June 30, 2009
Dear friends and readers,
Like so many bloggers before me, I am now giving up this blog and bidding the serious outpouring of emotions, adieu.
Seeing as how I am now in a little sliver of spotlight (as big a sliver as a journalist can be), I feel that it isn’t as safe a space for me as before–not that it was ever safe to begin with. Guess I’m better off compiling my jumbled thoughts in a bound journal, as I did when I was a mere lass of nine🙂
But fret not, I have not departed forever–I am now keeping a blog with a dear friend about our addiction to dresses (tee hee!) at Frocking Around (guess who came up with the name?!).
If you really want to read serious stuff, I write for the website of a Malaysian business/financial/politics daily. I shall name no names but leave you to figure it out for yourself (via Google, of course).
It has been a journey, but like all journeys do they eventually come to a stop somewhere. Is it permanent? Who knows🙂
April 26, 2009
One wishes to be still, one wishes to be free.
Canon EOS Kiss, Bukit Tabur, Melawati, Kuala Lumpur.
It’s been hectic for the past few weeks. You have no idea!
I remember overhearing my colleagues talking about how it’s a bad sign when you start off blog posts with apologies for not having blogged–one colleague rubbished this saying it’s a person’s prerogative to blog. I suppose I agree to some extent; the other part of me feels bad. But I feel bad about everything so often I guess it’s just me!
Some brief updates. I’m settling into my new job (as an ‘Assistant Producer’, sounds ambiguous hey? I basically produce content for a news site–writing, editing audio, uploading pictures), the routine and the demands–I won’t lie, it’s been rough going. For several reasons, of course–but mainly, I imagine it’s because I’ve always wanted to be a journalist; I built up this image in my head, and it’s almost nothing like what I expected it to be.
Of course it’s challenging and you never know what each day brings, but it’s also frustrating when you can’t even meet up with your parents whom you’ve not seen in over a month simply because you’re busy, or so worn out you’re passed out in bed by 9pm–yes, even on weekends!
I’ve also found it rough not having time to myself, to just do the things I like doing, like lazing in bed with a book (that doesn’t happen to be related to politics, or how to be a better writer, or other serious stuff!), writing for the pure joy of it, or spending hours on Skype with T–but I guess those are luxuries I should’ve known I’d have to give up at some point or another.
Another challenging thing about the job is the fact that there’s SO MUCH out there to know! It seems so ‘duh’ but hot damn there really is a lot to learn, from issues that have been plaguing the country or companies for the last 20 years, to latest developments by the hour. There’s also so many techniques to try out, a format to follow, and of course, the incredibly tough task of finding my voice. I’m also mentally structuring blog posts in my head–argh!
The thing about me is that I don’t always know what I want, from life, or work–I think I am quite easy-going and will flow in whatever direction I’m taken in–but I do know what I don’t want. I am quite certain about that. While I’m still discovering what I don’t want, I’m also marveling at the things that I never thought I wanted but am enjoying (to differing degrees) all the same–like writing about politics! Haha. It’s really daunting, I won’t lie–but at the same time it’s new, and I like new things!
Anyhoo, cryptic work-speak aside, I am trying to maintain some semblance of a life outside the office–I think I haven’t reached the levels of ‘officetication’ (as opposed to ‘domestication’) some of my colleagues have! I meet up regularly with my girls (and guys) on Fridays after work, where we all bitch and gripe about work and make fun of each other😛 The weekends are of course devoted to the kids at the shelter, some weekend events that are vaguely work-related, and regular household things like chores or bringing my gran out grocery shopping.
Speaking of the kids at the shelter, I am in complete awe. Just yesterday I realised how much they’ve all grown–as we have–they are older, taller, more talkative, more quiet, more contemplative, more complex. It’s been two years since we first met the kids, and they’ve become part of my life–I feel old now!
A dear friend has also just given birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy last week. She’s overseas now, but I can’t wait to see her and the baby. We’ve been in and out of touch for several months, and it would be good to catch up and hear about what’s changed and what hasn’t.
Hearing about friends getting married and having babies has of course set me off–by now I’m sure you would have gathered that I am engaged to be married (but when, is the million-dollar question! LOL! That’s what you get when you have two Pisceans in a relationship–you know that you’re meant to be together but the mudane details escape you. Like the question of being in different countries and time zones!). I admit I do want to set up house and those things, but at the same time I want to do so much more!
Ah, me. Always so impatient. And that’s the thing I’m trying to remind myself of now–to just breathe, take each moment as I live it. You always want what you can’t have–it’s part of being human, I gues–but like I said, while I don’t know what I want I do know what I don’t want.
And I don’t want to be one of those people who forget the simple pleasures and joys that make life truly worth living, just for the sake of money and prestige. Ha! What an odd position for a supposedly hard-nosed inquisitive journo-type person to be taking.
But this is me–all of me that is idealistic and romantic and emotional– and I am happiest when I am me, as complex and confusing as I am. While some things can be dissected and analysed to death, I think I like knowing or feeling that others can’t be–it makes me feel more human in times when I can’t even remember to breathe.
March 12, 2009
cryptic wings adrift
beating upon smokescreen flesh
drink me whole till death.
my soundless soul waits
covered with magnesium
steal those kisses cool.
glints of irony
barbed wire stings through the night
silicone tears fall.
broken fingers lie
draw blanks in my empty cup
sucked in by the light.
March 10, 2009
Softness amidst steel.
Canon EOS Kiss, Ubud, Bali.
Sometimes the smallest, weirdest things stick in your mind long after the person who’s said it has disappeared.
Sometimes it hurts more than you’d like to acknowledge it does, because usually it’s true.
It feels weird, because you know so much time has passed, but it haunts you and it aches.
Oh, it aches.
I never was the type who could bear the idea of someone else despising me. Perhaps I have chronic insecurity issues (which come to think of it, I reckon I do). Perhaps I’m a doormat.
Perhaps I just can’t forget some things, even though I do have a legendary goldfish memory.
Perhaps it’s just bloody Venus in retrogade swirling around some toxic feelings but oh, what I’d give to do things differently.
Perhaps it’s just me.
But because of that obscure comment, as wrinkly crooner Tom Jones warbled, ‘those funny familiar forgotten feelings started walkin’ all over my mind’.
I am now beyond mortified that I know the words to a Tom Jones song, even though it is only the chorus (and I Googled it, so I must be cheating).
Maybe it’s not my time to forget.
The question is, have you?
March 1, 2009
I am in hiding today.
(I need these spells of alone time).
Avoiding (most) human contact.
So I read (finished the last of the bloody Twilight series, no pun intended–I intensely dislike the characters but wanted to finish reading it just so I could say I’d read it) and I watch DVDs.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 was on my list of movies. I’d never seen TSOTTP1 but I figure it can’t be too different. Miracles of miracles, I actually quite liked it.
I credit Alexis Bledel, I think she’s as cute as a button and I am utterly in love with the character she plays in Gilmore Girls.
Digressions aside, it made me think about how much I miss my sisterhood. Back in the day there were 10, but since we left high school (shock and horror) five years ago the numbers of the Dahlings (cheesy name, long story) have since dwindled.
I don’t know what’s on everyone’s mind anymore. I don’t know about the love/relationship dramas, the conflicts with silly ex-boyfriends, the money matters (increasingly so, since most of us have started to live away from home and on our own paychecks—not that mine’s arrived yet), the spells of loneliness/anger/depression/mellowness…
It’s something I suppose we’ll never get back, and it makes me sad. If only we’d known this back then, perhaps we’d have tried harder. Or perhaps things would still be the way they are now, because that’s how it was meant to be.
Still, I can’t help missing what I once held so close to my heart.
I miss you, girls.
February 18, 2009
Come into my parlour, said the Spider to the Fly.
Canon EOS Kiss, Degraves Lane, Melbourne.
By nature I tend to be quite a self-absorbed person (like everyone else, I’m sure).
I navel gaze, think my thoughts aloud, scrutinize every concievable imperfection on my body and in my heart. In a way I suppose I can be like a baby, fully mesmerized by my own fingers and toes. My existence is a blissful one, as long as I am safe, sheltered, fed and loved.
But I was also born with a tiger’s spirit blessing the stars above my head, and with warrior blood in my veins. I was born, quite possibly,to fight.
Not necessarily involving fisticuffs, though I joke that that is something I’d like to do before I die (get into a fistfight with someone I really detest, no holds barred), but a to protest injustices and unfairness, to stand up for something I am absolutely convinced is The Right Thing and to go down, if I do, kicking and screaming all the way.
Because I am not only self-absorbed, intellectual rhetoric also tends to elude me when I am completely involved in something—sometimes literally kicking up a big fuss is the only way!
I probably sound quite cryptic, but I am actually deep in thought. And not deep in thought a la former Menteri Besar of Selangor Dato Dr. Khir Toyo kind of I-must-sit-and-think-two-hours-a-day, but just sort of tentatively prodding my disparate thoughts out with a stick and seeing how they turn out.
Things in my home state are in pretty shite condition at the moment.
There has been a blatant violation of privacy of state Exco and Assemblyperson (get it right, you fools, how can a woman be an assemblyman?!) Elizabeth Wong. You can read about it from any good (indeed, even any bad) Malaysian news site for the full details—
I am more concerned now with the issue of private spaces and how vital they are and, oh, what a precious right it is.
Because it is a right. The right to let loose, to be free and forgetful, relaxed and romantic, dark and delirious—in the quiet and solitude of this essential space called ‘home’.
I really don’t feel safe anymore. My rights have been stripped from me and now I have to behave in the once-sacred space I called my room.
It angers me. My self-absorbed self needs this space and quiet to just be for a few hours in a day, to get back in touch with myself before I am lost.
I am sure I am not the only one who feels such.
I don’t know how many more times these things have to happen before people realise what a crime it is, to take away this precious space.
I don’t know how refugees or political detainees or people living in detention camps cope. I say this as un-princess-fully as I can, because along with food, shelter, safety and love—a space to be alone is what I feel every person is entitled to.
Shame on you who don’t realise this.
February 15, 2009
Good lord, it’s been months since I last updated. I apologise (though I’m really not sure why) for my unaccounted for absence–I’m sort of borderline ‘OhMyGod you poor fellers who still come by this blog (all two of you)’ and ‘Hufff it’s my prerogative to update/not so live with it’.
I even forgot my blog username/password, if that’s any indication of my dedication to this. In summary, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I (will) blog when the spirit moves me, but also I’d like to get back in touch with writing (insightfully and wittily)–for my own good.
Updates, updates. As much has been happening in the last few months since that frazzled, angsty post.
In no particular order:
- The Thesis was submitted on time. In fact, about 10 days early. A lecturer remarked rather incredulously to me that this is possibly the first time she has seen anyone hand in their work before the deadline. Which made me smug, because I pride myself on doing things faster than your average procrastinator.
- The Bali conference went spiffingly! I met some really lovely people and gaped in awe during speeches of some incredibly inspiring women (and some men). I felt a sense of belonging there, though some of the ‘older’ feminists did pretty much frighten the beejezus out of me.
- My Australian break was fabulous. I cooked, baked, ate, lazed, read, watched a shitload of TV and went to the beach. I went camping, drove a boat (for all of two minutes), became a Mummy Koala (according to T’s second niece) and had many, many drinks of the alcoholic variety (my poor liver was out of training for so long). And oh–I got engaged!😀
- So yes, though we are now engaged we have not set any date. The not being in the same country is a huge hurdle, as is the fact that many companies in Australia were not hiring and had freezed headcounts (especially for foreigners, sigh). The lack of money and work experience on my part is also a problem, albeit one that is being worked on. We have no idea when we’ll see each other again for sure (save the Skype webcamming) but I’m hoping he’ll make it up here for my graduation in September.
- I did not forget to apply for graduation this year. Yay, me.
- The Thesis (unofficial) results came back a few days ago, and it really hit me when I rang T to tell him. I got an 86 from one examiner and a 90 from another, which should give me First Class Honours as prior to getting these results I had an average of 81.5 for both the taught units. Needless to say, I was over the bloody moon and exuberantly declared that I would happily do it (the whole Honours year) all over again. Actually, on second thought–maybe not.
- I am currently being interviewed for a number of jobs, and chastising myself for not being ‘all’ that these companies want. I am now torn between the idea of working for a huge MNC (but I dread the idea of being a desk jockey doing things I absolutely despise) and the idea of working for a publication, which has been my lifelong dream but does not have the same sort of prestige/payroll as this particular MNC would (also, that area of writing is not exactly my forte–have been shitting myself all weekend reading everything I can get my grubby paws on and making little diagrams). But I feel I know what I want, and becoming a corporate bunny most definitely is not it. I am dizzied from the options and pros and cons.
Going for interviews also exposed me to something quite nasty which I have (usually) been quite oblivious to. The fact that when people see a relatively nice-looking young woman (who oh, happens to wear makeup and dresses and have kitsch accessories and shoes) they look at you funny. And by people, I mean middle-aged women in positions of power. I know it’s extremely catty and stereotypical, and as a quasi-feminist I should know better, but I’m just saying that it happens, and I’m certain not all middle-aged women are so inclined–I’m just speaking from experience.
Hell, I might even end up being one of them in a few years. I’m not exactly getting any younger, and I do admit to tut-tutting over the way some of my ex students were dressed/conducted themselves. I guess we all do that–judge. It’s nasty but that’s the way it is.
Anyhoo, I don’t know why but it really gets to me. And I know it shouldn’t, because I am in control of the thoughts I give energy to, but I would really love to be judged by merit and not anything else. But that’s my idealist speaking–having worked in media-esque fields I know in this industry (and in ANY industry, for that matter) it’s all about who you know and not necessarily what you know.
I just find it a bit sad, that’s all.
I should dash now–there’s a barbecue going on at a dear friend’s place as a send-off for her to go to Australia to pursue further study, and I’m sicketty sick sick–a detour to the doctor’s is needed before I rock up at her door and possibly render everyone else there sniffly and coughy.
On the note of infectious diseases–whoever drank my Black Label and Coke last night, if you catch my cold serves you bloody right. Effing freeloaders.
Right, I promise to try harder for my next entry and actually have a structure/form of some sort.
If I remember that I have a blog. Heh.
October 16, 2008
It’s been a mad few days; and ones that I will possibly look back on in a few weeks and smile wryly at. Until then, I’m floundering in a pit of frazzled-ness.
Take this morning for instance.
Was supposed to send my grandmother to the bus stop for her to catch her express bus to Melaka. I thought she said 8pm, so I was rushing to get her there by 7.30. When we got there, poor thing gives me a doleful look and says, ‘It’s only an hour I have to wait’.
Her bus was due at 8.30am.
After driving off, I felt so bad I wanted to turn around and wait with her, but it took me 20 minutes to wait at the traffic light to make the U-turn so I decided not to. It took me about 50 minutes to crawl the measly 5km to uni after that.
Got to uni, and BLOODY security guard at the staff carpark stops me and demands to see my card. There’s only one guard who does this to me, always the same feller. I pressed my card up to my window (it displays the card validity period and faculty) and he shooed me away.
There was a car behind me and I was still wracked with guilt from depositing my poor gran off so early (plus my window rosak. Proton car, what’s new) so I just reversed and drove all the way in to the construction area to park.
By the way, this guard only picks on me. I swear to God. In the time that it took me to walk from my car to the end of the path, he’d let in four other cars (two with P stickers!) without so much as a ‘STOP! SHOW ME YOUR ID!’.
I was eyeballing him furiously from behind my bug-eye sunnies and he was actually eyeballing me back! At the end of the pathway I pulled out my ID and waved it very violently at him to say ‘I HAVE MY BLOODY ID YOU STUPID COW!’
Then I got stopped at the main gates. By the nice lady security guard who sees me everyday.
Who also asked me for my ID. (Bloody hell).
Turns out she was walkie-talkieing with the feller who denied me entry and she eyeballed my card.
‘But your card expires in two weeks,’ she said, confused. ‘I know!’ I wailed. ‘This is the last week of my class and I always park there but he didn’t let me in! He always picks on me!’
Grimacing sympathetically, she walkie-talkies back to the guard. ‘Her staff ID expires on October 31st 2008. Today is not the 31st, it is the 16th.’
Apparently the fat bastard thought this month was what, NOVEMBER?! Bloody eejut. He then apologised and asked me to go back so I could repark my car. Huff. Fat chance.
Rest of the day was spent tutoring (for four hours, oh la la), giving a talk (I am totally creeped out that my name has been splashed on all the uni computer desktops)…in which I got to talk to a cute guy (ho hum!), and now, waiting for my effing virus scan to be completed because the effing uni laptop gave me a nasty something-or-other.
On the agenda is another talk to attend in the evening, working on my slides for my presentation tomorrow, and then starting to read feedback from one of my supervisors on one of my chapters.
And, oh, work on my conference paper.
Yuppo, will be going to (get this) BALI to present my very first (international, eek!) conference paper! All expenses paid, which I am quite smug about. I said I’d blog about it only when I got it, so it looks like my visualisation has actually been pretty effective.
It’s basically a young women’s leadership forum and dealing with the future of feminisms in Asia, so I will be one of possibly hundreds of presenters. I am both terrified and thrilled, and I know it’s a wonderful opportunity, but still.
Wah. With the current workload. Plus there’s a wedding this weekend! Gah.
I’m quite literally see-sawing up and down and mood-swinging like a maniac, because there have been so many things coming up this month. I am so relieved that tomorrow is officially the last day of the semester, and that all this madness should settle by next week.
Big sigh. Apologies for being a Rambly Pants but I’m done now. Expect to hear nothing of me for the next few weeks. It feels like at times like these I am too busy to even breathe.
October 7, 2008
I dunno how some of the more emo, touchy-feely-esque bloggers can remain consistent in layout, theme, etc for so long. I keep getting distracted.
Because I am procrastinating work (what’s new) and generally feeling very angsty with myself and things around me…
The Weekly Hate List
1. The fact that White Rabbit Creamy Candies are bloody toxic and are going to be annihilated.
2. Superfruckingslow Internet in the office.
3. No news about the Bali Conference (but oh I’ve not mentioned this before aye? I’ll only elaborate when I get it pfft).
4. Trawling shopping blogs and Liebemarlene Vintage, which is possibly my favourite blog at the moment, and feeling gloomy because I want to be out and shopping.
5. Not shopping, because firstly, I kind of shopped already in Singapore (exchange rate graarrhh!) and secondly…
6. PEOPLE STILL OWE ME MONEY BLOODY HELL WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS OWE ME MONEY!
7. Looking at The Thesis makes me physically ill and all brain function grinds to a halt the minute I open my chapters.
8. I have a month to finish The Thesis😦 I’m not ready. It’s absolute rubbish and I hate it.
9. Daylight savings has started again in Melbourne. HATE. Daylight. Savings. Give me back my hour so I can talk to the boyfriend for that much longer!😦
10. Mad hair. I very badly need a haircut but I want to wait till it’s a bit longer because if I cut it now it’d be too short. Yes, there simply is no pleasing me.
But to balance things out (I’ve got no Libra planets so this is my very lame attempt at being objective)…
The Weekly Love List
1. Watching hot Greek guys busting moves on the beach in tight Speedos in Mama Mia!. Twice.
2. Lemons to go with my green tea❤
3. The wedding reception of a dear friend on Friday.
4. Um…I can’t think of anything else I love this week
October 3, 2008
Canon EOS Kiss, Arab Street, Singapore.
Last night after the strangest combination of Mama Mia! and A Love Song for Bobby Long (with John Travolta and Scarlett Johanssen) I fell asleep with the strangest thing in mind.
Perhaps not so strange, given how in A Love Song John Travolta’s character Bobby Long, a fallen-from-grace English professor keeps spouting random sayings from literary greats, and my (former) great love for curling up in bed with a fat book of romantic poetry and commit the ones I found most beautiful to memory.
I fell asleep with Lord Byron’s poem When We Two Parted on my mind.
An incredibly sad, poignant poem that seemed to echo my feelings completely through a previous breakup. Doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a sucker for Lord Byron’s poetry. I think I might look for a volume of poetry tonight and have that as my bedtime treat.
Ennio Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso piano solo isn’t helping my current mood (stressed, frustrated, upset, moody) very much either.
When We Two Parted – Lord Byron
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sank chill on my brow
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.