May 1, 2008

on matrimony

Posted in I Wonder... at 3:04 pm by meldee

Before everyone starts freaking the shit out on me, I’d just like to say that age is not an accurate gauge of maturity or levels of commitment, so though I may have been alive for only 22 years I have an old soul, so shut the hell up, and no, I’m not getting married.

Yet.

And who knows when that would be? It may be next year; it may not be for another 22, but oh well, the onus is on me now, isn’t it?

It’s funny, how with one of my ex-boyfriends the thought of marriage scared the bejeezus out of me. Funnily enough I don’t think the topic ever really came up that often but I had this feeling that it was implied. He used to get angry with me when I brought it up, saying he (at the time) didn’t have a career, didn’t have much money, etc etc…and a little voice inside me used to pipe up, “But you do mean to, and I’m scared!”

I’m strange that way. I used to think I was being ‘perasan’ or paranoid, but as I’ve grown up I’ve come to realise that it’s a thing I do–when I’m close to someone, I pick up vibes from them. Vibes, feelings, thoughts–I know just when they’re about to call, and I know what they don’t want to speak about–if I’m being utterly obnoxious, it’s purely because I choose to be a right royal pain in the ass (something which I do very well, thank you).

But yeah, anyway. The point was that though I did love him very much, the thought of marriage made me quite literally run for the hills. I thought I’d never feel ready enough for it, and even tried to push him in the direction of other girls, saying that we were still young and that he should date around a bit more before committing to one person. He declined (not-so strangely enough at all, given how he had Venus in Taurus), and I was left wringing my hands and close to tears.

Marriage, or at least the very thought of it, has both bemused and frightened me these last few years. I know to an extent I am definitely the marrying kind; I love the idea of coming home to someone and making babies and making a house a home, but at the same time I know I have a restless spirit and I need the challenges and inconsistencies that life has to offer me. Which leads to the question: why marry in the first place?

I said in an interview once on having multiple best friends that we have different friends to suit different purposes. It may sound cruel and flighty, but it seems unfair to me to expect one person to have everything that you need–why shouldn’t this be true of something like marriage? Is it realistic to expect one person to be your all and to serve every purpose?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am quite diverse in my needs. I need someone who will challenge me mentally, someone to discuss spirituality and religion with, someone to coo over cute babies and pretty shoes, someone to go shopping with for various household items and actually give a shit about whether the curtains match the sheets, someone to romance and woo me with poetry and declarations of love (I know the difference, when it’s put on and when it isn’t) and someone who would love the whole package, mood swings and crying spates included. It’s selfish of me to expect anyone to be able to fulfill all these needs at once and still be his own person so that I remain interested in him!

For that reason, the idea of an open marriage appeals to me somewhat. I read this excellent piece by a feminist academician who goes by the name Bitch Ph.D, with a later follow up. I was also skimming through More Joy of Sex, which my father pretty much forced me to bring home with me (“Take it and read it, it’s good to learn!”) while my mother fluttered and fretted disapprovingly in the background, elbowing him and hissing “Don’t encourage her!”.

Bitch Ph.D argues thus: “The truth, I think, is that it is impossible for one person to be “everything” to someone else. Impossible and, I think, cruel: setting the other person (and, incidentally, yourself) up to fail. In part, this is the answer to the “why open marriage?” question in a nutshell: because I think it is loving to deal with your fear in order not to limit the other person’s growth. Yes, my standards are high (which is why you do not want to be keeping my house), but at least I try to avoid a double standard. Now, surely there are people who have such issues with jealousy and fears of betrayal that it is best for them and their partners to agree that there are limits: here, monogamy has its uses. But I think that for most people, garden-variety jealousy and fear is, or can be, or should be, a way to learn: what is it you are afraid of? What is it that you are not getting (or giving)? What does your crush on this other person, or your partner’s crush, say about who they are that they didn’t know before? In other words, as my friend asked: “what do you get out of ‘cheating’ that you don’t get at home?””

According to Comfort (1987:166-168), ‘sharing’ can actually be a sensual, pleasant, and bonding experience. It’s societal discourses that dictate that sex is shameful and should be denied and done behind closed doors (the closed doors part I agree somewhat–I really don’t want to have someone shagging in my breakfast, thanks). He argues that marriage to one partner exclusively is quite restrictive, and this argument is also supported by Bitch Ph.D who says that expecting total exclusivity limits growth, and if you really do love someone, would you really want to control them at all?

Perhaps this is a little radical; and mind you I am in no way encouraging it. There are of course medical considerations (always have safe sex!) and emotional imbalances between couples–‘sharing’ should never happen because one partner is only going along to shut the other up or make them happy. It’s a personal thing.

I’m just saying that for now these thoughts appeal to me, though I realise it may not always work because jealousy happens (and I can be quite the jealous person). However, Comfort (1987:157-159) is of the opinion that jealousy is actually unnatural and is more of a social convention than anything else, which actually makes sense–because along with marriage, the notion that you can own and control another human being (tcah!) is also a social construct.

I was also reading this other blogpost about marriage and how young women are increasingly marrying young because they want to. And yet, how the risks of divorce etc hang over them like a dark cloud; yet, the author argues, marriage, regardless of age, is always a risk. Which is totally true–the same argument that accidents can happen at anytime. It’s more than one factor that comes into play to set off a chain of events!

I’m not entirely sure where I stand on the issue of matrimony now. Talks of marriage with the boyfriend have definitely come up, and he knows me well enough to understand where I stand on the issue (which is basically all over the place, in mad scrambles from one stance to another with lightning speed, because though while I still do entertain notions of a Happily Ever After, he knows I’m more pragmatic than that–and that yes, I am a feminist, so he better damn well not expect me to iron his boxers and obediently come (pun intended) when summoned, though if I do, good for him).

For now, I think I’d rather not leap into the deep end if I can avoid it, though if I have to (because of visas and whatnot), I know I wouldn’t be all that fussed either. I love him deeply, and really think that I can see myself with him for a long time. But my point is, why limit oneself to definitions and norms? Marriage, open or closed, can be just as liberating or restricting as anything else–I simply don’t get why people are so hung up over definitions. What does it matter at the end of the day, really?

People can be married (like my grandparents) and yet have nothing to do with each other; others live together for years on end in the manner of our traditional definition of a ‘married couple’ and yet not be married; so I really don’t understand why labels have to be slapped on everything and we need to feel the pressure from the ominous faceless and nameless Society to conform.

If and when marriage happens for me, I hope I do not end up limiting myself and my partner to the cookie-cutter life everyone thinks they’re supposed to have. But rest assured, I am neither shirking it nor embracing it entirely–when it comes, it comes, you know?

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April 30, 2008

on fashion, feminism and photography

Posted in I Wonder... at 5:51 pm by meldee

I have often wondered, what rule in what book ever stipulated that feminists cannot be fashionistas?

I don’t know why the stereotype that exists of feminists are butch, hairy, muscular man-haters who burn bras. FYI also, the bra burning never happened–it was a misconstruing of a protest of the Miss World pageant in the states where feminists threw into a bin items symbolic of patriarchy and control–but there was never any burning, tcah.

But anyway, there is this common idea that feminists are…well…dowdy, for the want of a better word. That feminists cannot be young and beautiful and have nice handbags. That feminists don’t wear makeup (or bras, for that matter) and think high heels are a waste of time.

Nevermind the fact that many non-feminists also think high heels are a waste of time.

But anyway, I suspect it’s the fact that feminists are by and large opposed to patriarchy (no duh, Cap’n Obvious) which is often linked in turn to capitalism, which is often understood as the buy-buy-buying of things we are falsely induced into thinking we need.

Perhaps I am a bit messed up for thinking so, but I have oftentimes felt shamed for calling myself a feminist yet loving the things I do: fashion, makeup, women’s magazines, photography. It’s self-censorship on my part, for consciously avoiding talking about these things for the fear of coming across as vapid and dumb-blondesque, but seriously, I cannot be bothered any longer.

I believe that women’s rights are human rights, and in “feminism: the radical notion that women are people” (I forget who). I also believe that one shouldn’t (emphasis on the shouldn’t) feel the compelling urge to buy anything and everything that comes one’s way fashion-wise, and I don’t believe women should be objectified and made up as sex objects all the time.

I believe in fighting for causes that are bigger than oneself; however, I believe in not losing myself in the process. If pretty shoes or sparkly jewelry makes you happy, why deny yourself if you can afford it? Donations to causes, be it time, money or effort, should come from a heart that is happy and willing to give. For the more altruistic among us, perhaps they are content to give and give and claim that the knowledge that they have contributed to society is enough, but me…I need to be happy meself in order to give to others! And I’m not saying that this is always the case, but I’m made happy by pretty things (so sue me, I like aesthetically-pleasing things).

So I love trawling shops, and looking at pretty pictures of people in beautiful clothes to admire the harmony of all the little things that make up a beautiful photograph: lighting, expression, body movement; I love not wearing the same thing twice in a month (guilty as can be–I haven’t worn the same outfit twice in 10 weeks) and I also love the ideas of gender equality and a society free of violence.

And maybe these things I love do contradict each other on certain levels, but it also brings a new level of consciousness into what I do or enjoy–I adore cuts and materials that skim the human form, be it male or female, and I love seeing people being captured on film, but I am also aware that I do not condone a blatant sexualisation of a person, especially if they are a minor. I know there is a thin line between classy and trashy that is hard to define, but these boundaries are often shifting.

All I know is that these things are a part of me, and are what I love. I’m finding that I can integrate all these things into my life, these little indulgences that make me happy, and couple it with an ideology I love. There is nothing wrong with beauty, or being beautiful, or wanting to be beautiful–of course it depends on whose definition of beauty it is πŸ˜‰

And there goes my feminist again…

January 12, 2008

for posterity.

Posted in Happenings, I Wonder..., Random Ramblings at 5:43 pm by meldee

I know I’ve been M.I.A. again. I swear it’s a miracle that anyone still reads my blog (IF people still read my blog, that is, at the rate I’m going!).

But I’ve been busy with work, and anyone who’s started work recently knows how it is: the first week absolutely drags by and you feel like you want to quit but this is the Big Moment you’ve been waiting for and gearing up to all your life (why, employment, of course! We don’t study for like 16 years for nothing mmkay!) and you can’t ruddy chuck a hissy fit now can you?!

But of course I’m not properly working yet *grins*. It’s just a way for me to fill my days and work for a cause I believe in. And I’d be a total liar to say that the money isn’t a factor. I mean, I was willing to work for no or little money, but at the rate I’m going I’m actually very very happy *beams*.

But I am a big wuss when it comes to properly joining the labour force full-time. I know it’s so weird, considering among my friends I’m one of those who started working part-time pretty early but the idea of the drudgery of a 9-5 job 5 days a week 4 weeks a month 12 months a year makes me want to rip my hair out from the follicles and run up and down my street naked and foaming at the mouth.

You get the picture, I’m sure.

This year represents such a big turning point for so may people in my life. Most of my friends have graduated and are working or will be soon; Tim’s got a really promising proposition from the power station where he works at now and I’m embarking on writing my first dissertation and possibly, tutoring…it’s all immensely scary because I’m finally Growing Up.

I’ve also repaid my first RM500 on my PTPTN loan for university *beams*. I’m extremely proud of this as it’s come out of my own money, the little that I have, scraped together from my freelance work (that RM500 was basically 2 months’ worth of writing…eeps!) . With another job on the horizon (styling for a fashion booklet with a magazine),that’ll be another RM400 that can go to paying off my loan.

Ya, ya, I know I’m so obsessed by it ok but I absolutely hate being in debt. To anyone. Including the government, which is quite unfortunate when you think of it ironically. The idea of going out in the world with this huge-ass debt hanging over my head makes me squirm uncomfortably: how am I supposed to go backpacking around the world knowing that back home, I’ve deprived some poor-but-incredibly smart kid in the suburbs a chance at escaping the cycle of poverty through higher education?!

I’m tripping on guilt. But anyhoo.

For 2008 I have no resolutions. Only hopes.

  • That things internationally will take a turn for the better. Much fewer (better yet, no more) assassinations, bombs going off, murders, corruption, natural disasters, infringement of democratic rights of peoples.
  • That things back home will change—away with corrupt officials, lazy assemblymen, sexist parliamentarians. That freedom of assembly, speech and expression will be upheld and the constitutional right of every Malaysian will be respected. That we will bid adieu to the some of the cocky members of the ruling coalition and welcome those who can and will make a difference.
  • That I will be consistent with doing my share of the chores at home.
  • That I will not be too hard on the students I may prospectively tutor and cause them to drop out of the course.
  • That I will seriously ace my Honours year and graduate with First Class Honours and be a kick-ass whateveriwanttobe.
  • That it will not be a full year before I am with Tim again.
  • That I WILL STOP BUYING SHOES. And clothes. And bags. And STARBUCKS COFFEE (rawr!). And whatever nonsense I can actually quite easily live without.
  • That I will not rile my mother up and piss her off for fun. I hope I can find more conducive ways of entertaining myself and remember: high blood pressure runs in the family and that the guilt of ‘accidentally’ killing her would probably haunt me for a good many years.
  • That I will no longer make stupid New Year’s Resolutions that I cannot keep.

Amen. Here’s to the future.

Bring it on, baybee.

December 4, 2007

no pain no gain?

Posted in Friends, I Wonder..., Random Ramblings at 6:43 pm by meldee

It’s been an intense three days of pain. Pain seems to be a recurring theme across the last few days, which is interesting, really.

Sunday was the R.Age Self-Defense workshop in 3K Hotel Hall which I went for with Jolene. We learnt some pretty cool Aikido techniques applicable to everyday scenarios, such as if you’re getting your bag snatched, or grabbed by a guy. I love how Aikido works with the attacker’s movements (to his/her detriment, I assure you!) and by putting very little pressure on very painful points, like the wrists, elbows or neck.

Jo and I felt like two aunties there (almost everyone else came in jeans, we came for a workout -.-; plus almost everyone there was below 20) and paired up with each other to try twisting and er, shouting.Β  Good fun, though we (ok, fine, I) ended up in giggles for most of it, along with making the usual rude comments (one of the instructors was pretty shaggable-looking, until we saw his teeth up-closeish which made us both recoil with disgust).

Unfortunately now I feel about 61 instead of 21 as all my joints ache—my knees, elbows, oof. Dragging my sorry ass up the stairs was an effort and a half. That night, I headed to Anna (from AWAM’s WWRP) and Brendan’s place in Jln. Raja Chulan (RM2500/month for rental, madness! But they have a POOL!) with Malati and Seetha who both live in Subang, for Anna & Brendan’s going away party. Great fun, heaps of food (we did it potluck) and lots of scintillating conversation πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, hm, pain manifested itself in terms of wallet-aches as I drove to Amcorp to buy Tim’s dad’s camera, but forgot that the shop’s closed on Mondays, so I went shopping.

There’s this awesome bookstore there, BookXcess, where they sell awesome new surplus titles for REALLY cheap. I swear, you can get bestsellers and Really New Stuff (paperback) for around RM17.90-RM24.90! I was in there for almost two hours. The store’s ambiance is pretty nice,Β  lovely warm orange walls and wood flooring, and best of all they were playing those lovely old old Christmas carols πŸ™‚ It really got me in a shopping mood so I bought a couple of books for gifts (belated birthdays and possibly Christmas prezzies!) and was literally bouncing down the escalators as happily as my stiff joints would allow me.

The evening was followed by a movie (Enchanted! Bwahahaha what a pisser it was!), drinks and ice cream with my favourite girls (who are home at the moment, don’t the rest of you get huffy! You know I love yous ;)) Chien, Jo and Mun Teng.

I found Enchanted hilarious how satirically it banged the shit out of Disney movies, though it is one itself. Though it was quite predictable, the acting was pretty decent (for a kid/chick flick!) and some of the dialogue was quite funny, really. I was in stitches as Giselle and Robert go dancing through the park with a whole entourage of random people behind them singing! It’s an ironic fairytale, and I can’t say I’ve seen too many of those in my day πŸ˜‰

Today, now, ugh. ULTIMATE PAIN. I’m gritting my teeth now thinking about it.

Chien’s mum was lovely to get me a 2-week free trial to True Fitness in Taipan, and I tagged along with Chien and her sisters for yoga after seeing their mum for my second HPV vaccine injection (the first one hurt like a mofo, this second one wasn’t too bad). Unfortunately, Chien and I didn’t quite realise it was an intermediate/advanced Astanga Vinyasa yoga class, so it was pretty hardcore for a relative noob like me!

I mean I’ve done yoga before (very very very basic stuff, and nowehere near the warp speed at which the instructor was going), and did pilates when I was in Australia, but this was major ouch-stuff. All that contorting and stretching, my goodness! I used to do gymnastics in primary school (so I’m relatively o-k flexibility wise on a good day—in fact my ‘alternative’ sleeping positions are with one leg curled under me and the other one out straight, or while I sit cross-legged, bent forward at the waist into my pillow)Β  but this was Seriously Hard Shit.

I’m talking bizarre balancing, strenuous stretches and terrible twists! I am so going to feel this tomorrow -.- But call me a bully for punishment, I’m going back tomorrow, for the beginner’s class though πŸ˜› I’d almost forgotten how awesome it feels to have a good stretch, and that horrid burn in your muscles that you know is actually good for you.

On the subject of pain, anyone know where’s good for a Brazilian wax? πŸ˜› I know there’s the place of the moment, Strip, along Jalan Telawi in Bangsar. I’ve also come across places (in the course of my research, ahem) like Nail Studio in Midvalley, Rupini’s also along Telawi, Glitters in One Utama and some place in Times Square.

I’d like to say money is not an option (actually, it really isn’t, considering who’s buying me my wax, bwahahaha) but I suppose one must be careful even with luxuries. I want hygiene and privacy too, dammit. If I’m going to have to pay (or rather, if money is changing hands) to have my privates assaulted with hot wax causing me much pain (actually I think I have quite a high pain threshold, excepting for yoga), I might as well suffer in a dignified silence in a clean place.

Suggestions, comments or views on any of my painful practices of late?

I suppose I really am a masochist, I’m even setting myself up for more abuse by asking this πŸ˜›

October 25, 2007

no more assignments, woots/ ponderings: illegals or expatriates?

Posted in Happenings, I Wonder..., Malaysia, My Home, Reads, Social Responsibility According to Me at 6:54 pm by meldee

Handed in my final assignment for Consuming Otherness: Gender & Global Culture today, after the IMU Art Comp closing ceremony and prize giving (which I got a bit lost, because I took the first turning to Bkt Jalil after the Sunway toll—ended up on the freaking Kesas having to pay an extra RM2.20, gaah). It was fairly interesting, ye gads I even got called up to the front and given a souvenir mug for being ‘The Press’, which oddly made me very very shy. I’m not normally very very shy :/

Maybe because I felt so inferior to all these medical-y people—one of the VIPs gave some speech illustrated on ATP + Pi —-> ADP (whatever the hell this is) and how it was the most important equation ever, rarara…I just sat there with this look of horror on my face because I had my life flashing before my eyes (no, I’m kidding).

This doesn’t beat the line about Einstein’s theory of relativity and the universe though that was spouted by some physicist on Discovery Science’s Brilliant Minds—“When we physicists look at his equations, we weep. Because it’s so beautiful. Because life as we know it can be summed up in an equation less than an inch long”.

I guess art really is relative ey? πŸ™‚

Good thing though, I made a new friend and we bonded over bitching about how private universities try to screw their students over (and we, erm, bitched about Medical students. But in all fairness some Med students are really nice! Others, well, are horrid and ought to be shot) πŸ™‚

Β ***

I was forwarded an e-mail by a close friend who works with NGOs (let’s call her X) asking for help—donations, cash, manpower, etc—for some Myanmarese refugees. Apparently the UNHCR has temporarily shut down registration for the Myanmarese because so many are fleeing here due to the bloody conditions back home. I asked another friend (let’s call her W) if she’d like to chip in some money, as I have pledged a small amount to buying food for them, X promised to help buy food, etc to give to them on her trip to the families.

But W said something that made me stop and think, and it unnerved me a little, which could be both good and bad. “Honey”, she typed, “You realise you would be supporting illegal immigrants?”

There was just something about this simple statement that struck me, the connotations, the underlying messages…hm.

Now I admit I used to (and still do, depending on the context—but forgive me, old habits die hard) look at migrant workers weirdly, especially those who don’t bathe regularly (you can smell ’em :() and make rude catcalls and try to perve at your legs. I do agree it’s a problem, illegal immigrants, expatriates, whatever you want to call them—but to some extent I feel it’s different with the Myanmarese.

But is it really? When can we draw the line? I have a whole bunch of thoughts jumping around in my head that I can’t even begin to articulate.

At the end of the day, we’re all part of the same human race,Β  and we all have the same fundamental rights. Is extending a helping hand in a time of need really ‘supporting illegal immigrants’ or just being a decent human being? Can we really chose to include/exclude those of a certain nationality from being ‘worthy’ or receiving our aid?

I don’t support illegal immigration. IΒ  do, however, sympathise deeply with displaced peoples who have to flee worsening conditions in their home country, and I would try to help them in any way I could. But as W also said, if I help one family, more and more will be coming in and then…she trailed off at this point, but I got the message.

Our country will be overrun with migrant workers. They’ll crowd public places, ‘steal our jobs’,Β  be responsible for social ills and goodness knows what else. But then again, how’s this different from what many of us aspire to do?

Many of us plan on migrating overseas to more developed countries, get a job, start a family there, and enjoy better standards of living. That is exactly what they want too.
Some might argue, but we’re educated, they’re just blue collar workers. And so? Someone still needs to do blue collar work, and if none of us will, they would. It’s just another bloody double standard, I feel, beefed up by bureaucracyΒ  and paperwork. And I always find it so hypocritical that whites or Europeans here are ‘expatriates’, while those from third world countries are ‘illegal immigrants’ or ‘foreign workers’.

It’s just another way of us sucking ass, I think. Pardon the crude analogy.

I dunno, maybe some of you will have some thoughts to throw around too. Please do. In the mean time, if anyone wants to help out with refugees too, drop me an email and I’ll point you in the direction of X, or someone else that can help you help others.

Me, I’m going to take things one day at a time: for now, it’s this World Vision trip, then when I come back, my kids at the childcare centre. This doesn’t mean I’m stopping there, but for now, these are my priorities.

I do want to save the world πŸ™‚

On another note, I was also forwarded another email by X, an article on The Sun’s website about how within the last 7 months (within KL/Klang Valley, I’m presuming?) there have been 1830 reported rape cases. That’s an insane number.Β  And those are just the cases that are reported! I’m not sure if this number has increased or decreased from previous years, but reading it made me shake my head in horror.

This means that every day I, or friends I know and love, are not raped, is a miracle. That’s scary, sad and….oh gosh, I don’t have the words for it. What is this world coming to :/

October 19, 2007

fish

Posted in I Wonder..., Strange Feelings at 2:52 pm by meldee

I feel quite sorry for the fish in the outdoor aquarium of sorts my grandma keeps for feng shui purposes. It sort of swims around aimlessly within the four walls of its watery (leaky—but still full of rainwater) prison.

Sorry, because first of all, it has no proper filtration system—but mind you, it’s one of those super-resilient freshwater fish that can survive in murky ponds, etc; secondly, because it’s all alone. And thirdly, because what can I do to make a difference in the life of this one fish?
I’ve often wondered about fish. Do they feel lonely? Can they tell that they’re just a teeny tiny speck way down the food chain?How is it that they can swim around those four glassy walls and not try and kill themselves in madness?

A few weeks back this poor little fish’s two friends died off, one after another, in a span of three days. I felt really sad as I scooped the little things out the top of the water, staring down at their shiny-scaled, stiff bodies. It’s so different when you handle fishes bought in the markets, you can pick them up and slice them up accordingly, but it’s a different feeling towards a fish you’ve seen everyday since it first arrived, swimming around happily, gobbling up its little fish food balls like you haven’t fed it in weeks. Mind you, we fed them everyday—these three bigger fish, and four smaller ones. I think the smaller ones were eaten up by the bigger ones at some stage, which is also quite sad—I liked the way they were so tiny, with red wriggling bodies that caught the sunlight.

After the deaths ,I conclusively thought there was something wrong with the water, or that maybe it wasn’t getting enough food, but me being me, I just left it. I mean, I fed it as usual, as my grandmother was away somewhere on another mini-break, and I thought it would only be a matter of time before it too died. I used to check up on it everyday, wondering when this last fish, all alone in an aquarium that once contained easily 7-8 fishes, would head up to that big aquarium in the sky (or drain, whichever fishes prefer).

But it survived, and it still is surviving. I cannot vouch for its frame of mind (presuming it has one), or its emotions, etc. But I do wonder, do fish, and other animals, have coping mechanisms for when they are all alone, confined, and in literal darkness? Is it still the same happy fishy I thought it was when it swam and wriggled with glee with its other marine mates? Or is it different, when happiness is alone? Does happiness still exist when one has nobody to share it with?

It made me think of how prison, especially those isolation chambers, is such a terrible place to be. It really does break the human spirit to be naked, alone, and in darkness, surrounded by four cold stone walls and nobody to vouch for that they are still alive, in the loosest sense of the term, save for when food arrives for them.

But often in life we too have our own prisons, either of our own doing or otherwise. And like the fish in my aquarium, swim around aimlessly, mindlessly consuming air and food, not really knowing our purpose. While I suppose it may seem utterly hopeless with no promise of improvement, things can change due to unforseen circumstances.

Something could happen to lift you out of your aquarium, into another realm. Or you could leap out of the aquarium into the unknown, though of course you might land up in a drain eaten by rats. Or you could pray for company, and rejoice when several other little fish join you in your routine.

Or, you could just wait to die.

October 16, 2007

rumbly grumbly rainstorms

Posted in I Wonder..., Poetry at 9:35 pm by meldee

I love the rain. I know it’s quite barmy considering how much I bitch when this time of the year swings round about not being able to do my work (especially tasks that require me to be online), when terrible thunderstorms strike from about 2pm-6pm—Subang being the iron-rich area that it is, my modem’s been struck by lightning twice already so when the storms hit I immediately unplug all things electrical and either work on my laptop with the battery reserves, or curl up in bed with my books.

I was in uni today collecting my assignments for both Sharon’s subjects when the storm struck. As I had offered Kathia my umbrella services (I had a rare smart moment, grabbing the brolly when I was accompanying Dahlia on a smoko break near the smelly giant drain), she being the rain-hater (“the thought of a single raindrop on me, *shudder*”—heh!) that she is, took me up on the offer of Johnny Bravo’s (that’s me brolly! For obvious reasons—it’s got Johnny Bravo on it. Methinks my mum has Dexter) rain shielding properties.

I happily splish-splashed my way with her to the carpark, taking off my spanking new strappy red espadrilles and swinging them round, actually enjoying the rain, to her horror. I dunno why, there’s always something about rain that makes me happy. I love the way the wind lashes at me, the way the raindrops kiss my skin, the feel of water between my toes. If I were a fish (literally), I’d wriggle my fins in glee.

***

There was an Honours briefing session prior, which I attended with Cheryl Dunn, Dahlia and Divya—there were also two first years who came along (good grief, talk about getting a head start! Not to scare you kids, but survive MCP, CCP and Authorship first before you even seriously contemplate taking on a fourth year!). Of course, there was the free lunch, which is always worth a go for πŸ™‚

Also helped that my academic crush was there! *twinkletoes* I’ve decided maybe I don’t like him so much today because although he has nice facial hair *nudges Tem*, he wore these absolutely feral slippers. Yaagh. What is it with my academic crushes (there was one in first year, but every other female was also possibly crushing on him, too) and feral footwear!

Thank God, also, my boyfriend has good fashion sense. Though yes there have been times when I want to completely undress him (ooh la la!) to redress him because his clothes don’t fit anymore—he’s lost a shitload of weight since I left, and is really fit now (with muscles…*drool*) but this means all his clothes hang off him! I need to be his little personal shopper when he gets here, note to self.

But yes, rara-ramblings aside, I am seriously contemplating just screwing the Masters option and doing my Honours year—because, dahling, let’s face it, my chances at getting a scholarship (80%-100% summore, naaah!) are pretty dang good. I’ve raked in all HD’s so far for all the assignments I’ve gotten back (and this will hopefully remain constant!) so I reckon I stand a really good chance at doing my Honours for really cheap, if not for free, as since my dad’s company subsidises 50% of my fees, or RM6,000, whichever is less.

Plus I’ll be able to still live at home, help consolidate parental funds, and actually earn more money via freelancing, or tutoring, if I am up to par.

Plus really sink my teeth into the wonderful theories my poor brain has been lambasted with over the last three years, and put it all into practice with fieldwork and stuff!

Plus, if I do super well, there is of course the opportunity to fast track on to a PhD.! Of course, all this is waaaaaay too daunting to be thinking about now, needless to say the parents are thrilled—good old mum wants me to continue the legacy of academia she imagines she’s leaving behind, heh.

So…yeah, woots. Another year put off, from entering the workforce. I am such a wuss.

***

I’m glad it’s rainstorm season because I’ve finally checked three books out of the library that I’ve been dying to read for the longest time:

1. Vernon God Little, by DBC Pierre

2. A Pale View of Hills, by Kazuo Ishiguro

3. The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro

*twinkletoes*

Books + rich coffee + James Morrison on my iPod = Perfection.

Thunder and threaten and terrorise all you want, tropical storm! I am well prepared.

***

rain

sinking in skin

drip. drizzle. drain

dancing delicious

waterproof wanderlust

puddles pools precious

sloshing soles skip

tremulous trickles

divine droplets

i love

October 7, 2007

venues for romance?

Posted in I Wonder..., Malaysia, My Home at 4:09 pm by meldee

Let me pick thy brains, o readers of mine blog!

Yes, I know I’m being all Drama Mama and stuff but I am terribly excited that Tim’s coming here in…*hee* 2 months. This means I must start learning my roads so I do not have both of us land up in Kuantan if we depart for…KLCC or something. I’m needing ideas of nice, reasonably priced places to bring him, also for nice romantic nights out *wiggles eyebrows*.

So far I’ve only thought of Luna Bar for that amazing KL view. Alexis in Ampang also sounds promising, but I’m gonna need ideas, ideas people, please.

So lend me thy ideas and I promise to take heaps of pictures and comment critically on the locations we visit πŸ™‚ Many thanks.

***

OH MY GOD I NEED TO START LOOKING FOR A JOB. *faints*

I can’t be unemployed forever! Is it reasonable to start work only in January? Gleeps.

I wanna be a rich tai-tai…*cries*.

September 20, 2007

(th)inspired

Posted in I Wonder... at 4:00 pm by meldee

Re-reading yesterday’s post made me wonder, what if I really did have an eating disorder (just f.y.i., never had, never will have, unless it’s overeating), would anyone view it as a cry for help? It also brought to mind a heap of videos I watched on YouTube in escalating horror—short clips called ‘thinspos’ or ‘thinspirations’.

You can type those terms in and check it out for yourself. It was quite horrifying actually, because most of these homemade videos featured snapshots of really really skinny girls—celebrities such as Nicole Richie, one of the Olsen twins (I keep forgetting which) and Mischa Barton, alongside real girls who proudly show off their jutting hipbones, matchstick legs, clearly visible ribs and scrawny arms.

Inserted among the clips are dark words like how being thin is the only thing they aspire for, and how they wish they were ‘strong like ana*’ (*anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder). These are most often accompanied by sad background music, which work together to really reinforce the point that these girls who watch or create these clips, feel so alone and that the only thing they can control is food. That solace lies in being in full control of one’s own body, using and objectifying the bodies of others to fuel their loneliness and obsession with thin-ness.

I’m not going to make any judgment calls here (though I will maintain that it is shocking to me, and deeply saddens me that they feel so alone because I can totally remember instances when I’d feel the same way), but just to merely say that I sincerely hope anyone out there would be truly happy with what they do, but not to the point of obsession.

I mean, we all want to be thin (ok, in my case, toned—because I can still wobble my flabby stomach around with the best of them) and fit, but at what cost? Isn’t your own well-being, emotionally, mentally and physically, precious enough? But baaah…the point of this isn’t to be preachy. I dunno what the point is, actually 😦 I’m tired and kinda sad thinking about it.

Just random thoughts bouncing about in my head.

September 4, 2007

the most beautiful thing

Posted in I Wonder..., Random Ramblings, Strange Feelings at 9:35 pm by meldee

Today I met my womb.

“Hello, womb.”

I marveled. So that’s how you look like, womb-of-mine. Not belonging to some random unknown on a picture of a fuzzy ultrasound monitor. This one’s mine.

It looked like a little balloon on a helium gas tank nozzle right before you crank it up and fill it with air. Drooping helplessly to one side, empty, waiting to be filled. It looked a little sad, even, though I was quick to reassure myself that I am really only just beginning my own life to want this funny void filled.

It was a strange feeling, looking at this space within me that will one day be filled with another living being (in entirety, ahem, not merely a physical protrusion), I hope.

I was thinking, isn’t it beautiful? The womb, a place where we all come from, our first home. Where we experience our first heartbeat, where we are so blissfully oblivious to the cruelty and ugliness life can bring. Cozied up in our own little cocoon, our own world, our universe is this one perfect space.

All we do is breathe. Beat. Kick. Squirm. Feed.

It thrills and scares me to think and know that someday some being might live inside me.

***

Am feeling pensive.

I feel so caught up in mundane routines, and it aggravates me. I want the weekends to come, another marker that I am this much closer to seeing him again; yet, I scream and bemoan the sheer lack of time that I have to complete all my other chores till then.

Just breathe.

One heartbeat at a time.

It’s not so bad when I think of it this way.

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