September 26, 2008

on catching the disease

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:30 pm by meldee

Speckled emerald envy green.

Canon EOS Kiss, Aunt’s house in Bukit Jelutong.


I reckon it’s like an epidemic or something, the moment mid-semester (or in the case of Semester 2 at the university I happen to be enrolled at (I’m not typing in names because I know they monitor students’ blogs)) borderline-end-of-the-semester break swings around, there is a flurry of blog/Facebook activity as people scurry to do anything but work.

I usually manage to (smugly) abstain but it appears that this time around I am not vaccinated against this…plague.

Hence, blogging, as opposed to editing my thesis (I swear, I open my document, take one look at it, and…blech).

Yesterday I gave up on work (after spending most of the morning chatting to my lovely friend P in NZ) to go ‘window shopping’ (at least that was the objective). Right. Let’s say I did not end up with windows.


What have I been up to.

The rapporteuring was one.

The shopping, another.


My brother won us free tickets to the premiere for Eagle Eye (which I know sounds like a totally snore-inducing war movie type thing, but it’s not!)–which was actually really enjoyable save for the ending, which totally killed it for me *curls upper lip in sneer*.

But why it resonated with me was because it echoed themes of panopticonism (Hail Bentham! Hail Foucault!) and…er…agency. (Yes, I do realise like what a dork I sound like.) And from my paltry understanding of Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory, it also made me think of a case of an actor gone wrong.


So now clearly I am put to sleep by notions of war movies and loudly exploding things, but not by French theorists. Hm.

Anyhoo I thought it was pretty scary, and made me think about really, how easy it is to collect information about people these-a-days. All that data collection when you sign up for blogs, social network sites, emails, competitions…we’re actually offering ourselves for information-mining and that.

This is the second movie of this sort I’ve seen this year, surrounding themes of surveillance; the first one was a French flick I saw at Cineleisure called Mr.Average, which was sort of like a Truman Show taken to the extreme. Like capitalism/commodification/product placement overdrive.

Am also pleased to announce that am slowly inundating my 14 year-old brother with seeds of cultural critique. I’m teaching him how to critique films, songs, TV shows…:D And I’m turning him into a quasi-feminist, or to be as feminist as a 14 year-old boy can be without putting his fledging masculinity at stake! Huzzah.

Though honestly, I really do forget he’s only 14 at times. He speaks as articulately and intelligently as any 18 year-old I’ve met, in fact, if I were to compare my sib here with any one of my students (especially on a bad day like today where instructions are clearly written on the board but I can still be misunderstood, hufff!) I’d not hesitate to put them at the same levels of maturity. I reckon my sib knows more about politics than they do, which is absolutely ridiculous given how they are journalism students. Roar.

From a roar to a grin.

The boyfriend rang me a few minutes ago to tell me that his new microwave has a ‘Power/Melody’ button. Apparently you can change the beeping at the end of each session (ranging from mildly annoying to extremely annoying, I imagine), and he just had to call to tell me that.

Power/Melody reminds me of times where I’d have two (or three) cups of espresso when I was back in C’hill on rainy evenings to keep warm, and I’d be literally bouncing off the walls. I think the boyfriend was terribly exasperated (and not to mention annoyed, and I sympathise–I imagine it’s hard to watch TV when your girlfriend is power-cleaning everything around you) and might have contemplating sitting on me a few times just to get me to stop moving (or talking) like the Energizer bunny on speed.

He’s a sweetheart though. And it’s all good because we continually amuse each other and will hopefully continue to do so for a good many years to come πŸ™‚


I have successfully procrastinated for about an hour and a half since lunch. I’m struggling to keep my eyes open and am scoffing Kinder Bueno non-stop (had a mad unexplainable craving for it yesterday so I bought three packets!) and could really do with a nap now. Maybe some work after this?


Before I go, I simply must say how I am completely (hazel)nut(ty) over the online vintage/shopping stores. But not those with horrible language skills attempting at passing for English (shock and horror), but those with incredibly artistic (or Photoshopped,Β  but that still calls for high levels of artistic talent, mind you!) photographs. is an amazing site and I could (and do) spend hours trawling the site and ogling pretty dresses and shoes and handbags, and oh, you get the picture.


Work now.



September 25, 2008

on nothing in particular

Posted in Happenings, Malaysia, My Home, Random Ramblings, Social Responsibility According to Me at 10:12 am by meldee

Don’t forget.

Canon EOS Kiss, The Annexe @ Central Market ladies’ loo (heh), Kuala Lumpur.


If they gave out awards for the worst bloggers ever I wouldn’t be surprised if I were up for a nomination. As long as they didn’t notify me via my blog, for obvious reasons πŸ™‚

Apologies for not replying comments etc, I’ve become remarkably bad with this sort of stuff in general so please don’t take it personally! I’m not even sure why I still keep a blog anymore (sort of like a token pet chicken, that you can’t bear to, um, slaughter for dinner, nor give it away or set it free because you’ve sort of gotten used to it).

I expect to be blogging a bit more when I’m actually on my 2-month sabbatical from All Things Academic–what a luxurious (or hellish, knowing how easily I get bored!) break that will be!

My final thesis deadline is the 14th of November–that’d be my third and final edition (good gods I hope so). A few more rewrites are needed–my third and fourth chapters need to be majorly beefed up in terms of theory and I’m supposed to have a full, rough-ish version by 24th October.

I really never expected this year to be so draining, though I imagine if I hadn’t been such a busybody everywhere else and stuck my fingers in so many pies I wouldn’t be feeling so frazzled! I recall blogging about this, or at least writing about this in my diary (I think this latter possibility is more likely as I don’t think I caught on to the whole blogging phenomenon until I went to college) when I was in Form Five or something when I was trying to teach myself Physics, slog three hours daily over Add Maths prep questions and memorise endless facts for History for SPM, on top of being Interact Club President, President of the English Society (I think? Good grief everything feels so long ago!), go for volleyball training for MSSD, etc…and I think there was the Taylor’s College Debate thing I did as well, on top of like a million other things!

Given all that I suppose I, of all people, shouldn’t be surprised that I feel like a goldfish with its fins tied together. Perhaps it’s no wonder then that everybody else but me seems to have confidence that I will pull through and come up swimmingly!

I’d normally believe it but I really do find myself dreading things that I normally looked forward to…such as holidays, because holidays mean my productivity levels plummet because I’m, er, actually on holiday, or that the uni’s locked up (as it will be these Raya holidays–I cannot imagine anyone else coming in, and the security guards are always very grumpy about having to buzz me in because my swipe card doesn’t work on public holidays!) and since I’ve reformatted Isadella (It’s a Dell, lah) I’ve been stuck with a FOSS version of Microsoft Word which makes me lose all my formatting…gaah.

Anyhoo, moving on.

I had the privilege of doing some rapporteuring for an advocacy workshop on migrant workers in Malaysia and one of the issues that were inevitably brought up was the status of refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia. Now, I’ve always known that these issues have been out there, heck I’ve even done work with refugee children before.

But I don’t think I really quite grasped the seriousness of the issue–we’re talking about real human beings here who should have the right to safety and shelter and healthcare and education, but they have almost nothing–Malaysia doesn’t even recognise the status of refugees, some of which have been in this country for over 15 years!

I was completely appalled and had to almost hold my jaw off the floor as I heard anecdotes (off the record, of course) about cases of abuse and violence. There were even some pretty heated arguments and debates about what refugees should get and supposedly what they want, which I overheard parts off.

Which made me sort of go a little quibbly inside because from looking around the room I know most of the people there were not refugees, and probably didn’t really have to give a damn, but they did. They don’t have to get so involved, but they do. Which made me again think of this Amnesty International saying, that ‘the only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing‘.

And it just made me want to try to save the world all over again, you know?

A poem shared with me by a friend not five minutes ago, that made me think of refugees, because my friend reads my mind.

If Porcelain, Then Only the Kind
by Stanislaw Baranczak

If porcelain, then only the kind
you won’t miss under the shoe of a mover or the
tread of a tank;
if a chair, then one not too comfortable, lest
there be regret in getting up and leaving;
if clothing, then just so much as can fit in a suitcase,
if books, then those which can be carried in the
if plans, then those which can be overlooked
when the time comes for the next move
to another street, continent, historical period
or world:

who told you that you were permitted to settle in?
who told you that this or that would last forever?
did no one ever tell you that you will never
in the world
feel at home in the world.

Translated by Frank Kujawinski.


Selamat Hari Raya to all.

I wish things in the country would bloody settle down already so issues of actual importance can be worked on–I’m sick of all this faffing around. Roar.

September 13, 2008


Posted in Malaysia, My Home at 1:16 pm by meldee


Canon EOS Kiss, aunt’s house in Shah Alam.

don’t tell me i don’t care
because i do.
don’t accuse me of being a coward
because i’m not (really).
don’t say that i’m not trying
because i try every day in my own way.
don’t sigh that i haven’t got a heart
because i do, and it bleeds more than you know.
don’t call me irresponsible
because i’m not you.
don’t think that i am indifferent
because it affects everybody in different ways.
don’t give up on me yet
because i’m still learning to fly.

August 28, 2008

on light

Posted in Poetry, Strange Feelings at 10:50 am by meldee

I’m true blue and mellow yellow.

Canon EOS Kiss, Gurney Drive, Penang.


light hear/ted

am i not/ing

flickers of pain/full

rejoi/sing along to my

wishful song, i wish

i could be (f)old/ed

int(w)o stars and fly

night sky and smile

(just for a while)

and moon/beam down

laced in dreams

of senseless schemes

i am a clo(w)ne

duplicitous drone

of light.

August 26, 2008

on (four)ces

Posted in Angels, Random Ramblings, The Thesis at 9:43 am by meldee


Canon EOS Kiss, Somewhere in Penang.


I’ve been away again.

Way to go, Captain Obvious (one of my students loves this line).

But as I sit here on this (blank) Tuesday morning (I don’t have a window in this cell so I’m left guessing the state of the weather outside) with five chapters of my thesis handed in (BIG HURRAH!) and God-knows how many words written, I am experiencing an odd moment of stillness that befuddles me.

I like it, but I don’t. I’m bored of it already, but I also know I’ll be caught up in a mad flurry of something-or-other again soon. I’m tired of standing still, but at the same time feeling the wind created by something other than me (and I am not refering to flatulence here, mind you) is great.

Seems like I’ve been in limbo for the longest time.


Since I’ve been so terrigibly vague lately, with the BlogStalker and all, here are some (‘real life’) updates.

I discovered that we have an online branch of like the CIA, wooo~. It’s called CyberSecurity Malaysia and I suspect they track the IP addresses of whoever goes to their site (you pandai-pandai cari yourself la ok) or types them in a search engine. Their job scope is very vague (even more so than me!) but ah well. I’m guessing these were the folks behind all the blog arrests, and YouTube posts, etc. If they’re reading this…hello, CyberSecurity Malaysia people! Please do not investigate me, I lead a fairly boring and clean life.

Four Dahlings are reunited in the turf of SJ, which makes for fun times…but not overly, as this Dahling is often stuck in Uni from 7:30am (yah shut up I told you I’m boring) till about 5pm…or 9:30pm, depending on what mood I’m in and what day it is, and how freaked out I am about work. One more Dahling is going to Singapore soon to be reunited with her ManFriend, yet another one is going for job interviews and one more is flying back to the UK in a little over a week. BOO.

Oh! AirAsiaX has finally listened to my fervent prayers and decided to bloody fly to Melbourne already! This came a day after I was mooching over my Angel Cards and asking about Australia, and the cards Ask came out for the Present, and There’s Nothing to Worry About for the Future. So I asked, and I received πŸ™‚ I got a return ticket for RM1,500. Sweet as! I’m leaving November 22nd and back January 21st. Now, I really really really want to be able to find a job I love there in those two short months so I can come back to SJ and grab more stuff (i.e. clothes and shoes) and relocate there to be with my own ManFriend! C’mon folks, visualise with me…

I am trulymadlydeeply obsessed with thrifted and vintage stuff lately. I love. And it seems to be all the rage now too! Awesome finds lately have been old 80’s chiffon hairclips that I’ve been wearing out at night as a hairpiece, which had a Dahling gushing that it looked soooo GossipGirl. *beams* Oh and my heeled brogues, bought for a happy-clappy RM29 from Bata. I kid you not. And I can bloody run in them too, they’re that comfortable.

I work alone nowadays. I’m not a big fan of major drama (though small dramas can be fun) but this recent bout of it has left me completely thrown. Consequently, I am in hiding. Sort of. Yeah, I know, back to being vague again.


Ooh! Celebrate Merdeka with a difference this year.

Come to Central Market this weekend and find out for yourselves!

OK I’m running out of things to be vague about and I need to go return my Cockburn book. Haha no, seriously, I kid you not. She’s a famousish feminist theorist dealing with ICT and gender.

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.

July 14, 2008

on rage

Posted in Strange Feelings at 9:07 pm by meldee

Canon EOS Kiss.


Another one of My Moments. Pure, unadulterated Arien rage.

When I feel the hot bile choking me as I draw breaths and struggle to keep my screams down.

The blood rushes to my temples and I really do believe I could seriously beat the next person that pisses me off in the very slightest way to a pulp.

My knuckles ache to bleed. Bleed to ache.

Muscles coiled, ready for anything. Waiting for an excuse to pounce and roar and fight and frighten.

I’m wound as tightly as a spring on Prozac (if you catch my drift).

I despise everything, these heinous circumstances, all that I’ve done, all that I am.

I’m scared. And angry. Unspeakably so.

What the hell am I playing at? What did I expect? Why am I being so utterly foolish? Didn’t I always know it would end up like this? I wanted it this way, didn’t I? Now I’ve got what I wanted, and the truth is, it hurts. It sucks. It’s utterly maddening and I wish I weren’t me just so I could beat myself up.


Then my timid fish comes out from behind the seaweed and begins to weep.

I’m sorry.

July 10, 2008

on being outside, looking in

Posted in Strange Feelings at 1:52 pm by meldee

‘Does anybody hear me?’

Taken with my Canon EOS Kiss, Jonker Walk, Malacca.


I often get the feeling that I’m living someone else’s life. I’m not meant to be here. I’m an imposter. A fraud.

But the question is, where else would I be if not here and now?

July 9, 2008

on peace

Posted in Strange Feelings at 10:43 am by meldee

Life from death.

Canon EOS KISS, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.


I am restless. Listless. Unfocused.

Yes, again.

Then I found this post ( and this one, too!) and it reminded me that this will all make sense one day.

I hope.

All I need to do is sit tight and hopefully find peace within myself.

Possibly, one of the hardest things to do when your mind is traveling at warp speed, and you know your thoughts should be trailing your work (or vice versa) at a similar velocity.

I need to get away. Somewhere, anywhere. This weekend.

Lie on my back and watch clouds roll by and take no heed of the insects crawling with their pokey little feet across my limbs. Feel fresh air fondle my (badly in need of a trim) hair and sunshine kissing my cheeks. Eat too unhealthily and drink too much. Listen to my own out-of-tune hummings and do clumsy two-steps barefoot in the grass with no one watching. Read a trashy romance novel and cry at the soppy parts where undying love is realised and declared.

Take technically imperfect pictures and write silly poetry nobody reads anyway.

Find some part of me that still has faith that everything will turn out A-OK.

Previous page · Next page