Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A need for excitement

I was watching an advertisement for an insurance company last night, can the theme was 'to do something different every weekend'. Sure, 54 different activities might not be that difficult to find. But have we got the time, the people and the money to arrange all of those? 

Ok! So it might be bungee jumping! Great fun with adventure and perhaps a cardiac arrest. But do we need to really go through all the pain to only blow a few thousands and get traumatized in life and only satisfy 1 weekend of activity? We often crack our head to think of things to do ... a picnic, a trek in the forest, a big cook out and the list goes on .... but these things require effort to plan. Don't get me wrong, these are great ideas and we should do it one day. What is puzzling me is, how about the cheap thrills in life? Or the simple pleasures of living. 

(oh .. I can hear my ex- boss saying ..'One of the simple pleasures of life is having a nice poop in the morning'. Nice description)

What got me thinking is that I was walking along the corridor of UM last week. It was a boring gloomy day of class. And there was this little girl, about 3 or 4 years old. And she was having the time of her life. She spread her arms and ran around like an aeroplane, just screaming away and having the time of her life. How could something so simple, entertain her? And why can't we as adults just find simple enjoyments of life?

I still remember when I was very little, there used to be this foyer, like a catchment area in my grandma's house. It will fill up and become a pool when it rains. So we will quickly block the drainage area and make paper sail boats. We will make hundreds of paper boats only to have my grandma run after us for wasting paper. But the sight of those boats, bobbing up and down the water was just so entertaining to us! Oh how I miss those days of simple pleasures and pure excitement. And yes, I did make a paper boat last week for this little 'pool' in UM last week. 

So I think its time we learn how to 'un-complicate' ourselves. We do not need a flashy car, or tons of cash or a high-tec gadget in order to have fun in life. Go on, enjoy the things you do everyday ... find novelty when you chop your veggies up during dinner or do a dance when you mop your floor. Learn to observe the thing around you when you go for your jog and you'll realize how everyday is a different adventure!! 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birthday wishes!

Yup, its another year older for me .. perhaps getting some cob webs around my legs or some rust up in my head. I guess you could have seen the signs .. .. .. I am aging and soon you may start to call me aunty. Well, its a sign when you can't recall and of your kindergarten friends or when you got your first Barbie doll .... Sheesh!! That was eons ago, how time flies. And soon, it will come a time when I can't even remember whether or not I had my lunch.

But my birthday last Tuesday was great. Had many friends who wished me happiness and so many wonderful things. It was so good to even heard from long lost or far away friends. Its so good to know how true friendships were built over the years and how memories remain. It was really so sweet to receive those calls and to read those SMSes. Its feels so  warm to know that so many people around you care for you.

Last Sunday, I had a birthday party with 2 other August babies. Karen who shared the same day as me and Jen, who was 2 days earlier. My closest mates were there and it was so good to meet up, catch up and take whacky pictures. Thank you all for being there and I loved all your presents!! We went to Cave in SS 2. Well, food was good, ambience was cosy .... but I had an eerie feeling of that place. Sort of claustrophobic. 3 levels of restaurant and only 1 entrance? Not even windows ... nowwww... imagine if there was a fire ... 

Then on Tuesday, the office celebrated for me. Got an Oreo cheese cake & I shared it with our intern, Patrick who is an August baby too. Leo's rock! Haha ...... imagine. 6 people and 1 whole Secret Recipe cheese cake? We stuffed our selves to the max. But all those calories burnt up well .. there was baseball, arm wrestling, fighting and so many other physical activities. I guess we just got a little high on sugar.

So I ended the day with a nice dinner with my parents. Seafood!! Yum yum... We had Kam Heong crabs and some kind of sweet & sour prawns. They were so fresh and all finger licking good. I could be full just picking and eating the crumbs of the dishes. But part of the fun of eating seafood is getting your hands dirty and digging in between the crustacean shells. hehe, I know I am a very slow eater, but its been a long long time since I've sat down and had dinner for more than 2 hours. hmm .. a very satisfying birthday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Adventure in Pahang

Pretty out of the ordinary outing. Yes .. we are getting more and more adventurous. No more boring movies or girly shopping trips ... time to get all physical, sweaty and adventurous. And there is no better time than now to get this rolling .... the local fruits season! Cert 5 Outing 4 ...Durian plantation in Tras, Pahang.

So off we went, set of at 9.30 am and thanks to Jared's van, we had a joy ride along the Karak. Making noise along the way, laughing non stop and poking fun at each other. Soon we reached Bentong .. and we needed a stretch, so what other better way to enjoy a pit stop other than food? We had Bentong's famous Wan Ton Mee, and some Chinese style Indian rojak with chili padi. Not to forget the drinks. It was delicious ... Lemon Lime juice, imported from China! Cool and refreshing ....

Back to the road ... so we hit the long and winding road. And thanks to a skillful driver, we reached safely. And thats where the adventure began .. into the plantation. So we had a trek along the muddy tracks, along the stream flowing parallel and through the lalangs and under the trees. It was like walking into ...'your favorite place of relaxation'. 

Thanks to the crazy bunch, Jared, Teng Loo, Kenny and Patrick ... our fst activity was to climb trees. I thought I couldn't, but I could! And the feeling was great! It feels different when you are above ground level. You seriously feel so good up there .... even if the journey up wasn't that pleasant.... like being laundered on the tree as if you were a carpet. Then soon, after much struggling, all 5 of us managed to sit on the tree ... then suddenly " Ah joy .... lok lei ar .. lau leen teet lok lei ar". In other words, my aunt scolded us as what we climbed was a durian tree, bearing fruits. hehe and if it drops on any of us ...... 

Then thats where the work started. We climbed the hills to hunt for durians, walked along the sides to search ... it was great. And the durians were heavy. I really salute those gatherers who manage to collect so many and bring it down at the same time. Durian runtuh man!! Then back at the hut, my uncle taught us to identify the different types of durians. D2, D24, Chuk Kiok, Lai Yau etc ... and how we had to 'groom' the durians. An enlightening educational trip. 
Only 1 part done.... then we went laici plucking, and rambutans too. While plucking, we ate, and while eating, we threw stuff at each other.  hahaha.... the poor tree ... and the poor immature kids. haha, I bet my aunt and uncle gave up hope on us. 

And then came mangoesteen plucking and picking. That was tiring. We had our professional plucker, Mr Jared ... and many professional gatherers. ooh ... the harvest was great. We had bucket and buckets of it. And while collecting, we had tons of freshly picked mangoesteen. Yum yum! The Japanese breed was the nicest. Sweet and crunchy! It was so fun .... climbing under the tree, hiding inside and climbing up the branches. All was great ... until the leeches attacked! haha, and we were like mosquitoes to repellent, staying away from the trees. A very memorable way to end our plantation adventure.

So back to the house, where we opened durians and had loads of it! Ah, fresh, tasty and finger licking good. I never had so many at one go! Yum Yum ....haha, we ate until we went high. Laughing non stop and eating even more. Soon it was time to go, and my uncle gave us all our collections. Lucky we had a van, so we loaded in durians, mangoesteens, rambutans, laicis and chempedaks..... oh! and my special 'fake D24'. All mine wahaha ... I pity the trees.

Our next stop, the ever famous Kow Po ice cream. Had my peanut & choc ice cream. Ahh, my trip was more than worth it. I didn't recommend wrongly did I? So after a stuffed stomach, we were searching for more stuff to stuff it with! Wild meat!! 

Went into the village for the hunt. Not the hunt of the game, but the hunt of the shack that serves it. And it was worth the hunt. Well, I am not a big fan of meat, but its fun to be adventurous once in a while. had frog, civet cat (with bullets still in it) and wild boar. hmm, something different and memorable of course. Great way to end the night! 

And the post effects may not be the nicest. A foul smelling car or fridge, a bloated tummy and sore muscles from excessive tree climbing. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Unity among the MAs

I need to check the alignments of the sun, moon, dates and everything. Why are so many things happening lately? I don't know if this is good or bad ... but I just had a feeling. It was like nostalgia for me ... 

Received a piece of news from my UOB MA group. History repeated itself. We were united as the Management Associates of 2007 and damn proud of it. I thought I had achieved my dream. But as the months went past, I decided to be the hero and break free from the group. Marking the first in UOB history ... hehe... though I made up my mind it was difficult to leave. On one hand, I felt that I needed the change and to respect myself and do the things that I really wanted to do. On the other hand, I couldn't let go of the identity and the sense of belonging. I must admit that there was some sort of withdrawal symptoms. 

I felt lost at the time I was in the bank. I gave up so many things and made loads of sacrifices. I wasn't the ME I used to be and my friends said that the bank kidnapped my soul. Come to think of it, I was foolish in that period of my eyes. But of course, something clouded my vision then. No one deserves to live like a puppet ... so I left ... and another misery clouded me for sometime. Perhaps I am not that good at adapting. But it took me some time, and with the help of the wonderful people, I bounced back .. at least I think so, until now. The feelings are back ... and I hope it won't be the same for her. 

It was a difficult period, watching the group from the outside. Though you might be with them, there will be a divide. Though you know the ins-and-outs, it feels like you're watching the drama on TV.  I know they always say, 'Once an MA, always an MA'. I hope that stays. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Proud of it

My first article out in the press ...... though not cover story, I am sure proud that it got out. Yup, and after all the hard word, many many calls, hours of shifting through photos, editing and stress , I finally get to see the fruit of the labor.
Go check out the New Straits Times on Monday 11th August 2008. Only thing is, I want my name there in the future. hehe ...

Might be a virus

Depends on how you see it, it might be a virus that has hit me, or so my friend says. But not to worry, though it might be contagious, its not a disease ..... its an idea or a spurt of awareness. What ever it is, it leaves me curious, confused yet inspired. And I am not too sure where this 'virus' will lead me to. 

Recently I started exploring Oracle cards. And it seems magical. Its healing with the angels anyway. For whatever card you draw ... the guide is only limited for you. Thus, it depends on how you interpret it, or how you feel it relates to your questions. What you see might be different from what others see. Subjective right? But it boils down to YOU. What you feel, how you see it and 'you think it, you do it'. And I love it! I don't want to be fed with an answer. I want to ponder and explore for my answer. When I referred to my Oracle cards for the question playing in my mind ... it seemed to read me. It helped me see something that I was distracted by. It helped to pull me back down to earth (though I am a very realistic person myself). 

So many things have been happening lately. And I can say that it all affected me. Back to back activities, both at work and in life, interpersonal relationships, life responsibilities and all. I used to be able to juggle myself well ... but now, more balls have been added to my circle. I've got to learn to be swifter, more efficient ....... or perhaps let go of the older balls? I'm not sure yet.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Don't bug me, I bite!

Not often people get to tick me off so easily. Especially since I was in a good mood for the past few days. But this makes me mad .... how ridiculous could it be? Please realize that you are not the only person who feels stress, you are not the only one who has work to do and you're definitely not the only one who wants the best of things.

Wanting the best is alright, but please look at the scenarios around you. Don't push, when the cup is already over spilling. You wouldn't want it to burst. Don't force your way through as things get get tighter along the way.

But what really ticked me off is that you should never assume that others can read your mind or others know what you want. If you want things done your way, TELL .... don't assume. Don't go shooting other people because they didn't do what you thought of doing. Don't tell the begining of the story and expect others to know what the ending is.

Imagine me thinking of eating spaghetti carbonara for dinner tonight. Thats the only thing I can eat because I feel like eating creamy stuff. And when I go home, I don't see carbonara on the table, I start biting people. Who's to blame? Are those at home supposed to know what you want or what you feel? Aren't you responsible for letting other's know what you want? Well, I am the chef today ... being bitten for not knowing I should cook carbonara.

Why does this have to happen How utterly timely. I predicted something would happen today, and it did. The the effect of the 'day before' .... and it sucks. Sigh ... I can predict more days like this to come. Got to start marking my calender.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You'll never know

Things might become mundane and you might get bored of doing the same old things. You might be tired of meeting the same old people or going to the same places. But you'll never know when chances will fall upon you or when you might suddenly meet someone who can actually bring you further. So never give up and keep on going. Keep exploring as every minute is different. So its true .... life is a journey that you'll never get bored of.

Yesterday night was pretty much of a typical toastmaster night for me. I always loved going to Deloitte's meetings. There was of course the fun and the learning part to it. Met friends whom I always meet and went for the usual after meeting drinks. Well, some would give it a pass ... its routine after all .... Not this time!

Somehow or other, our dinner conversation was hypnosis. People around me were so interested. They asked about it ... were so curious and even wanted to try it. I felt overwhelmed by the questions. So many people wanted to know so much about it. At one point, the hypnosis explanation even went on to me having to do counseling. hmm ... pretty deep discussions. My friend KY seemed to have the passion in him as well... he asked questions that even I, who can BS very well, became curious. He really could challenge your thinking and make you more hungry for knowledge.

And that left me excited. There is just so much for you to see, to do and to learn. Lifelong learning .... the only time we stop, is when our heart stops beating.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wonderful break

Tired and even more tired. You want to rest, but even more work comes. You want to go home sit on the couch and watch TV but you've got house work to do. You want to check your mail in peace but the calls keep coming in. Yes, life is hectic but you've got to keep juggling. Its only been a week but I need a break again. Though I can't leave this time, just the thought of my previous break gives me the escape that I needed.

hmm, all the good memories of that little escape. Though my Zeus is right beside me now, I have to be unfaithful and say I met 2 cuties in my trip to JB. They are just such friendly and loving things. Such cute greetings in the mornings or wagging tails when I see them. I always loved big dogs ... but never be afraid of big dogs, they are all gentle giants. Its the little ones who are such nuisance.

Then there was this lovely dinner at Juliette's place. She is such a wonderful hostess. She made sure everything was perfect. From the glass cups to the napkins. And the food served was so delicious. She made sure all of us were full and happy. Such a warm and loving environment. I really enjoyed my self over dinner that night. Chatting over the table, having nice wine, listening to 3 great piano players (polluting the air with my piano playing), being dumbstruck by watching magic and just simply chilling out. 
Juliette's house was is so comfortable. The old kind with high ceilings and yellow lights, and she had decorations from all over the world. It really looked like an English cottage to me, how lovely.

Not forgetting my little stint in the martial arts. Forgive me if I am wrong with my terms. A friend taught us some moves with a stick and I was delighted when I could do a few steps. It was complicated of course ........ but what isn't? With practice, I am sure it would be better. Just looking at the grace of the more senior martial artists perform leaves you at awe. Keeps you wanting more. Oh!! and the most enjoyable part of it all ........... being thrown on the floor. hahaha crazy but euphoric...

For any trip, friends and company is the most important part. I got closer to a few people and got to know much more about more people. Its always interesting to discover your friends. I love it when we spend the nights talking till dawn, though we sacrifice on our beauty sleep. Its always fun to have pillow talks and heart to heart chats ... Its always nice to know that you have friends to support each other and people that you can count on. Its always fun to have times laughing at each other or become so bored that you just stare at each other. I never understood the staring at each other, but I guess that creates rapport? I don't know. When you know that others share the same thoughts as you or have the same feelings, you are just left feeling amazed. When you discover that you have crossed paths before, you just wonder why you did not say hi earlier? And when you share your opinions and feelings with each other ... you know you have just made a lasting impression.

Not to forget a nice stroll along the River Quay at Singapore. I admit it, there was no wind and the water did smell like ..... a typical harbour. But the idea of walking aimlessly, talking about nothings with your friend and not having worries in the world. I had no idea why but I was thinking about Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. hmm ... yummy prawns with even yummier ice- blended drinks. 

Though I love traveling, at times I don't like the journey. I may get sick. Even that won't stop me from taking nice breaks and vacations. But if I am not groggy or dizzy, I can chat non- stop, not giving others a chance to sleep! Hey, its not safe to sleep on a speeding express bus ok?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Look at the bright side

I found out what day it was, the day when those incidences happened .... that unlucky day. But hopefully it was just a coincidence. Things do happen and we can never tell when it will happen. Like picking up a RM 100 dollar bill on your way to buy 4D or being dressed like an aunty doing marketing and suddenly bumping into the man of your dreams. Yeah, its Murphy's law.

Things do happen, and you've got to learn from them. Its the best way to grow. Why to you think people say you grow wiser as you age? They are talking about experiences ......... life experiences. Or like they say in Chinese 'a person who eats salt more than you eat rice'.

Yup, I chose to learn from it. Realize that life is precious. You can laugh away all your troubles but keep the memories within you. Learn to look at things from the bright side. Its best to know things now before its too late. Its best to suffer and correct certain things now before you don't even get a chance too. And its best to look at things with a smile .... because happy or sad, you've still got to face it. Its your choice!

I've been glued

At times, we are all to lazy to dress up. I'm the typical t shirt and jeans kind of girl ...... I feel comfortable just like that. Keep those heels or designer bags awayt from me. They just spell

N-U-I-S-A-N-C-E. Well, occasional dress ups for dinners or parties are fine, but not all the time. I think that if you're comfortable with what you'll wear, you'll look good no matter what. And you don't need to splurge in order to look good.

Recently I stumbled upon this blog, About Attitude that gives some really cute fashion tips. It may be simple but its helpful. It also surveys what people on the streets say. And being such a key-poh-chee that I am, no wonder I am linked to this page. And now with Nuffnang's gift ideas contest that enables me to give a virtual gift, here's to you. A classic silver watch, good for any occasion, casual or chic, cocktail or for a family lunch.


Its a way to say thank you for the simple tips that you share to help us all (and to save me from my auntiness). Really appreaciated. Though I can't afford a real one, hope that by drooling on this picture, the joy of gift sharing still remains.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Its fragile ... that's life

What was supposed to be an exciting week turned into something not that pleasant. Hope things will turn up for the better tomorrow. I had a whole week of fun events planned out. There was Singapore & JB (oops, haven't blogged about it), outing with Cert 5, outing with my UOB MAs, Outing with my DU Adv TM gang and an active exercise on Sunday morning ... well, some of the things came true ... the rest, I hope my mood will carry on.

Even tonight, a long awaited reunion with the MAs seemed painful for me. No, its not that I didn't like you guys, but my heart was just not there. Sorry I seemed so gloomy tonight, but I just didn't have the heart to FFK seeing all the preperations put into tonight. I know my smiles were not sincere but I couldn't smile with the feelings I had.

Received so many bad news today. First was that this girl I always spoke to on the phone, my first contact with the UK office passed away in an accident. She was only my age ... though I have never met her, she seemed so sweet and ever so helpful. I really felt for her loved ones when I heard the news. I could feel the pain of losing someone you love, especially in an accident ...... something so sudden. Why is life so fragile? Why are things that we love, people that we care for taken away just like that? Why can't we exist in happiness with no heart break at all? Why are the things that we cherish always be so fragile? I feel the hurt for the parents that brought them up, the pain of losing your better half, or just losing yourfriend. Can't imagine waking up the next day to find that someone is gone ... forever. I don't like to feel this way... I don't want to face reality.

So what if you've got your life? What if you don't hae your health? What if you know that you are slowly losing out? That your life is threatened or that there will be a shorter time for you to enjoy life. How could you possibly live, knowing that one day you can see, or walk, or hear again. It pains me to watch someone crying on the hospital bed, not tears of pain, but tears of fear. You want to help, but just can't. You want to cry along but you can't, you have to be strong for them. And your heart will ache ... it really will.

I used to hate it when at motivation camps, they ask, "What would you do if you knew you had 1 week left to live?" Already then, I feel scared. So much to do, so many people to see but so little time. And that was only a hypothetical question. What if it really happens? What would you do? I remember I said, I would make use of all the time to see the ones I love. But in reality, I might just spend my time crying in bed.

Reeived 2 more calls of people close to me who were hospitalized. One needs surgery, the other for external injury. I feel frightened for them too ... I feel scared seeing them suffer. I really want to help but don't know how. I realize how important it is to have loved ones beside you. I know its important to have someone to support you, someone there to look after you. Don't let go of the people you love. Don't love in silence, show them you care. Don't live in loneliness, share your life with someone else. See how fragile life is? You'll never know what might happen to you ...