October 16, 2008

on see-sawing

Posted in Happenings, Random Ramblings, The Thesis, Travel and Adventure, Uni at 4:14 pm by meldee

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.

Anyway.

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.

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August 5, 2008

where am i?

Posted in Happenings, The Thesis, Travel and Adventure, Uni at 12:00 pm by meldee

Here, there, God-knows where.

Canon EOS Kiss, M.University Cultural Night 2008.

***

So I’ve been away…don’t know how many have noticed, indeed, how many still stop on by as part of their blog-skipping routine. It’s four weeks into the semester and things are starting to go blah again, as they inevitably do. Have been feeling scattered and uneasy, and the pressure is mounting (as is the pile of work).

I’ve decided to firmly knuckle down this week before I head up North for an eating holiday with a Dahling. 2,000 words is the goal–how feasible this is remains yet unseen.

It has come to my attention that I have a blogstalker. While that in itself is hardly something to be shocked or horrified over, given the very nature of the Internet itself, the whole notion of stalking in general scares the bejeezus out of me. I never understood why some people do it, or comprehended the compulsive nature of it. I suppose I’m being quite contrary as I have stalked a few blogs in my time (now mostly fashion-oriented ones) but I hate it when online activity spills into my offline life.

So BlogStalker, stalk my blog all you want but please don’t give me meaningful looks in public. Good grief, the very thought of it… it’s enough to make me want to pee in my pants with fright.

I am perfectly aware that I am rabbitting on quite incomprehensibly.

For anyone who cares, indeed, I assume not many would, I am about 7,000 words into my thesis. This means I’m about a third done? Unfortunately, not much of this 7,000 words make any sense; it’s still a montage of dispersed arguments and disparate thoughts. Now I know why I was discouraged from tutoring, alas my pride required me to do it just to prove a point (and to earn money).

***

I have a new pet rock. I kid you not. I carry it in my pocket (starting today, seeing as how I got it yesterday) so consider yourselves warned, would-be-assailants, I have a pet rock and I’m not afraid to use it.

Listening to Yann Tiersen’s soundtrack for Amelie always makes me smile. I’ve been listening to it for the past..oh, four hours? It’s on repeat; it almost always is. Perfect for mood music (mood to do work, that is).

I am obsessing over my hair. Again. My Aries is fascinated with it and so I can hardly help myself.

Three months to Australia. The visa and return ticket have yet to be sorted, though. I’m not migrating there yet, so you can stop asking me polite questions or fretting that I may not return. I fully intend on bringing The Boy home with me again though and letting him experience Chinese New Year on the home turf.

Wanderlust’s hitting hard lately. The more I know I need to stay in, the further away I want to flee. Let’s hope the trip North this weekend and the sojourn down South at the end of September to visit a dear old friend will keep me motivated, and satiated.

Books on photography and vintage RM10 skirts have been one of my sources of joy lately. As have the long whispered conversations with The Boy, though I hope his Internet connection gets sussed out soon because my phone credit is depleting like that *snaps fingers*.

I want to crawl into some seaweed and stay there for a good while.

July 15, 2008

on power

Posted in Malaysia, My Home, Social Responsibility According to Me, Uni at 3:22 pm by meldee

You. Listen to me.

Canon EOS Kiss, World Press Freedom Day at Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.

***

So there have been a whole lot of stupid stuff going on in the media lately. Stuff that’s contributed to my rage (see previous post), which died down for a brief moment (short attention span–what did I tell you) but is now back in full-force.

I read the most ludicrous, badly-written article by a Melati Mohd Ariff who alleges herself a journalist for the national news agency.

The link is available here, and basically slams homosexuality to the ground, likening it to a ‘cancer’ that is ‘spreading its tentacles’. Now, everyone is entitled to their views, but seriously folks. What adults do in the bedroom with consent (and I cannot emphasise this enough) is nobody’s business but their own.

There are heaps of enraged responses already floating around, one of my favourites is the letter to the editor written by Michelle Gunaselan, available here.

It irks me to no end that pseudo-journalists put out stuff like this, with no right of reply to members of the LGBT community; neither were any sexuality rights NGOs asked for their opinion. Using such value-laden terms and coming from a ‘National News Agency’ like this is akin to propaganda–but then again hey, what’s new?

Seriously. The policymakers of this country seem obsessed with sex and nothing but(t?). There are so many other pressing issues out there–abused children. Poverty. The dismal state of education (Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia? Maths and Science in English or Malay?). Families abandoned by fathers who then go on to marry other women and start up new families, repeat cycle.

It pisses me off so badly, especially because during times like these I think of my kids and wonder when their voices will be heard. One of the girls, D, is sitting for her UPSR examination soon and she cannot even read in English, what more hope to write essays?

Get your priorities right.

***

On a more humourous/ominous note, being a sessional has its benefits.

I now have access to the timetables of all the students. I can even filter according to name, subjects taken and days.

Totally awesome possum.

June 16, 2008

on prayer

Posted in Angels, Uni at 3:02 pm by meldee

Sunshine, stillness, solitude.

Taken with my Canon EOS Kiss, 28-90mm lens. Saiyok Noi Waterfalls, Kanchanaburi.

***

I think it’s time for me to start meditation again.

Over random rainy lunchtime talks, I sit with soaking wet stripey socks and shorts recalling the happiness sitting silently in contemplation gave me.

Starting the mornings radiating loving kindness in the shuddery, juddery school bus at 6am used to make me feel quite zen indeed. But I think it was more than that.

It was transferring thoughts to people I’d not think about normally; the bus driver, the teachers at school, the girl from the first class who I didn’t like, the lady who sweeps fallen leaves and debris off the roads.

A reminder that life is more than just me.

***

I’ve been quite regular with the blogging as of late, yes?

Reflects in my work…or current lack thereof.

June 10, 2008

it’s only words

Posted in Random Ramblings, Snapshots, Strange Feelings, Uni at 10:36 am by meldee

Taken with my Baby Bazooka (a.k.a. Canon EOS KISS and my ‘nifty fifty’ lens) at the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Sometimes words are so arbitrary.

***

So I’m back from my brief holiday, sunburnt as hell and supposedly reenergised.

It was pretty good fun! Pictures are up on Facebook if you’re my Friend, if you’re not then you’ll have to make do with this one 🙂

At the risk of whingeing (again), I’m not feeling reenergised, not really. I came back to news of the passing of one of the country’s best known feminist activists due to cancer, crazyhigh jacked up petrol and diesel prices, the fact that Rodham-Clinton’s out of the Presidential Race, and a 4,500 word 60% assignment which I am dying at 3,800 words because I’ve run out of things to say.

See? The arbitrariness of words. I really don’t see why we have to say things at times that are already known. Skipping nimbly to another topic, the problems with blogs is that so many people are talking, but nobody’s really listening. Are they?

Am just rambling. Talking, and listening to myself.

***

I got given a pair of home-grown avocadoes today. They remind me of giant scrotum. Maybe I’ll keep them on my desk at uni as a talisman.

May 30, 2008

enough!

Posted in Random Ramblings, The Thesis, Travel and Adventure, Uni at 9:33 am by meldee

It’s the last day of the semester, and I finally feel I can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been a fun 13 weeks (for most of the part, I think I flew off the handle somewhere between Weeks 6-10, which are the usual killer periods) but I can’t wait to just bloody go on break.

And (yes, I’m whining here) it’s not even a real break, but a pseudo one. I’m in early on a Friday (tis eerily quiet about the 6th floor today, most of the lecturers take it off for fieldwork/research day) to try and force myself to knock out at least a couple thousand words on my 60% assignment (which is due in two weeks…groan) and work a bit more on my Introduction for The Thesis (I’m about 1,200 words in, but I’m deeply dissatisfied as everything sounds like utter rubbish).

To cheer myself up, I’m making a shopping list (I swear I have a latent Virgo in here somewhere, nothing about disorganised Pisces, or impetuous Aries, or flighty Saggi have anything on list-making, which is something I love though not to the same extent Miss Venn-Diagram Pet does) of things to buy in Bangkok.

Ironically, more than half of them are requests from family (my aunt requested 10 pairs of velveteen flip-flops. Now, really, why?!) who’ve asked for everything from shoes to hair products to leather flowers (believe me, I’m as bemused as you are). Didn’t they just go to Bangkok like, last month? Hmm.

Not to say I mind a whole lot, it’s just that I’m traveling with my Dad and brother, and I know for a fact I will get no mercy from them with my luggage. I forsee me juggling my duffel bag (to be checked in), backpack, dorky passport pouch (I despise these things with a vengeance, however I am more concerned with the safety of my passport and moulah and gadgetry rather than how much like a DVD seller I look) and camera bag, running for a bus or something, while those two prance on ahead.

Dad wants to cover his ass, so he’s already declared repeatedly that they’re not checking in anything, and if I want to carry “so much rubbish” I can carry it by myself. Huff. Very well for you to say, Papa Song, you don’t need to worry about carrying shampoo (given how he is borderline balding) or deodorant, or tweezers or razors to prevent hairy ‘pits. I can’t bloody carry on all that stuff!

Ooh, does anyone know if I’d be able to carry on my camera tripod though? I’m flying AirAsia, and am worried it might get dented or bashed up mercilessly, though I guess I can buffer it with my clothes. My check in luggage is ridiculously light at the moment. Dad’s already scoffing at me, saying that we’re going to do outdoorsy stuff (like whitewater rafting, oooooooh! Something I’ve always, always wanted to do before I died!) and not going for a fashion show.

Bah, men.

***

I’m really beginning to be sick to death of The Thesis.

I’m tired of explaining myself (already) and am sorely tempted to just do a half-assed job of it so I can actually reclaim my life instead of spending weekends in uni being miserably unproductive and subjecting myself to the godawful cafeteria food (because I’m too lazy to walk to Medan/Rock Cafe–good God, what a lameass name!–and I hate the catcalls and up-down looks from the mechanics in the workshops).

But on another level I know I’ve already programmed myself such, and being the bloody overachiever I am, I know I will not be content until I get First Class. I will bloody spend nights here if I have to! Kiasu kan! Sigh, what to do.

I feel like I’m a set of overused rechargable batteries. I wear out quickly, get recharged and am on Power Mode and super-cheery for a few days (I was crazyhyper the other day after Cuppacakes with Eva—I was asking all the lecturers if they could do cartwheels/handstands, and made futile attempts in the office with The Office Mate looking amusedly on) but then I begin to shudder to a halt. It’s times like these (now) when I lie, drained, in bed, having a Family Guy marathon and turning off the lights by 10.30pm.

I’ve had enough of this shit, really, but I know I have no choice but to go on :/ I just wish I had a longer-term solution, and one I would not get bored of so easily.

Damn my goldfish attention span.