shopping, romantic movies, cooking and reading. I have a good fashion sense too (at least that's what Grace and mom says and my fashion advice has never failed them!). I even listen to more female artists compared to male artist. I'm not a drag though.
  18. I cry easily. Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears of anger and tears of fear! Hah, I'm a weeper!
  19. I'm not a big fan of junk food but I do need the occasional chocolate and ice-cream fix. A lollipop to keep the mouth busy at times too.
  20. I wish to acquire certain skills that I wished I was born with in the first place, constantly longing to be better than everyone else. Reality is, I'm never better than anybody. That's why I have low self-esteem. I'm never ever going to think that I'll be better cause pride gets to me very easily. Which is a good thing for me. Humble pie. I need it.
b) Write about random facts of the person who tagged you that surprised / shocked you or made you laugh.
  1. She really has a lot of opinions going on in that head of hers. Most of which I agree to.
  2. She got my back when I was being flamed online. Pretty cool, huh?
  3. We've still never met in real life. I'm afraid if we'll click. She's just so bright.
  4. She has really good computer skills. Photoshop. HTML. What else? I used to go to her for help on the blog layout. Oh, and she designs awesome chic blog layouts as well!
  5. She has good skills in musical instruments too, I think. If I'm not mistaken. Okay, I'm not sure. I just remembered reading about her being involved in some gig a while back.
c) Then tag some other 12 persons who will have to write down 20 random facts about themselves.

I'm just gonna go ahead and skip this step. Seriously. I can't find 12 people to tag! This should've been "... tag the 12 rand persons...", don't you think? 5 was hard enough before this. 12?! I know it's pathetic that I don't even have 12 online friends to tag but I can't help it. Anyway, to whoever who wishes to do this, go ahead and you can feel free to say that I tagged you. Don't be shy because I don't judge. Hey, this is the blogosphere we're talking about. Feel free!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

5 Reasons For Blogging.

A couple of months back, blogging was a privilege to me. A liability of some sort. A place where I spend most of my (free) time, typing about anything and everything that comes to mind and sharing whatever sort of media to the blogosphere. Yeah, those were the good times when I definitely didn't need to think twice about clicking on the "Create Post" button or even blog-hop, for that matter. Nowadays, my blogging activity has been reduced to merely just a hobby when I can (seriously) only spend my free time( if there was any for the week to speak off!) blogging . Sadly it has become a weekly affair compared to a couple of months before where it was practically a daily business, as unnecessary the contents of the day might be. Especially now since after the Chinese New Year holidays - I'm clumsily struggling to keep my head above water the unreasonably huge amount of homework thrown on me (including procrastinated work, of course!), desperately gasping for air and kicking my legs in frustration. It only takes time before I drown. Really.

Come to think of it, I've reduced blogging really a lot since the beginning of the new year and school term. You don't suppose me being buried in stacks of books have anything to do with me being in the final year of school (the assignments and homeworks!) and the pure fact that I'm gonna have to sit for the much dreaded governmental examinations by the end of the year, do you? I think too much. Either way, as much as I want thing to be the way it was a couple of months back, I can't possibly find the time to. Don't even try to tell me that I should manage my time better. Well, it's complicated. Could barely find the time to even edit and upload pictures from the recent Chinese New Year hiatus of mine. Now, instead of blogging, I'm spending most nights drawing up ideas from thin air to be written for numerous Malay essays or making ends meet with Accountancy. Mind you, I'm not the kind of person who burns the midnight oil for studies (hell no!). I just try to finish them off in between lessons, hoping that I'll not get caught by teachers of other subjects, to make it in time for the deadlines. Easy isn't it?

Somehow, with the upcoming monthly tests next week, I still don't feel the urge to plough through my Economics notes . None whatsoever. Apparently, I'm still in the holiday mood. Anyway, the only reason why I'm here is because I'm spared free for the night of delayed Debit Notes or Dysfunctional Graphs that comes along with weird frustrating equations. Also, I have just found out (shame on me!) that 5Xmom tagged me on the 5 Reasons Why I Blog (which undeniably, seems to be circulating widely around the attendees of the Penang Bloggers' Meet!). Well, Here's my top 5 reasons of blogging.

1. Destiny.
The truth is, I started blogging at the beginning of 2004 when I was in my 2nd year at school (a few people might've remember). No one that I know then, had any idea what blogging was, I assume. I came to know of it through the person whom I was sitting next to in class then when he told me about his brother's blog. He didn't even know what as it when he told me it was a website. Of course, I thought of it as a personal website too, at first. I checked the blog out and was thrilled by the way he had pictures and the way he got to write his own stuff on his "website" as his brother was studying in Singapore then. The "website" baffled me completely back then. I seemed to have difficulty in navigating through the long list of archives, silently trying to make out which posts came first.

Being the adventurous online little git I was back then, I signed up for an account for Blogger straight away. When I first started, the blog was mainly filled with little jottings of musings of a little boy (posted hourly!) and pictures from the mobile phone. There was a point when I got bored of it and dumped the blog and I even saw it as a burden to keep it updated. Of course, that was a way different blog then. It wasn't until late two years ago (2005) when blogging became the new black, that I began to explore out of the confines of my own blog, into others' blogs as well and my, what revelations it held for me. It turned from rants and babbles of daily nonsense and events to writing. Yes, it turned into writing from the angst-filled posts by a swearing teenager after I got sick of those uncapitalized posts and cutesy texts. I realize the potential it had to become something respectable and different from the other blogs out there. And that is how I decided to keep blogging as it is.

2. Remaining Infamous Unpopular While Not Being Anonymous.
Another reason that's been keeping me blogging is because I don't get a lot of people visiting my blog. As hard as it is to believe, I'm not lying. Of course, all the other less-known bloggers out there, including me, do fancy the compliment or acknowledgement from close friends or new people once in a while on the contents of the blog but too much of it for me would make me nonetheless uncomfortable. Knowing me, I'm neither the kind of person who constantly gets good stuff to write about in a blog nor do I have the ability to talk about anything and make it sound funny and interesting all the while. Imagine me being Matthew Sia poking fun at a Marie France Bodyline ad while posing in it? Or maybe the next KinkyBlueHobbit, entertaining the world with such a blog worthy life! Ain't gonna happen. As absurd as it may sound, I don't actually fancy the idea of people reading my writings, especially when it comes to families (there goes my one stop shop for gossip!).

If you haven't already notice, the blog consists of three main elements which are family, school and my life in general. Three simple elements that remains close to the heart. Last year especially, was a reasonably good year for me, where I managed to blog about almost all the important events. This year, though, I'm doubtful if I even have the time to blog about important occasions. I have my fingers crossed. So I'm guessing that it's probably due to my blog contents that aren't really newsworthy or blog worthy (so to speak) that I still maintain a low profile blog that not many people know off and where comments come by pretty rarely. This explains why I don't really favor giving my blog out (promoting) to everyone I meet or posting it as chat programs nickname.
Which is a good thing in my way. Then again, the preference for an infamous blog may have derived from the fact that maybe it's not generally blogging I want to be famous for. In fact, it's something else that I would like to be acknowledged for through blogging and photography is just one of them!

3. Growth.
The idea of growth - or wanting to grow - came right after I started writing on the blog. Blogging, as everyone may have noticed, is a very intriguing way to keep track of the growth of a blogger, whether it's emotionally, physically or anything really! Of course, I haven't seen a blog that was specially set up to keep track of the blogger's own height, waist size, vocal range or length of hair, just yet but keeping a blog itself is already enough to keep track of your personal development. Honestly, it really leaves me amazed, confused, embarrassed and some of the time, proud at myself during the rare times when I browse through my monthly archive. It's a thoroughly good way to reflect on the past and be a good judge over a certain matter and then improving from there. The archive works as an online memory to certain details that one might've forgotten over the months (or years!).

My idea of growth includes me growing creatively. English, for instance. Now, I know my English isn't exactly perfect (with the occasional "grammer" mistakes!) but I also know it ain't too shabby either! Having the authority to be writing on anything that matters to me here is a very good way for someone like me to expand. You know, to experiment with different kinds of writing styles, vocabulary, expressing all sorts of emotions that an average adult couldn't possibly have the time to and the likes, rather than the stereotype teen who unnecessarily punctuates widely and splashes colors on their bold written words like a blank canvas needing the artist to throw paint on it! Seriously. People will read if their interested! If they don't, then they're not. Also, to grow in certain skills like photography, HTML and what not.

4. Something To Call My Own.
I admit, the blog sure does come in handy when it's frustration or anger that I'm trying to vent out. Ironic, yes, I know but having the knowledge that I still have something personal at home that I can turn to at the end of the day do sounds a little comforting. It's like having a pet or a mate to come home to. After all, keeping a blog certainly comes across as a responsibility to me. A commitment. A motivation to keep me going on the rough days. Ever since I fell into relapse a few months after blogging, actually cursing the damn thing and feeling liberated thereafter that I need not blog anymore, I figured I wasn't ready for any kind of commitment and I was troubling myself through blogging, thinking that it was actually compulsory to post everything - from farting to burping. Thank God, I've seen that blogging needn't be treated as a written CCTV. And now, being able to still keep it going (for as long as I can) is and achievement itself, to me that is. It's a sign of me being able to commit myself into (at least) one thing. Trust me, there are times when I feel like deleting the blog but it has become a part of my life, albeit a tiny little portion of that life.

Am I taking blogging a little too seriously here? Hope not.

5. To Share.
I may be reluctant to open up to people, but I suppose a that tiny little portion in me still does feel like sharing at least a little bit of me to the world. I'm not exactly sure if there's anyone out there to share it with but I'm just putting myself out there. The thought of actually exchanging cultures with a foreign kid has always been at the back of my head. The foreign kid, frequently asking about the celebration, tradition and heritage and vice versa besides exchanging ideas has never failed to put me light at heart. A pen pal of some sort. Call it a dream never come true as the prospects of meeting foreign 17 year olds that still have interest at the world outside their own is seemingly growing thinner. 12 or 13 year olds, maybe but 17 year olds without iPods who still take time off to be with the family, hardly. Fret not, though. I do have a couple of avid readers whom I sometimes really keep the blog updated for. Namely, my 21 year old sister, studying at KL. She does, check back every now and then to see what's going on with the family as I give a pretty good insight of the happenings I must say. Funny though, she doesn't leave trails of her visit. Wonder why.

Wait a minute. There goes my chance of bitching about her once more! Dammit.

So there's my top 5 reasons for blogging (or still keeping it going). What about yours?

1. Adelyn.
2. Nicholas.
3. teMMe.
4. Christal.
5. Hui Wen.