you see things and say, “why?”… but i dream of things that never were and i say, “why not?”

Friday, 31 October 2003 >
you see things and say, “why?”… but i dream of things that never were and i say, “why not?”

-george benard shaw (1856-1950)-

the 10th all-asians debate is going on now. yesterday was the adjudication seminars. today is round 1.

this is the first all-asians i’m not participating in 5 years.

everyone i know is there. the upm dinosaurs. the mmu wankers. everyone. even ian. i’ve not heard from ian for such a long time. now even he’s at the all-asians. and where am i? i’m a sitting in my office. at work. i remember it so well– travelling around australasia debating. i’ve visited four countries in three years and i’ve been to almost every university campus in malaysia. i remember tongue lashings (sounds kinky, eh?) in the day and all night parties. party at the campus! party at the club! party along the hotel corridors!

actually, i think i’ve had my fair share of the asians. i was a debater in three, adjudicator in one and public speaker in all four! the experiences are priceless.

but what i yearn with a bleeding heart is to go for the world championships. this year, it will be held in singapore. to cut a long story short, i got my seat for the worlds robbed from me for the last two years. i have hence quit being other people’s bitch and i’m forking it on my own. the worlds go to a different country every year. for the 2nd time in history, it will be in asia… god knows when i will be so close to home next (next year it will be in croatia).

the question now: to go or not to go?

can i go? yes, i can. for all my years of experience, i’m quite welcomed. i’ve been wanting to go for years and years!!!

should i go? i don’t know. the fees is pretty steep… a friggin $600 and that’s singapore dollars. times two… that’s over RM1200 for eight days of independent adjudicating!!!

do i want to go? yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! and hell yes!

can i afford it? uh… if this year’s duit raya haul is good, hell yeah!– if this year’s duit raya haul is good.

should i go? i don’t know!!!!! i need to take leave off work… i got to get the dough… and i have to pay my postgraduate fees next month… it will take a whole month’s salary… arghhhh……………………………..

*sigh* … i guess croatia won’t be too bad… i hear the flight will cross over bosnia…

anyone wants to contribute to magic’s world debating championship fund, email me!:(

Thursday, 30 October 2003>

cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.
–napoleon hill–

dear charm,

i know you told me that a birthday celebration was never really a big deal to you. well… maybe birthdays are more than just about blowing candles off a cake. maybe birthdays are more than about dressing up and getting presents.

maybe birthdays are about being grateful.

grateful that you got this far in life. for every laughter we have shared. for waking up healthy every morning.

maybe birthdays are about sharing of that gratitude.

gratitude for walking into my life. for giving it meaning. for saving it.


you were born an original. don’t die a copy.
–john mason–

Tuesday, 28 October 2003 >
journeys end in lovers meeting- every wise man’s son doth know.

-william shakespeare-

yes, actually, i do feel like the charmed one (pun intended):)

ng arrived about an hour after i got back from the office. i picked him up and we went to charm’s house. there we were. the three of us. for over a year, we have planned to have such a reunion. but over dinner all the way to supper, somehow, things just don’t seem the same among us anymore.

i remember how it used to be. the three of us used to be so close back in langkawi. i shared an office with ng and the others would come over and lepak with us everyday. sometimes, the others like vani or chua would join us, but there was always the three of us. we would have meals together, go to the beach, go shopping etc…

maybe i have changed? i don’t know. maybe. vani did. chua did. ng? charm? experiences changes people, i know that. different people, different places, different experiences, different lessons of life learnt.

i guess it is time changes people. now it was a bit awkward, though i’m pretty sure we are all trying to cover up how foreign this feels. ng has (besides gained weight:P), became rather quiet. charm and i try to subdue the fact that we have gotten really, really close. i don’t know if he sensed it. but something… i just don’t know what… was just amissed… like a gapping hole in time of lost memories.

i brought them both to my office last night to show how different the college is now. maybe it was nostalgia… of what, i’m not sure either. the place? each other? the fact that we used to be collegues?

we are still lecturers, all three of us. just at three different places. ng up in penang. charm and i here, now dating. memories of months gone by will always keep us in fondest friendship. appreciation for these memories is something i will always cherish and be thankful for.

but life had to go on, hadn’t it?

Monday, 27 October 2003>
two teardrops were floating down a river. one teardrop said to the other, “i’m the teardrop of a girl who loved a man and lost him. who are you?”

“i’m the teardrop of the man who regrets letting the girl go…”

today, it’s back to work after a nice long weekend off. what did i do last weekend?

lotsa lotsa lotsa tv! that’s right. tv from the moment i got home till i left to come back here. nuthin but astro… woohoo…

i was watching shrek on friday night. now, i’ve seen shrek before, so has my sister. but my brother hasn’t. so there we were… the three of us, back together again (for the first time in months, i believe) watching tv… and my brother simply exploding with peals and peals of the most infectious laughter!!! now, shrek is really a multi layered movie which thoughtfully caters to the kids and those who can think a little further than that. if my students were to see the movie, they’d probably get the most direct of meanings, and maybe just a little deeper. but the three of us totally got every pun and deliberately misunderstood joke… ah, childhood memories rolling in…

i’m the eldest sibling in my family. but i’m unfortunately not too close with neither my brother nor my sister. i dunno, but it just seems that our lifestyles just have differing preferences. don’t get the wrong idea. we don’t hate each other. we had great fun growing up, most of the time, at least. i guess our kiddie years went well. the drift happened through our teens, and just got worse when i moved out. now that my brother moved out also, we hardly have much to talk about when we meet.

… except nostalgia of years gone by… *sigh*

i guess as a whole, we are pretty decent to each other. my bro is okay. my sister is… well, she’s a sport too. i went to do some shopping last saturday with her and found that she does have some pretty decent sense of taste. not too loud but experimentally daring as well. hm hm hm…

on sunday, i went to see some friends at a debate training. ah… those were the days. i was watching them do selections for the upcomping competitions. all the politicking and bickering and bitching and venting all seem all too familliar to me. not that i’m immune already after being exposed to such drama. heck, years of therapy won’t cure the traumas i was subjected to…

what did i do? i conveniently choose NOT to get involved as they went through the whole tribal council thing: a lesson i had to learn the hard way.

it looks like it’s going to rain outside.

oh, on a lighter (or heavier?) note, ng comes over this evening to stay with charm. he’s our mutual friend. i’m suppose to pick him up at the train station in about an hour. sure, i’m glad to see him. i’ve not see him for the past year or so. but i want to be with charm…

we’ll see…

Monday, 27 October 2003 >

shirin ebadi ,56, is the recent recepient of the nobel peace prize award (cnn report). she is a lawyer who stands against women and children rights infringement in a controversial iran. i was actually intending to write my views on her crusade, but after reading numerous reports on her, i think what she says speaks for itself.

“there is no contradiction between islam and human rights. if in many islamic countries human rights are flouted, this is because of a wrong interpretation of islam” -(newsweek, october 20, page 64)-

“we need an islam that is compatible with democracy and one that’s respectful of individual rights” -(newsweek, october 20, page 64)-

“as muslims we are alone responsible for our deeds and shall face divine judgment as individuals. because we are not robots no one could programme us with his version of religion.” -(national review online)-

“instead of telling muslim women to cover their heads we should tell them to use their heads. we must not accept anything that is rejected by our reason.” -(national review online)-

“any discrimination on the basis of gender, race, or religion is a challenge to our basic humanity.” -(national review online)-

Thursday, 23 October 2003 >
it’s just a coupla days to ramadhan– better known in this country as the fasting month. yea… yea… i know, what’s the big deal with starving yourself anyway? in a country where people fatalities are caused by over abundance in comsumption and in a world where people are scratching dead soil for the driest crust, who in their right mind would intentionally subject themself to a ritual of refusing food???

compassion is a popular reason why some people fast, although i don’t really subscribe to this excuse. the argument is that we would be able to ‘feel’ for the suffering of others who are less fortunate.

firstly, i don’t think fasting is a form of suffering. people who feel that fasting is equal to suffering should seriously consider eating less the rest of the year. of course, anyone would be drawn to feel a bit weaker and dehydrated for the first coupla days, but after a day or two, it should be a breeze. i’ve personally never had gastric or anything, ever, because of fasting.

secondly, even if this is a form of suffering, i don’t see how it would make us ‘feel’ for the less fortunate. people who are less fortunate go through a hell lot more than a coupla hours without food. i think we are so over exaggerating this part of fasting. i know some people who do nothing but sleep the whole day when they fast— in an air-cond room! that is nothing near what less fortunate people go through. the notion of fasting is disgustingly abused in this sense. fasting should never be an excuse to be lazy and unproductive. less fortunate people are hungry too, but they go out to work, so should you. furthermore, i know a large majority of people who buy loads and loads of goodies, often more than they’d ever eat for buka puasa. i honestly don’t think this luxury is something the less fortunate enjoy.

another excuse some people give to fast is to give the stomach and digestive systems a rest. again, i feel that i must differ from this argument until someone shows me more scientific evidence. i personally don’t belive the shrinking feeling of digestive juices processing its own toxins very healthy to my tummy. if it were so, aneroxics would be the healthiest people in the world.

for me, fasting is more about challenging myself through the test of temptation. i believe the human psyche is strongest when it is able to resist the most natural of temptations. of course, considering that it is called ‘fasting month’, the most obvious temptation would be food. personally, i think there is more to that. it is about resisting temptations to curse and swear to others, temptation to gossip. temptation to compel to bad intentions, temptation to follow through with bad habits etc.

it is like being in a state of pennance. fasting is not a physical thing. it is a spiritually psychological and emotional experience. it is the strengthening of the mind. it is everything about patience, determination, ambition, moderation. it it about overcoming your own weakness. so it really is a special month. a month when you get a chance to put yourself through the test against yourself to see who is stronger… your outside or your inside… your stomach or your head.

i know, people are asking, so why do i have to starve myself to do this? well, don’t think of it as starving yourself. fasting is not starving. a state of starvation bears no resemblance to fasting. so why do i have to like, skip lunch to do it? that is it. the resistance of temptation. if i can resist the most natural thing like eating, why can’t i resist things that are less essential like bad habits and intentions? the concept basically goes by that logic.

why does it have to be one month long? well, fast for one day, and see if you can still see straight by the end of the day. good? well, fast thirty days and see if you can see straight by the end of the month. good? it is all about keeping that determination of track.

i know a lot of people who fast just for the heck of it because everyone else is doing it. i bet they consider fasting as some mandatory diet programme or something (healthy religion ain’t it?). well, people like this will likely be the ones who will go right back to their colourful habits come syawal (that’s the month after ramadhan). i don’t go for this sort of time wasting notion. i do it coz i wanna. i wanna because i know something good will come of it.

god help those who help themselves. it’s mind over matter, y’ll!

so this year, i am determined to overcome my own temper. it is one of the vices i really could do without. that’s it, folks, extinguishing my temper is this ramadhan’s resolution. that is the challenge i put forth for myself. i know that if i can neutralize all that explosive anger into something positive during ramadhan, i’ll have no problem putting it away during the rest of the year.

comments/ arguments very welcomed.

Thursday, 23 October 2003 >

after buying this cassette (the original ok… i don’t buy cetak rompak audio stuff) last week, i put it in my car cassette jack and what comes out? unchained melody! and then i though, that’s it, this tape is SO going to my mom as soon as i get back… but as the song went on, i realised that the remix is not as bad as i thought (and i’ve heard some really bad ones before). there are several other songs that were remade older songs. some are pretty well done… others are just so-so.

just about now, you should be asking me… why the hell did i decide to buy this cd hah? the artist is the striking image of a juvenille gay-boy, and besides ‘any one of us (stupid mistake)’, no one has ever heard any of his other songs before! er… that would be wrong. i first saw gates on mtv in a video of his song ‘what my heart wants to say’ and i absolutely adored the song… i said song, not the guy. i thought the video portrayed a guy too full of himself, but the song was amazing!

unfortunately, that’s about the pinnacle of praises i would give to this artist. his other songs actually fortified the initial impression of the juvenille gay-boy. in a lot of his music, he sounds more like a screechy girl that a guy. some songs were experimental of his musical variations. for example, in the song ‘downtown’ and ‘(i got no) self control’, he tries to be the playboy persona but his more angelic voice completely and completely ruins these attempts.

what can i say about this guy? he’d do better in the industry if (1)buffs up that gay-boy image, like PLEASE! (2)stick to good boy songs coz ya sound like a displaced geek in bad boy songs (3)think low tones, i know ya have tendencies for the higher pitches that makes you sound like janet jackson… seriously.

this guy has a talent for romantic songs. i think he’d do better to idolize people like frank sinatra and peabo bryson rather than robbie williams!

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 >
just finished reading ‘half a life’ (2001) by v.s. naipaul last night. well, what can i say about it? it is the life story of protagonist willie (somerset) chandran, a troubled kid born of a brahmin father and a backward mother. the whole book is supposed to be about how he deals with being a mixed caste kid, looking for his own identity. this search of identity brought him from india to london to an east african portugese estate.

i enjoyed several parts of the book, notably the buildup of willie’s character. i thought that his father and his personal crisis was nicely built up. the relationship between willie and his father was well established. so was the character of percy cato, roger, richard, ana… basically, the characterizations part was well written.

the setting may be a little overly done, especially that of africa, especially towards the end of the book. i doubt that this exaggeration is symbolic of anything metaphorical. it gave the impression that the writer got tired of writing at some point.

theme-wise, i believe that with such strongly developed protagonist and characters and very flexible setting, this book had so much potential. i was looking for more internal conflicts and identity dillemas which did not developed well in the plot. disappointingly, in all the places, india, london, africa, everyone accepted him as an individual just fine… it is he himself who cannot accept himself. he is paranoid. he is disgrunted. he has certain sexual tendencies (which, i think is overly done in this novel). even this battle with himself is not well elaborated and might have saved the book— but did not. the writer’s attempt to pepper historical events ex. the mahatma’s call, the bohemian riots, the portugese war had little effect on the impact of the storyline. by the end of the book, willie just seems like an ungrateful brat.

i’m rather a fan of indian literature, but i’m going to be doubtdul of naipaul’s works until i read something better.

what am i reading next?— r.k. narayan’s “the man-eater of malgudi”! watch out for reviews soon!

Tuesday, 21 October 2003 >
you might have noticed some changes to the site (or not!). i’m making way for a new semester at univ… that’s righ… no more cda… next semester, it’sa gonna be sociolinguistics, e&a and l&c. i am quite interested in sociolinguistics, tho, i did not do very well in it in my undergrad (*yikes!), l&c sounds promising, but e&a, i have no idea about.

well, it wouldn’t be an adventure without the element of mystery, eh?

oh, that reminds me, must email dr faiz to ask for my cda results… then again… maybe life is better not knowing… ignorance, as they say, is bliss, ain’t it?

oh, i’ve discovered a cool new site called moviemistakes. after reading a coupla entries on this site, you’re compelled to agree with the tag title- you’ll never look at movies the same way again! they talk about blunders that we (or i, i’ma giving you the benefit of the doubt) never seem to notice.

today, we had exam borad meeting for internal subjects. i teach one course in the short semester for this programme, so i had to sit there. the same ritual follows, one by one, each lecturer presents the results for the term and the board decides to pass the results or not. the arguments this semester was not as heated as the previous semester, though we did have a big shot chairing it. i suppose it is largely because the programme coordinater is a little more understanding this semester than the ones before.

i still have a bundle of assignments to mark. i’ll think of something more intellectual tomorrow.

for now, i feel my lunch fighting back at me… argh…

Tuesday, 21 October 2003 >
yonder, i see light,

but the darkness comforts me-

i think i’ll stay here.

p.s: i just entered the above poem into the haiku contest. wish me luck yah!

Monday, 20 October 2003 >

you can’t go through life thinking that everyone you meet will one day let you down.

-danny glover (angels in the outfield)-

cross your fingers, y’ll… i’ve just signed up for the malaysian angkasawan programme. that’s right… all you people who are just itchin’ to get rid of me, you can start prayin’ hard.

there really isn’t much on the application form. just some personal particulars, educational background and physicals… height, weight, blood pressure… i conveniently left the eyesight rating blank… so i’m a specky and they’d never let a four-eyed into space, but what the f* anyway? even if i never get to go into a space shuttle (*shudder*), at least i might get called for the oreintation briefing, kan kan kan??? at least i get to know what it’s about, right? at least i was a candidate!!! damn my childhood habit of reading in the dark. that’s right, folks, don’t let your kids read too much… they’ll only end up to bespectacled bookworms with a below zero chance of being sent to outer space.

but i’m still hopeful though:) mana tau, they might have helmets with powered visors! these people can build a space station, they can make a helmet with powered lenses… i mean, i’m sure there has been austranouts with glasses before, right? there wouldn’t be discrimination here, would there? being near-sighted counts as a handicap… they don’t discriminate handicap people, don’t they? it’s purely human rights and all the shit on equal oppourtunity!!!

i mean, just last friday, mom and i went to the local pharmacy for a ‘fat test’. it was conducted in promotion of xenical using a tanita body composition analyzer. it’s actually a test to measure the fat content in your body, health thingy. the verdict?

read it and weep! i am perfectly totally proportionate according to my height and weight.

height: 163cm

weight: 50.6kg (targeted weight: 51.8%)

body fat: 22.2% (targeted body fat: 24%)

fat mass: 11.2kg (targeted fat mass: 12.4kg)

water: 57% (targeted water content: >50%)

bmr (metabolism): 5102kj = 1219kcal (targeted bmr: 1300-1400kcal)

the only downside is my metabolism rate which the pharmacist say is at the level of a 40 year old! that’s it. time to exercise! i don’t suppose typing on a keyboard counts???

now don’t that make me good enough to be an astronaut?

# posted @ 9:24 AM

Sunday, 19 October 2003 >
there are more things in heaven and earth, horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…

-shakespeare’s hamlet- i.v.174-175-

it’s just one of those days.

it’s brilliantly sunny and HOT outside. cuddling under the blankets was baking me. i wanna sleep! i wanna sleep! i wanna sleep! itsa sunday and it’s the only friggin’ day i can… i wanna sleep!!!!!

i got up.

i got back from quite an eventful day yesterday… well, partially eventful. at 5pm yesterday, i picked liew at the komuter to go for the convo. it was rainy and there was a deadlock jam on campus… and there was absolutely no parking. everyone was just crawling about in the jam aimlessly. eventually, i did find a space… a long walk away from the hall, but nevermind… at least it’s something. we met goh and chin there and waited and waited and waited… it was a little into 6pm when they finally came out of the hall.

now, loo and weng arent’t exactly the sort of people you’d be able to spot immediately in a crowd. in fact, it took some careful observations before spotting them. then there was picture taking and all the hulabaloo associated with graduation days. too many details of squeals to be elaborated here. demo maybe. but not by me.

couldn’t find tanjong tho… so if you happen to be reading this- i have a monkey for you!

we went to eat steamboat after that. a small celebration + reunion thingy.

it felt strange and warm at the same time meeting up with everyone. we were all so much together during the days of 12th college. all the projects we went’ through together… now we are all at different states of the country… and we act as if nothing has changed when i know for a fact that so much has.

i’m supposed to meet weng and hafiz at 1pm today for lunch. the dude missed the convo yesterday, changed his number and did not tell me… can you believe it? weng nicely sembured him last night and he’s gonna get it properly from the rest of us later.

i have fellow duty tonight and tomorrow night. i think i really am going to quit from this fellowship thing really soon. somehow, playing brat babysitter ain’t fun anymore. have to speak to mano about it on monday.

i have to go back to work again tomorrow. don’t wanna even think about it now!!! i hope to meet with charm this evening, for satay perhaps? i know he’s been cravin’ for it since last week. wonder if he’s up to driving all the way to kajang after classes tho…

Thursday, 16 October 2003 >

i surfed on the website of yayasan salam this morning and submitted an enquiry if i might be a part of them. it is a volunteer organisation… malaysian version of the peace corps. they send you away for a coupla months with just your living expenses and you help people build communities.

why the hell am i doing this?

just to see if i can get it, i suppose. i’ve been bitching about my life ever since i started work and i have absolutely no appreciation for all that i have now. i reacon a coupla months of hardships might do me some good, right? roughing it out… charity…? possibily a cure for my inflamed temper and swollen ego…?

anyway, if i do jet off to do charity in some foreign land (dontcha see the teresa-gandhi in me?), it won’t be in the next coupla months at least. my job, i’d be happy to let go anytime, but my studies is something i’ll have explain with great lengths to my family and charm. oh well… no harm in dreaming…

oh oh oh!!! it’s aw and loo and tanjong’s convo this saturday. now we have a problem… they shared to get me a convo gift last year… i don’t suppose i can get one present and ask them to share it… can i? *sigh* this are difficult decisions to make when your best friends convo at the same time.

on a lighter (or heavier?) note, i’ve gone and gotten myself an mc for the next two days. charm made me go. he said he won’t see me until i see the doctor. i have a nasty fever and flu and sneeze and today’s newcomer— cough! i hate coughing! i hate the cough. i hate the sound. i hate how it makes my lungs feel. i hate the nasaling. i hate the wheezing. i hate the phlegm. i hate the soreness in my throat. but what i hate the ultimate most: i hate the medicine!!! i’m sorry, some people can get addicted to the stuff, i can’t even stand the smell!

luckily, dr vijay totally understood. what did i get? COUGH TABLETS! that’s righ, no femented smelling cough mixtures… all i gotta do is swallow the thing. perfect! i have tablets for everything… fever, flu, cough, sneezing… i wonder if i can just swallow the lozenges as well…???

whatever… they sure do make me sleepy though… :)

Wednesday, 15 October 2003 >

if anyone else finds this scene strange: it’s 8pm, not rainy, i’m not with my boyfriend, i’m in my office, no, i don’t have class and i’ve already punched out; say ‘aye’.


why the hell am i at my office when i can happily engage in recreational activities like any other NORMAL human beings? i’m in my office, doing my cda assignment… the part that i’m not supposed to do!!! that’s right… i’m doing the whole bulk of my ‘group project’… that’s right, the one given to us 4 months ago… the same one i’m supposed to pass up tomorrow.

i’d murder my students if they ever pulled this on me.

so why am i doing this? because my two moron of groupmates know barely peanuts on this project, although we’ve all been engaged in it over the past 4 months. first, they chatter over the presentation, and now, they ask me what is a ‘word processor’. i swear, i almost tore the throats off the two of them. one cabut to penang, and the other one… well, i think the chap is genuinely clueless about the thing.

*sigh* yep… itsa gonna be a looooooooooooong night…

this morning, i went to my 8am lecture. last class for the semester… do you know how incredibly friggin early i have to wake up so that i can be at work by 8am??? and you know what?… no one came to class. the whole class ponteng. arrrrrrgh! next time, they should let me in on these things… i won’t need to drag my ass to the office so damn early.

i spent the afternoon multi-tasking. on my desk, i was preparing slides for a lecture tomorrow morning. on the pc, i was engaged in a conference with some dear friends. there are really four of us- our ‘gang’ wayyy back in the times of langkawi. over the past year or so, we have all gone our separate ways. but for some reason, we all happened to be online just now. we’ve all lost contact long, long ago. i stubled across ng and chua yesterday. what a reunion (cyber tho) it was just now!!! we plan to meet up to celebrate charm’s birthday at the end of this month. i really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hope it pulls through. the conference was remarkably nostalgic. we were joking, bullying and teasing each other, everyone was bullying me… it was SO just like old times.

ooooookie… back to my cda. i’ll probably bitch about it later some more. as of now, let the work begin! (i say it with such semangat… but if you can only see this expression on my face right now…)

Friday, 10 October 2003 >

right now, it may seem as if i have abso-fark-ingly no direction in my life. it sure does feel that way.

that’s what happens when you got a hopelessly emotional romantic heart and an explosivly tempermental mind. that’s what happens when the two don’t agree.

i don’t know if anyone would be able to understand what it is like to be me, and how it feels to grow up as me. i had to do with a lot of hardships all my life… all the sacrifices i did as a child as my parents struggled on a modest salary to build this family… all the luxuries my brother and sister get, i had to do without… and yes, i know, like everyone says, it had made me independent, opinionated, strong blah blah blah…

but, do people expect me to be strong all the time?

maybe i’m tired of being brave and independent. maybe i’m just so tired of putting up this strong front and suppressing my feelings until they blow up at the worst of times. maybe i just want to be myself… and be treated like myself. not that i now want to be weak and helpless all of a sudden…


i realised several days back all that my charm has given to me. no one has any idea how lousy i feel whenever my temper flares out especially onto him. i have such a bad temper… and i know that i get so emotional that i hurt his feelings sometimes. i hate myself. but that’s just me… and now that i’m realising it… that’s how much he means to me.

i feel that when i’m around him, i don’t have to be this strong and sober person. i can reveal myself as a normal human being to him… a normal human being with feelings and emotions which have been supressed for so long. i realise that i can be totally honest and natural around him. i realise that with him, i don’t have to be afraid to be afraid…

best of all… i know that however much i screw up at anything, he will always support me, understand me, accept me, and love me.

for over twenty years, i’ve cried on my own. now, i don’t have to cry alone anymore.

now, i have someone who would make be laugh whenever i have a bad day at work (which is everyday nowadays), someone who would rub oil on my head until i fall asleep whenever i have a headache, someone who would force milo and red bean buns down my throat whenever i am sick and have no mood to eat, someone who would imitate the purple cadbury smiley just to make me smile back, someone who tells me that there is no need to cry anymore…

he is a good man. a good man who has done nothing wrong by loving me. he has shown me gentle love i’ve never felt and given me all the comforts that i have ever been denied. i appreciate him so much more than he’ll ever realize.

the world can take all my money and everything i have.

just leave me and my charm alone.

Wednesday, 8 October 2003 >

when you cried i’d wipe away all of your tears, when you screamed i’d fight away all of your fears, i held your hand through all of these years… you still have all of me… -evanesence-

i have been crying a lot these days.

i am constantly tired and restless but i can’t sleep well, and when i do sleep, i keep getting strange dreams of fruitless journeys or suicide. this emptiness in me seems to be consuming my spirit.

somehow, i am repelled by light and have developed a preference for the dark.

i’m in real need of some serious psycho-therapy a.k.a. a good slap across the kisser, but i just don’t feel like talking to anyone about it because i already know what everyone’s gonna say.

i have lost all and any mood to be out in the open, out in a crowd. no one can possibly understand what it feel like to be me now.

i hear voices in my head… i hear whispers… i hear screams… i hear broken promises and unanswered prayers.

… and these voices never go away.

i want to leave everything. i don’t think i can take any of this anymore.

Saturday, 4 October 2003>

that’s right… it’s a first saturday and i’m at work… i had training… doesn’t this like, go against some kind of law or something…?

i had a strange dream last night. it’s sorta fading from my memory with every minute, but i still kinda recall it, though it’s a bit fuzzy… i dreamt that i was following some kind of congregation. i have no idea what is the purpose of congregation it is, but we seem to be travelling… sorta walking on a journey somewhere. i don’t know who are the other people in the group, and i did not feel like i was a part of them, though i was part of this walking party. everyone was dressed formally, like we are going to a party or formal function, english style… sorta victorian-ish. it was rather a large group of congregation.

we walked on and on, from one background scene to another. we walked through a desert… as far back as i recall, i think that is where we started. then through plains of tall grass, through a tropical jungle, through small towns, through big cities full of cars congested together… we ignored every other player of the scene and just walked on. like i said, i don’t know what the congregation is for and why i was there… i just felt this urgency to follow them, though i did not know why.

finally, we entered this huge hall, wonderfully decked in heavy velvet curtains, lavish ornaments and decorations, awesome chanderliars hanging from the decorative cellings, and beautifully polished wooden furniture. like i mentioned, we are a large group of people so it was an enormous hall. it was as if we were expected there. and there, we waited.

and we waited for a long time. i don’t know what we were waiting for, but it was necessary to wait.

then, all of a sudden, the hall faded away, and everything turned dark. the wind blew, and all of a sudden, it was night and we were at a beach! and then, the congregation rejoiced! suddenly, there was this euphoric feeling of happiness, full of excitement. there was music and bright coloured lights and we all celebrated for all the joy in the world.

but that is not then end of the story. this is where the weird part came. through everything was happy and there was an all-round feeling of joy, i felt lonely. for some reason, i felt as if my search was not over. i was where i wanted and needed to be, but it is as if, it is not enough. i have reached my destination, but something was missing… and i didn’t want to be here without it. i felt as if my pilgrimage was not over, though i have reached my destination, as if somewhere along the way, there was something i forgot to learn, or forgot to appreciate… and although i reached my destination, i couldn’t feel happy and fulfilled without it.

there was an emptiness in me which remains.

… and then i woke up.

Friday, 3 October 2003 >
mi oh mi oh my…

i’m back in the office, folks! bright and early this morning, i came to campus and went straight to to the exam hall. i ma an invigilator for two papers this morning. haiyoh… pagi-pagi sudah kerje…

invigilating exams must be the easiest but most awesomely boring thing to do as a lecturer… it’s easy coz as long as you are not the chief invigilator, as long as nothing screws up when the papers are being collected, and as long as some wise-guy does not decide to pull off a cheat in the exam hall, the work is really easy… really… just a-walking around and make sure they don’t make noise. it really is as easy as it sounds. but hey, it is so boring!!! you gotta play guardian of silence for hours and hours at length. you can’t go anywhere, you can’t do anything coz you can’t take your eyes off the students, especially when you have hundreds and hundreds of them to watch over. so i just like, wandered around from aisle to aisle like a roaming ghost, passing out extra blank paper to students who need it. there were nine invigilators this morning… what a thing to do so early in the morning *yawn!*

had lunch with charm! :>

i don’t really know if i’m happy to be back at the office. i was kinda really getting into the groove of being a full time linguist. i has rather hoping something would drag the conference on for another day so i won’t have to come back to the office until next week. fat chance anything like that was going to happen. i actually have nothing against the office. i like my cubicle because i have made it kinda comfy… the people in my staff room ain’t that bad… having an apartment of my own saves me loads on rent… and i’m not too particular about their minimum wage either… so what have i been bitching about for the last few months about hating this place???

well… i guess i don’t like teaching. i have been thinking long about it… but maybe i’m really not cut out for a life as an academician. wei, don’t get me wrong, i’m really into linguistic research and i’m seriously interested in it… but i guess teaching is a completely different thing altogether. but i guess for now, i’m tied up to too many things, namely my postgrad studies to really pack up and go as i did in june last year. i need a job which pays enough to support my school fees and allows flexibility for me to attend classes… so i’ll be bitching about this for a long time… you are hereby warned…

i think that micollac this year wasn’t as big as it was two years ago. there were less participants and less interesting papers. pauline and i, whom were student assistants during the last micollac, were comparing the work calvin and sharon were doing at this micollac… they are not experiencing even half the trouble we went through two years back. me, pauline, yin chieh, yunus, kah yee and stuart had to work until the middle of the night just to prepare for the next day’s series of presentations. but i suppose things are easier this conference because the technicians and hotel officer were helping out.

one thing i’ll remember this micollac by would be the food. we were very, very well fed during this conference… so well fed, that not only did we not need to eat dinner for the whole three days, considering how much we ate during the daytime, but i was also able to ta pau home the goodies the conference gave for dad and mariam.

also, this micollac saw the extended declaration of me, pauline, lee cheng and calvin as brothers and sisters. i don’t know whose idea it was. all this while, pauline was my batch coursemate during my degree. lee cheng was my senior coursemate. and calvin is my batch coursemate now. we have all known each other for a long time. it’s just that by the third day of micollac, the four of us decided to ditch a coupla (more that a coupla) sessions and just lepak at the lobby of one of the function rooms. there was just one three seater couch and so the four of us slouched there single file and just chatted for so long. we spoke about our research, our lecturers, our students, our friends… and countless other mindless ramblings that by lunchtime, we were refering each other as brothers and sisters.

maybe it was a ‘just for the occasion’ thing… but i did enjoy the conversation with them. we found out that we had much more in common that we thought.

for the next few days, i’ll be working on completing the framework for my research. me on a mission for an evolutionary breakthrough here. if i could get my framework passed by next semester, i’m hoping the shave a coupla credits off my graduation requirements… less classes, more research…

sounds good.

Wednesday, 1 October 2003 >

yea yea… i guess i’d have disappeared for awhile over the last coupla days… but i have two solid reasons to… firstly, because i can’t access this site and it ain’t the first time this is happening… so this is what i’ma gonna do… i have a mirror site called “learning to groove”… if you scroll down the side of this site, i have created a link to it… i’d blog there if i can’t blog here. and secondly… well, i’m not at the office lah! i’m currently attending the conference i’ve been telling you about- micollac! today is day two and tomorrow will be the last day. what can i say about the conference? i learnt that there are people crazier about linguistics than me and that i have a damn lot more to learn!!! there are new areas that i’ve never even conceived possible… i mean, just yesterday i attended a plenary session about corpus linguistics! imagine that… someone actually trying to compile a corpus about malaysian english? personally, i don’t even think it is a possible feat… i mean, can you actually record every lexical item in malaysia, when it is endless to begin with? and what about the considerations to technology? travel and tourism? migration? pidgins and creoles? anyway, the fact that someone actually embarking on such a project (there are three in malaysia *gasp*!) is in itself an admirable feat. i also attended some talks on contemporary approaches to grammar (though no one has spoken about systemic functions yet), and culture studies, which i found particularly interesting… especially since a lot of them used literature in as their resource. was i a good girl at the conference? hell, no. why, just this morning i argued with this presenter who was trying to prove that female speech styles has not changed over the past three centuries!!! i attacked the method, naturally… i could she do a whole analysis spanning three centuries (19th, 20th and 21st) using only 3 novels (one to represent each century)??? ONE NOVEL TO REPRESENT EACH CENTURY? that is so absurd! i mean, in the 19th century alone, the female portrayal in novels has dramatically changed. there were countless revolutions from 60s, 70s, 80s up to the 90s, and even all these decades saw dramatic liberation movements where women are concerned. sheesh… oh well, what can i say… i am such a critic, but i assure you, i’m not the only one… i (quite happily, though i had quite enjoyed the limelight) found out that there were othre people just as bluntly outspoken as i was. like when i argued with that presentation, there were others who joined in… on my side *woohoo…* i can’t tell ya’ll about everything i saw these two days but there were things from harry potter and magazines to post september-11 and terrorism, and a surprising lot of ideological challenges. i attended a talk on sexism yesterday which i found interesting. and this evening, marina mahathir was there talking about hiv-aids terms. anyway… i guess that’s it for now… i don’t particularly miss my office nor my students, but i do miss my office computer (hehe…). so overall, besides having a lousy keyboard at home, MISSING CHARM LIKE CRAZY, and listening to a coupla crappy presentations, i am doing okay at the conference because it makes me feel like a student again and i’m engaged in something i really enjoy: linguistic research…!!! so i’m a geek… you got a problem with that?


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