Friday, April 27, 2007

Rihanna's Umbrella.

The video's finally out. It's about time, since the single's been out quite a while now. It looks so good to me. Rihanna looks baaad, nonetheless, hot! I absolutely love it and the little Rihanna commentary at the end of the video. For all Rihanna fans out there, this is definitely one of the best video she's ever made. A really new and different side of her that she's showing (Good Girl Gone Bad, eh?) - a very brave and bold side, I think. There is one part of the video though, where she's in a pair of black ballet shoes strutting it off with her umbrella. Really reminds me of Christina Aguilera's Stronger video, don't you think? Either way, the video's really simple, still brilliant (you even get to see Rihanna naked in it!). Artistic, I suppose. Loving her new look!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pet Talk.

You know, I've spent my entire childhood, growing up, practically lying to myself that I can keep a pet alive, which in real life, is the total opposite. Believe me, I've tried keeping fishes, tortoises, dogs and birds as pets, every single time, nodding happily when being lectured of the responsibility of owning a pet before actually buying one, oblivious to the fact that I can barely keep any of them alive for a certain period of time. Yes, even with the aid of cages, aquariums, pet food and vets, nothing seems to be able to survive my care. I mean, come to think of it, it's practically a sin for the parents to agree on buying any living creature for me as they all well know that nothing escapes my hands alive. It's like murder - in a nicer way. Back then, it was either a burial in the flower pot outside the house or a funeral down the toilet bowl. I don't know why but I think it's a curse that I have zero pet skills that'll last me more than a week. Mom and dad can't even prevent the sight of overturned fishes in a clogged up aquarium. One conclusion, I'm not a pet person.

Considering that and thee fact that I can't keep a pet even if it was to save my life, I've pretty much grown out of my childish pursuits of keeping a pet, or rather, keeping one alive. Though, I must admit, till today, I still get the thrill of any slightest possibility of having a dog (Golden Retriever or a Husky anyone?) on my own. Grace and I too occasionally discuss about the possibilities of keeping a tamed lion, tiger, leopard and maybe cheetah all by ourselves, results of an old ING Insurance commercial. Wouldn't it be nice to come home and have something as humongous as a fully grown lion to cuddle and pet instead of a stuffed one? I mean, what are the odds right? Then again, the thought of cleaning up after it or having my hand fed to it just kills the idea of having one in a miserable small home, plus the nagging of mom on the fur it leaves behind and the damaged furniture. Mostly staring at a lonely and pet-less life down the road in the near future. At least, not for long.

Well, having poh poh bring an abandoned baby bird - a tiny little fragile featherless creature with a shape of a baby chicken, the size of a fist complete with a beak and a pair of wobbly feet and protruding underdeveloped wings - from her home in Balik Pulau after Hui Xing discovered it lying in a ditch outside the house pretty much changes everything. Being the kind hearted self and partly obliging the pleas of her granddaughter, poh poh picked the creature up and had it living in a plastic bag with newspapers inside, constantly feeding it and changing the plastic bag (it poops a lot). Poh poh brought the bird along with her for her usual weekend getaway to our place and left it at our place after Edmund pleaded if he could keep it. I frowned and gasped at the ridiculous request. My reaction was, what are you gonna do with a horrible looking creature like that? I'd understand if Edmund wanted to keep a puppy, but a featherless bird which is barely two weeks old?

Of course, I can't blame him for his sudden interest and curiosity. He is a modern town boy after all and getting so close to a bird is a chance as rare as having a tiger as a pet, so I understand he's enthusiasm. But is the thing going to be able to survive under the care of a modern town boy whose fingers are more familiarized to the PlayStation controls and GameBoy, rather than feeding any animal, for that matter? My guess is, the poor motherless creature wouldn't stand two weeks and is most probably going to die of neglect from the owner. The fact is, that's hardly the case. See, the bird, Twitty (as Edmund has taken the liberty to call it, contrary to the popular little yellow bird by the name of Tweety, famous for being unable to pronounce its 's') was hardly noticeable for the whole weekend while poh poh was here. After all, the thing didn't make a noise with poh poh regularly feeding it, thus shutting it up.

Now that poh poh's back home and the bird's with us, we're beginning to get annoyed. Who would've ever thought that baby birds have such a high pitched voice that it's almost painful to the ear everytime it goes on a chirping rampage. Given the fact that it gets hungry easily (hourly intervals!), judging by the easiness of it pooping in the plastic bag. Every single time the thing senses someone in the house, it'll start its uncontrollable chirping, hoping to get someone's attention, as if to say, "Hey fellas, I'm down here! Feed me!", which can easily drive one up the wall. Edmund has not felt the full range of annoyance of the thing yet as he spends most of his time out of the house at tuition and school. Whereas for people like akak and I, who spend a reasonable (if not all) amount of time at home, we're really irritated by the bird's chirping and feeding. Basically, we have to play the role of the mother bird, including stuffing food down its throat - with a little spoon, of course.

Ever since it's presence since Sunday, the house sounds like a freaking bird sanctuary in the late afternoons when akak's busy with house chores (often yelling out her frustration at the bird scratching in the plastic bag) while I'm in my room, blasting the music up to drown the sound of the bird in the kitchen. Don't be surprised that the both of us have been spending our lunch time discussing over various (undeniably vicious and devious) plans to put the miserable figure to sleep, most of which includes slashing and pounding and even frying with a hot wok of oil. Cruel intentions, I know but we really can't help it since it's been causing us our peace lately. So far, the least cruel ones we had was involving it tied in the plastic bag and the rubbish bin while the other one had to do with it frozen in the fridge. But akak wasn't keen on contaminating her food. Surprised by its rare silence, we'd never miss a chance of asking each other, "Did it die already? Why suddenly so quiet?" only to have it spring back up when either of us checks the plastic bag.

Discerning little bird brain. Almost impossible to tiptoe across the kitchen without it noticing.

I've been begging for mom and dad to send the bird back to its rightful founder and owner. The prospects and chances of the bird surviving with poh poh is definitely higher compared to the careless modern town boy. Really. Poh poh does possess skills in sustaining lives as such - unfortunate strays abandoned by their parents and left to fend for themselves in the streets. I've always thought that any creature to come in the hands of poh poh are the lucky ones. Though sometimes, the old woman can take it a little too seriously. The last dog I had, Jasmine, had to be sent to live with poh poh in her, back then, suburban house after much insistence from mom. Poh poh was way over the top, feeding it only certain types of food (mostly soft diet) and restricted the dog from taking a bath as she said it was too young and that it might catch a cold. Ever heard of dogs catching cold?

Still, Edmund refuses to let the bird go. Akak and I did try to convince him to allow us to set it free at the nearby park but he disallows and the mere thought of the pitiful creature being devoured by stray cats or dogs is haunting enough for both me and akak. In other words, we have to stick with the thing, until and unless, Edmund decides to set it free or return it to poh poh where it'll have a better chance of living. Right now, we have to put up with the chirping and the feeding and the pooping. Oh, we'd still be cursing under our breaths while exchanging ideas of strangling the thing to death over cups of coffee and loud music to drown our sorrows. Something inside of me tells me this is karma. What goes around comes around. After all those years of animal murder whilst growing up, this is the time I pay. Provided, of course, if the bird can survive my two week quota that I've given.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Who's Your Idol?

This season of American Idol initially didn't get me going all gah gah over the contestants. Actually, it didn't even get me worshiping routinely following the show week after week. Probably because neither the contestants' performances, the theme choice nor the guest artist didn't quite appeal to me. What more with the presence of Sanjaya Malakar, the undeserving contestant and at the same time, the underdog who was able to raise the eyebrows of millions of skeptics worldwide towards the credibility of the show. It was quite a turn-off, not to mention a torture, to actually sit-through an entire hour of the show, just to skew up my face in disgust to watch Sanjaya perform and week after week, continued in the show while other better contestants get voted off the show (Chris Sligh, for instance!). Even performances from stronger contestants like LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle didn't make the cut for me. Of course, I still got updated about the who's-in and who's-out of the show through the occasional small talks among friends in school and the weekly newspaper column dedicated for American Idol, usually, coming close to cussing after reading that Sanjaya still remains.

Well, not until last week that I found myself getting hung up with the show - again. After dad called out to me from the living room telling me that American Idol is on, I walked out obligingly to take a peek but got oddly attracted to the show when a feeling of familiarity swept all over me. Before I know it, I was sitting on the floor,
as dad was occupying the whole couch, facing the TV with my heads tilted a little upwards and the remote, gripped firmly in my hands. Seriously, I had no idea what had gotten into me then but I just got glued for the next hour. Yes, even with Sanjaya's performance (which I took the liberty of muting). Surprisingly this time, I was swept away by performances from an unexpected contestant, Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis, and of course, the all-time professional Melinda Doolittle. I do agree with the judges that last week's performances weren't their greatest or strongest but I've never realized how the two guys can really sing. I've always disregarded Blake as the jukeboxer (or whatever you call them these days) and have never seen him as the type who's able to sing an actual song while Chris has always been overshadowed by the likes of Jordin and LaKisha.
Blake Lewis, looking smart.

You go girl, Melinda!

I guess if you spend sometime actually listening, rather than judging, you'll actually find that American Idol still has hopes! Then again, you might think that my judgement are biased towards the theme of the week. Just so you know, I'm not a big fan of country music. Yes, I do listen to the likes of Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood occasionally, but that's just to fulfill certain cravings of my ear. I don't even have their full albums - except for Carrie Underwood as I do like more than a few songs from her album. You might even think I'm supporting Chris after his post-performance speech to express his sympathy and condolences towards the victims of the VA Tech mass murder, after last week's performance. Well, no. I do think that both Chris and Blake have very nice voices, not powerful, but still nice. Doubt that either of them could make it to the top (looking forward to Melinda, hey!) though, with other contestants of more powerful vocals.
Personal fave, Chris Richardson! Man, I feel sorry too.

I did, somehow, obtain the studio recordings of last week's performance, with Chris doing Mayberry (by Rascal Flatts) and Blake doing When The Stars Go Blue (by Tim McGraw). Lucky for them, I happen to be the kind of person who thinks that people like them are already winners when they could make someone connect to the song - even better, love the song (I've been playing Mayberry for the whole day!). I'm also feeling the lyrics to Mayberry! to So, yeah, they're both winners to me. I 'm still looking forward to seeing the deserving Season 6 Idol, Melinda, reach the top! C'mon, I'm just being real. No one can deny that she's awesome!

So tell me, who's your Idol?

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Wedding Planner.

A couple of weeks back, ah chiu, mom's one and only younger brother who allowed us to put up in his home when our home was undergoing a major renovation two Novembers back, had an appointment with the church priest to discuss some details about his long awaited and much anticipated wedding ceremony. Ever since kong kong's death, everybody in the family's pretty much been looking forward to ah chiu's wedding as he was the last sibling of the family yet to fulfill the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and it was kong kong's final wish to see ah chiu and his (then) fiance tie the knot. However, they did the registration not long after kong kong's passing with mom and dad being their official witness (it was in one of those ceremonies held for mass registration). Back to my point. I have not heard a word escape from either ah chiu or his fiance's mouth, announcing about the wedding date or whatsoever but word got out about their little appointment with the church priest and it spread like wildfire afterwards. Shocking to see at what rate these news can travel on - faster than the bridegroom can say HOLD ON.

Before ah chiu could decide to hold an impromptu party to announce the official wedding date, the news have no doubt, traveled far and near, reaching the ears of every relative there is, in one way or another, connected or not. Could almost hear the gleeful clap of hopeful grand-aunties after putting down the phone, in sarongs and clogs while halfway through applying bedak sejuk on their faces delicately, conveying the good news to the husbands lying in bed. Then there are those who just couldn't contain their joy that they feel obligated to pass the news around - even to their neighbors and colleagues! Wouldn't be surprised if the entire (and surprisingly small) town of Balik Pulau knows about it already by now. It didn't take long before speculations of the real date arise as relatives and friends start gossiping about other details like the rightful wedding planner, the church, the reception, the wedding album and other paraphernalia that comes in the way to make a typical Chinese wedding a successful and memorable one. These things just couldn't bear all the excitement in the closet. I mean, it's the least to be expected at occasions like these. What else with 3G and instant messaging nowadays.

I've even heard of relatives from Australia booking their tickets for the flight back already!

Honestly, I've never had any relative as close as ah chiu marry before, apart from that little stint I had as a "cameraman" for Grace, my elder god-sister who got married two Novembers ago also . But that was just as close as I got to any prior
wedding plans at all. I've never experience all the process one needs to get through to get everything in order for that perfect day - the caterer, the invitation list and the invitation cards, just to name a few. Mom, as the appointed wedding planner practically runs the show. Ah chiu knows that he probably couldn't handle everything by himself without breaking down in the process with his tight schedule so he asked mom to help him out instead, which, in return, mom agreed, a little bit too willingly. As her son, I do get quite a load of the action also. Just last week, I followed ah chiu, his fiance (I'm going to have to start addressing here chiu mu!) and mom around the town, entering and coming out of various bridal shops enquiring about wedding albums.

Mom, technically responsible of the smoothness of the entire ceremony, is the one with the YellowPages on her lap, sifting through the pages, enquiring about the various caterers in town, searching for the best price with the best food. She's been also engaging in florists for the church floral arrangements and the restaurant for the reception, including the invitation cards and invitation list. Of course, being the only child in the house that could aid her (in other words, scapegoat), I've been bestowed with a couple of things (against my will, I swear!), like typing out the Order of Service for the service on the wedding day and probably designing the booklet cover for it as well and God knows I'm practically hopeless when it comes to PhotoShop. Currently browsing through sites that offer tutorials related to what I'm trying to design. If I can come up with anything, it'd be for ah chiu to decide to use or not. If I can't come up with anything at all in time for printing, then I don't know what to say.

Of course, mom's work doesn't stop there. Her job as the wedding planner includes updating the other siblings in the family about the progress of the project (as mom gladly termed it) and occasionally seeking advice and opinions from them. Ever s
ince she started, e-mails, phone calls and text messaged have been overflowing in our virtual inbox. If those were carried by owls, my house will probably turn into an owl barn by now, with droppings on the floor and feathers fluttering all over. After all, her siblings consists of 5 sisters and 1 brother and girls being naturally girls, who wouldn't wanna play the wedding planner? I'm sure they all would love the idea of planning the wedding their way (often, mistakingly thinking that it's best for the couple), fulfilling undying dreams of the wedding they never had as the flames of hopes are still flickering. Another walk down the aisle in white, the way they imagined it to be 20 years back, if they had more money, would do the trick. Somehow, waiting for their children's turn would just be too long and they've figured it out that children are going to be stubborn when it comes to their own weddings anyway.

C'mon, who doesn't want their dreams to be materialized?

Unfortunately for some of the siblings who so badly wants a piece of the cake, are unable to do anything besides voicing their opinions and ideas through hours worth of phone calls and emails as there are some living far away from home. Still, anything that's suggested needs the approval of the bride and bridegroom themselves before anyone can agree on anything. I can already see the cat-fights coming among the siblings. And they say sibling rivalry will never end. Amidst all those heated discussions and among the siblings, most of them, as I've heard have been diligently making trips to gyms, slimming centres and eve
n yoga classes to achieve the optimum figure for the big day. Honestly. Ever since they've gotten confirmation about the wedding details, it seems to me, the females of the family couldn't contain themselves but to kick up a storm of revelations ranging from beautifying themselves to shopping for outfits and accessories to talks of having their own line-up of events to surprise the couple - coordinating their own choir with the grandchildren to sing for the service, being one of the many deranged and over-the-top plans from the women.

I've even heard of involving the little children as flower girls and boys!

This family's not missing out either. Mom have suddenly gotten intimidated by her siblings' effort in shedding of a few pounds to look good for the big day (I told you, siblings' rivalry!) that she got the urge to play badminton, as a desperate measure in disguise to lose weight through excessive sweating. Being the scapegoat, once again, she dragged me down with her. I don't suppose this has got anything to do with the duo, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong of
international fame that ignited her badminton-playing-self. Nonetheless, we've done it as little as twice only this week and the first time really got my body aching - usual post-exercise aches for a couch potato. Though, I can't be sure if this way is going to help either of us burn enough fat by the wedding date as me playing badminton with mom usually includes a lot of blurry dashing, missed shuttlecocks and picking up of shuttlecocks. Plus, we're playing open air and I doubt the wind adds to the little sweat we produce at the end of any game. Still, no harm in chilling with mom. After all, she needs some time off from being the wedding planner, which, in her case, could be really taxing.

So I suppose it's obvious how distracted I am from my studies with all the things happening around me. Been pretty much bogged down with mom's appointments meeting up with caterers and the likes. This Sunday (21/04), we'll be heading down to a bridal shop that ah chiu and soon-to-be chiu mu both agreed on, to a fitting session. Whereas, next Saturday (28/04) will be their photoshoot for the wedding album with a professional photographer, which I've asked the permission of ah chiu to tag along with them, hoping to get
to shoot a few shots of my own, standing behind the real photographer for the shoot. The only reason I think I'm being included in all these is because I'm the eldest nephew of his available. I mean, ah chiu's not really fond of nephews if compared to nieces. He'll probably take Grace along if she was here but seeing that she isn't, I'm replacing her. Speaking of Grace, you can bet she's excited as hell, even more so that she's not in Penang where everything's taking place. Her intrepid (and surprisingly long!) emails insisting for some details clearly shows that she's desperate to be home.

At least, she's got till the next weekend to make it back home for a long, long, long holiday.

For the meantime, I'm still unsure whether ah chiu would like me to be the photographer for the whole event which falls on the 9th of June, 3 days before my birthday, I know. I mean, I'm definitely not volunteering myself as my photography skills are a far cry from being good enough to record a once-in-a-lifetime event like this. I still lack the self-confidence. But if, as what mom says, he isn't going to hire any professional to do the job for him and if he asks me too, I won't refuse. It's a favor. More like a responsibility with tonnes of pressure and tension to perform well. I'll go look for more online tutorials on PhotoShop and photographing weddings.

A really rough design according to ah chiu's requested color, sky blue. Potential poster?

Maybe I should just get myself a copy of The Wedding Planner.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gunung Lang Photoshoot.

Somewhere in January, the family and I made a trip down to Kuala Kangsar to visit my poor god-sister, Danushya, who got her feet in a cast due to some mishap in Karate lesson. Uncle Rao took us down to the heart of Ipoh to visit a tourist spot before we left. I had a little photoshoot session by myself at the Gunung Lang recreation park while sucking on an ice-cream. Uncle Rao and I happened to be taking a breezy walk talking about digital cameras when we stumbled upon this abandoned and broken bridge at one end of the park, leading to God-knows-where. It does seem to me like there was some history behind this old link and I do get the feeling that there's another place (possibly mystical!), swallowed up by wild bushes.

The Forbidden Land.


The Pioneers.

The Good Ol' Path.

Aging With Time.



As I said before, I really took the suggestion of angles and direction from Uncle Rao that particular one time and it was a refreshing experience to achieve photos that would make aother person nod their head in agreement. I know, this photos are way overdue but I've hust recently gotten around editing them. This also marks the first time I'm posting images hosted on Flickr (really can't keep up with the momentum of editing a different set of mediocre photos, branding them with my signature and posting them through Blogger). The computer's aging, so I'm just trying out different ways of saving time. I can't really say if I'll stick to it, but if everything goes well, I probably might.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Birthday Bashes.

April and May seem to hold a lot of birthdays for me to remember. So I've realized this year. Only the previous weekend, I had a couple of classmates who shared the same birthday threw a party at their place, of course. Initially, I was invited but I had to decline due to the time of the party (12 a.m.?). Obviously, not the wild party animal. I did manage to wish the guy, though. Whereas on Monday, it was Ton's birthday but I didn't have a chance to wish the boy as he was holidaying in the heart of Japan (probably because it's still their holiday in Thailand), occasionally leaving offline messages on my MSN, telling me how much fun he's having there.

This weekend too, Edmund's throwing another one of his birthday parties, having as much as only two guests on the invite list - his best friend from his class and another little girl by the name of Vivienne living a few blocks away - although the actual date of his birthday falls on Monday (23/4). He couldn't celebrate last year, so dad promised him a little celebration this year. Oh you know, the usual crisp, golden brown, deep-fried delicacies for the little folks with some candy bars and board games thrown in. I won't be doing any of those annual shopping sprees, hunting for the little boy's gift this year (and possibly for the years to come) as Grace isn't exactly around to be my chauffeur and I'm basically facing bankruptcy broke. After all, the little boy's turning a tender age of 9 this coming Monday and dad has gotten him another new game for his recently purchased GameBoy, claiming that it's coming from the whole family.

While May will be holding the birthdays of the two cousins of mine - Carina and Adrian. Carina's birthday falls on the 1st of May while Adrian's falls on the 31st of May. Funny, huh? They usually throw their parties together (not in the middle of the month!) at either one's date. This year, however, the princess' turning 16 and she's throwing one helluva party. Word has it, she's having a one night hotel stay with some friends and a whole day event going on. I'm not quite sure what the princess has in mind (glitsy fashion shows, fretting down the runway with high heels and feathered hats besides a Barbie playtime sessions and tea parties along the beach with Alice in Wonderland?). Don't know what teenage girls are up to these days but I know if I'm invited, I'll be spending another day on the beach, possibly running away from the ever-clinging Adrian. I know there would be a barbecue, that's for sure.

Now, I'm sure Adrian wouldn't wanna share parties this year.

Another birthday that managed to make it through my thoughts is one which belongs to one of my classmates too, which is on the 2nd of May, if I'm not gravely mistaken. Can't recall any other birth dates currently but I seem to have a blur vision of many dates on the calender circled with red marker this year. Maybe you can remind me. I do suffer from Short Term Memory Loss (who doesn't?). I'm already bad with appointments and datelines, what else, anniversaries. Just need to figure out which date belongs to whom, now. For now, it's the two of the most important people that I need to be in the lookout for.


Doesn't that mean I'm going to have to buy more presents? Damn.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Make A Difference.

As you know, I'm not a fan when it comes to chain mails but the other day, I received an email from someone I know in church leading me to a link and telling me to check the link out. Tears swelled in my eyes when I watched the short movie the first (and even the second) time and I got so overwhelmed by the story that I didn't hesitate to forward it to people in my contact list. Some of you might have read about the Teddy Stallard story - about how a teacher changed a little boy's entire life with such little faith and believe she had towards the boy after finding out what he's been through. Some of you might've even watched this short little production (written words read by a background narrator illustrated with pictures of Teddy and his teacher is simple and elegant enough to make an outstanding statement) but that's ok, it wouldn't hurt to spend a little time replaying it again. And just in case you haven't seen or heard about this before, check out .

Remember, it's not only for teachers but for all of us who can make a difference.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shoe Thief.

This isn't the first time that I've lost my shoes to thieves and it sure won't be the last. This morning, when I couldn't find my pair of shoes, I was this close to skipping school with mom having the slightest objection (a little curl of fury around her lips, I observed), almost turning heading the elevator before I actually volunteered to put on my pair of sandals to school for the day, which I managed to pull through, having people who passing me by asking what's wrong with my feet or why I'm with my sandals on today. Pretty much attract more attention from people than I usually do with white shoes. I was standing at the door front, still in a dreamy state, with the heavy school bag strapped against my back with my 2 liter water bottle in one hand and a thick History book on the other when I realized my inexplicably white pair of school shoes (albeit a little worn off) were missing. Couldn't remember leaving it somewhere else besides the front door and I couldn't locate it. "My school shoes are stolen," I blurted out in a-matter-of-fact-ly fashion, as if it was a reflex action and as if it was the least to be expected.

This rude awakening in the morning got mom all worked up - the fact that I'm going to skip school without a shoe and the fact that this is not the first time - close to the point of swearing. On the other hand, it got poor akak, who usually locks up the door behind us, frantically ransacking the miserable shoe rack at the door, going through all the dusty shoe boxes before running in and out of the house to see if it was anywhere in it, which later got her giving up, saying, "See lah, it's stolen again!" It surprised me though, when both of them came up with all sorts of assumptions of who the thief could possibly be - from the neighbor's dog to the Indian lady sweeping our apartment everyday. It was even more shocking to hear how "dangerous" their accusations were, looking for all sorts of clues, replaying the previous days in their minds, linking one clue to the other, to point it someone substantial. Believe me, these women even had statements from the other neighbor about her own suspicions. Seriously, it got the three of us standing at the doorway, staring at the shoe rack, scratching our chins, trying to pull th pieces together for a few good minutes before I broke the silence and volunteered to put on my sandals.

Got a little CSI action going on in my family, eh?

Of course, this isn't the first time the family's lost their shoes to thief/thieves in the night. Just a couple of months back, I lost my precious favorite LeeCooper sandals that was going to be a year old this March, to those thieves. Extremely infuriating, I know! But honestly, the only way I counter my angst is to convince myself that whoever's been stealing my damn shoes is someone who's desperately in need for it, thus, supporting mom in one of her deranged theories that the thief must have have a son at my age with the same shoe size that the person's been stealing dad's and my shoes. But if that person's been stealing those damn shoes and have been selling them to illegal migrants living in the huts covered with thick bushes at the nearby park. Can't remember who else's shoes have been stolen for the past 11 years we've been living in this place but as far as I can recall, practically everyone in the family have been victims of the thief/thieves before. I've lost 3 complete bicycles and 2 bicycle with stolen parts, making me give up in investing in another one, only to wake up the next day with missing tyres and such.

We sure couldn't contact the police as we have no proof and I doubt the policemen are keen on setting up a watch patrol around my housing area. Plus, it's not like these thefts happen daily or monthly. It happens when it happens, you know. Kind of unpredictable when the thief might strike. Oh trust me, mom and akak have both plotted their own devious plans to uncover the truth and nab the alleged thief. Talks on installing a personal CCTV system around the corridor, setting mousetraps and even leaving notes of threat on the pathway was all the family raved about over the dinner table today. Funny, I didn't even chipped in any of the ideas, considering I was the one with the lost pair of school shoes. However, they did come to a conventional conclusion by the end of the meal, steam still dissipating slowly from both ends of their ears - we all bring all our shoes into the house every single time after wearing, placing them on a piece of cupboard salvaged from mom's factory, regardless if the shoe looks worn out or not.

Like the previous time my sandals got stolen, I got a new one back today. Except, for the last time, I went back to the same shop and got the same pair of sandals (same brand, design and color) again because I didn't see any other suitable on my feet. This time, a different shop and a different pair of school shoes which costed me about RM60 in total with a couple pair of new socks thrown in and an extra padded sole for the new school shoe. Crappy, huh? Dad's not a happy man, right now!

Damn it, I hate it when my things get stolen.

Speaking of shoes and being victimized, I just remembered about Edward's little accident with his dad while chasing a black dog (how unfortunate?). Dog chased them on motorcycle, dad got angry, tried turning to chase the dog back only to have the motorcycle tumble on them. He's been limping in school for the past couple of days, trying hard not to let the fabric of his pants graze his wounds. Wish him get well soon.

In the meantime, I'll have to consider writing a threat note for my dear thief.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pondering Over Pampers.

A while back, I had Edmund invading my privacy with him deciding to crash in my bedroom, disrupting my late night activities and making me go to bed early. Fortunately for me, he fell into a "relapse" not before long and went back into squeezing his way through the nights in between the comforts of mom and dad. 5 months later, he decides to come back into my room - for good. I guess this time it's permanent as mom was the one who (one way or another) chased him out of her room after complaining about space deficiency and something about her back aching due to the inability to move around at night with a surprisingly huge sleeping log in between her and her husband. Dad, pitying mom, too agreed that it was high time for Edmund to start adapting himself in my bedroom, in his own bed.

It's been another two weeks since he slept in my bedroom. Only this time, he seems to me, to be more accepting the fact that this is also his bedroom now. One thing that's obvious is that he doesn't complain about the level of loudness of my music anymore, compared to last time, when he used to say he can't sleep with any kind of music on. Now, he can sweetly escape into the night with Gwen Stefani anytime. Though, I do notice that he prefers the likes of Frank Sinatra, David Miles, Jim Brickman or John Mayer. I too, find myself, surprisingly, not persuading him to go back to mom's anymore. Probably it's because I've been allowing him to occupy the top bed so as I would have my own sweet time even after long he goes to sleep and because of that too, he hasn't been complaining to either mom or dad. He doesn't even require mom and dad to be smooching him to sleep anymore. Maybe this time he's (really) growing up and is finally ready to take the next step forward. At least mom and dad thinks so.

Then again, let's not go too far on giving him credit.

See, Edmund is still 9 and still encounters problem in controlling his bladder in the night - even when he visits the toilet every night before bed. The possibilities of him wetting his bed pretty much still remains a high and alarming 80%, even more so when he just had supper or when he had a nice warm cup of Milo before bed. Come to think of it, mom and dad's bed have been wet countless of times just because he couldn't control his bladder or wake up to make a trip to the toilet in the middle of the night and every time it happens, dad will have to spend about RM50 in total to send the sheets to the laundry to get it cleaned while akak curses under her breath trying to get the mattress dried and smelling good again. The stains are inevitable but I'm more concerned about the springs in the mattress. The worst thing is, Edmund refuses to wear pampers, unlike the way I used to.

Heck, I used to have my own bladder problems as well. Even worse than Edmund's current issue, as his only occurs occasionally. To tell you the truth, I had a much weaker bladder than Edmund does now. Gee, I don't know what are the consequences of me revealing this but I had pampers on till the age of 7 before I moved out of mom and dad's room back then! Laugh all you want but that's what happened and I can't change the past. Ask mom about this as she'll gleefully share! I guess I never got used to waking up in the night to visit the toilet while mom and dad are too lazy to wake me up in the night and holding the potty for me to pee while my eyes are still closed, unlike Edmund now. They must've seen the pampers as one of the greatest inventions back then. Let me tell you, it sure saved them a lot of sleepless nights and stained sheets.

Given my extraordinary size for a 7 year old that time, dad always purchased the biggest sized pampers from the kid's section and when I grew out of that, dad had to resort to old folk's pampers, the smallest size which fitted me comfortably, mind you. Funny, I didn't feel embarrassed back then, even when I was holding dad's arm in the supermarket while he expresses his problem to the saleswoman, most of whom gave an understanding laugh before hurrying away to get the suitable size. I still battled with my unmanageable midnight mess when I moved to Grace's room, leaking every now and then, causing mom and dad their precious sleep to clean the bed and my buttocks. Considering how much milk I drank (before bed) back then too, my leakages were pretty huge that I get my whole body drenched sometimes, often needing dad to clean my whole body with a wet towel while I'm still halfway dreamy.

Mom and dad made the right choice when they didn't tear open the plastic cover of the mattress then, saving them from stains on my mattress. I was such a frequent leaker that my bolster had a certain smell that I could recognize even after washing it. You can bet I was dead embarrassed among my cousins like Carina and Adrian as they were younger and they proved to be far more independent than I was but... that was then! Can't remember exactly how or what made me learned but I'm clean now. Clean to the extent that I didn't even need to clear the bladder every night before climbing into bed - unlike many other little boys back then. I suppose I just decided that I'll hold it every night, huh? Didn't even wore pyjamas with an open fly as I really could pull through the night without making pit stops to the toilet, even under circumstances like an extremely cold room. Pretty neat, don't you think?

So two nights ago, Edmund had another one of his huge leaks, seeing that he just had supper and he just had his medicines, consuming a lot of water after that. As usual, I didn't realize anything while snoring away on the pullout bed. I'm a log, so I never notice anything when I'm asleep. Sometimes I don't even realize other people waking me up until like the hundredth time they yell into my ears but let's leave that for some other time. Like previous nights too, he occupied the top bed. I really didn't feel anything until I felt squishy and got irritated with my wet back. At that point, I thought I was sweating and didn't put much thought into it. I only woke up furious when I realized that the bedrooms light were switched on and dad was standing above me wiping the bed, stripped off its sheets, with a piece of rag. "Did he get any on you?" was all I remember dad asking before I started yelling in disgust and hurriedly taking my shirt off!

Yeap, I got my brother peed on me (now that's the first!).

He was just pulling up his fresh pants at the door when I shot him a poisonous look, trying my best to hold back the cussing. Of course, Edmund retreated and spent the rest of the night in the parent's room while I spent mine, miserably, on a couple of pillows on the floor as the bottom bed was wet as well. I really don't want to know how his pissed could get on my back but I'm guessing that it overflowed at the top bed and flowed down to my place, ruining the pillows, the sheets and me. That little git didn't feel anything close to a remorse or whatsoever when I picked him up and shook him furiously, almost choking him in the neck scolded him the next day. Instead, he took it as a threat towards me, telling me that he'll piss on me more if I don't hand him the remote, that evening. I told him I'll shit on him if he says another word.

Akak's grumbling and my wrath got him sleeping at the bottom last night. We're not letting history repeat itself.

P.S. : Still surprised he didn't request to go back to mom and dad's place. Let's see how long he can last.

Monday, April 02, 2007

When The Going Gets Tough, Get Pro.

Yeah, baby *Austin Powers mode*!

Never thought I'd ever lived to see this day but it happened! Gee, I grew up thinking that no Malaysians like me would ever afford a Pro account as it requires payment in USD, quietly putting it off from my mind. Let's just say, having parents who are skeptics when it comes to any online transactions to the point where they've never even tried it before, the idea of purchasing anything online seems impossible! But who would've ever thought! Yeap, it's true! You're looking at it! I've gone Pro on Flickr on the 1st of April and it feels as good as I've always imagined it would be!

Thanks to a certain someone whom I do not wish to reveal, I no longer need to deal with limited space, restricted uploads and am able to create countless of sets! Of course, it's only for a year but you can bet I'm gonna make lemonade with lemons! That person's kind and warm gesture was because that person believed in me. That person really believes that I have talent and really hopes to see me pursue it further. This not-so-little-gift-to-me was an act of courage - a leap of faith on me, more like it, to see me grow in an area that I'm talented in. Honestly, I've never believed that I have any talents to speak off. Even if someone else saw it, I'd say it was sharpened. But not this time. That person's gesture proved that I really do have talents - as little as it may seem. Definitely a boost on my confidence.

Though, I may still have a few setbacks that might deter my production now and then. Like how my computer is slow and that it can barely support the weight of Photoshop running on it, but I'm definitely not complaining. I mean, the only thing I can do is to see this as a blessing from God. I'm sure not everyone is as lucky as me to have someone sponsor them a Pro account on the account of being only a photography enthusiast. Mind you, I still do not consider myself a photographer (in my own terms) let alone a pro! Currently, I haven't got the time to explore all the capabilities offered in a Pro account but I'm going to do so, soon.

Truth to be told, I'm not going to be posting on Flickr daily, or rather, I wouldn't have the time to be editing photos all the time and posting them on Flickr. I still have schoolwork, tuition classes and grades to upkeep at school, apart of other things that is. I know this is good encouragement but I simply cannot just spend all my time there, as tempting as it appears to me. One thing's for sure, I'll be able to expand my display of work from now on and I'm hoping to see improvement in the months to come. I've been working on some portraiture, landscape, still life, and animals lately (never got the courage to post them up as I've always battled with space!) and I'm looking forward to have them up on Flickr, soon. A wider range of subjects sounds like a good idea to compliment my new Pro account, doesn't it?

After all, I have all the space I need, man!