Monday, December 06, 2004

Back to School

Well.. aloha again everyone! It's been a while since I've posted and it feels good to be back.


Thought you guys might like an update as to what's been going on in my life (too bad if you don't). So let's see... I recently went back to college for my degree studies, I've left home for the first time and moved into a little apartment, made new friends, met up with old ones and oh, my skin looks like that of an 80 year old due to the sleepless nights doing my assignments. Not bad for 6 months, if I may say so myself.


Anyway, 8 months ago, when I made the decision to move out, I had mixed emotions about it. Yeah, it's pretty pathetic being a 20+ year old who's never left home but it's hard to leave when your mother's a single parent home alone and your brother's out working most of the time. But move out I did, and it's proven to be an interesting experience.


First of all, the biggest challenge was learning how to balance my monthly finances. This is especially hard if everything you've bought (prior to moving out) was paid for by your parents. So I learnt to stretch a dollar into two and miraculously did not die of starvation. Thank God for mamak stalls and Maggi Mee!


Other than that, the task of making new friends proved to be an unnerving experience as well. I'm sure all of us can remember our first day of classes when we had to step into that classroom all by ourselves, hoping that someone would reach out to make friends. When I was in college the first time around however, making friends seemed so much easier. No one really cared how you looked, how much money you had, what you wore, who your father was, which clubs you went to etc... but sadly, all that's changed now. It was weird, hilarious even, when I was met with shocked faces when I told some of my classmates I hated clubbing because I didn't like the crowds and dressing up. It was as if I had committed the ultimate sin, one that was punishable by deadly stares and sarcastic remarks. Needless to say, those classmates and I did not become close friends. I did, however, find a lot of other people with mutual interests and we've become pretty good friends now.


But anyway, I've survived my first semester of college and it's now the holidays for me. The only thing I can say is : It's about bloody time!


On behalf of my sister, I would like to thank all of you for your kind thoughts and words during her toughest hours. She's doing much better now so THANK YOU :)

Friday, October 15, 2004

An Emotional Wreck

I think I will take a leave of absence from blogging. I will be back when I am better. :(


I am an emotional wreck right now. Just found out the bf of five years has cheated on me with a one night stand. There's a constant knot in my tummy. My heart has been stomped on, shredded into unrecognisable particles. I keep staring at the mirror wondering what is wrong with me, I seem to fail in all my relationships.


I want to know if I am not pretty enough, not tall enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not nice enough, not this, not that. WHAT? WHAT??? I know I should lift my head up high and walk away but it's a lot easier said than done. I had sworn I would not let a guy hurt me like that again, and now it's happened again. I have cried till my eyes have gone puffy, can't work because all I can think of is the dreaded "why?" I wake up in the morning thinking, hoping that it was all a nightmare but it's not.


I can't trust anyone anymore. We were heading in the direction of marriage so you can imagine the blow is like 50 ton weight of bricks on me...no wait, 100 tons. My purpose in life is gone, my faith in men diminished to less than a speck. I feel like I am ruined mentally and emotionally. I am getting older but don't seem to be getting any wiser. :( I fear being single for the rest of my life because something is truly wrong with me, and of course I can't trust men.


The bf had earned my trust knowing that I had been hurt badly before. I did not want to exist before, but he earned my trust and I was happy. But one night of too much alcohol ruined and fucked everything up. We were great before and I trusted him without a doubt. No questions asked when he went out with his friends because I knew and trusted him. He was the sweetest and everyone liked him! But that trust has been violated, I have been raped of all hope, trust that he had restored in me. The pain is a lot worst because I didn't expect anything at all. Non-existence is what I want to be now, I dream about it every day now.

If I trusted him for five years and this happened. Where is the assurance that the next guy won't hurt me again? There isn't. I crave non-existence.



I don't know who to trust, who's telling the truth, who's real, who's fake.


He says he's sorry...before, I could believe it but I can't believe anything now. I am afraid it might happen again. I don't know. I don't know any fucking thing now. Weird thing is, I feel sorry for him, I think he really wants me back. He says he's truly messed everything up. But I don't know if that trust can ever be the same again. I am confused, hurt, disappointed, angry, sad, an emotional wreck.


My world has crumbled. I want to jump off a building. I want to cross the street without looking. Fuck everything I have ever known, trusted or believed in. I want to curl up into a ball and truly, truly die.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Got a Teacher Who Inspired You?

It just so happens that I've seen, "Mona Lisa Smile," "Dangerous Minds," "To Sir With Love" and "Dead Poets Society" all in the same week. It must be teacher's week or something cos well, if you've seen all three movies, you'd have noticed there's a theme going on here. Teachers.


I'm sure many of us want to make a difference in this world, I know I do. I just don't want to exist on this planet for the main purpose of eating and sleeping or god forbid, shopping, clubbing and trying to blend it with the cool, hip crowd.


You might read that, roll your eyeballs and automatically think, "Tira's a nerd." Nope, if you've read my previous blogs, I don't plan on existing for the pure pleasure of wanting to be in the "in" crowd. But I'm sure there are those of you out there who beg to differ and who only party, get drunk, try to be cool....trust me, there's more to life out there than spending on such shits as those. ( I do party but not to the extremes that some do! Think shorts, flip flops, baggy t-shirt at the bar with a keg of beer, etc...not exactly dressy eh?)


Sara would agree with me on this when I say our mother has brought us up right in making sure we're friends with the disabled kid, the uncool crowd, helping the less fortunate, the snooty person, the smart person, etc...well, basically, just being nice and friends to EVERYONE regardless.


But that's another blog entry.... more or less.....


So this entry is about a teacher or several of them who have made a difference in your life. It could be that they made such an impact that it added zest to your life, or that they were so negative, it made you want to prove them wrong and show them you can surpass the goals they've set for you.


Personally, I can't think of one teacher who has impressed me enough to do that. No one has spurred me on.


Instead, I think there are teachers in school and there are teachers outside school, college, whatever. I was spurred on by the latter.


I've been taught by my mom to do the best that I could. I've been taught and reminded by several that I must accept people for WHO they are, not WHAT they are.


I've been taught in unfortunate life circumstances that money is really nothing, they might be friend magnets, but really, who the fuck needs friends like that anyway. I really prefer no money, real friends.


I've been taught that your relatives aren't always what they seem. Or for that matter, that friend you thought you could rely on...when you really need help, would you get it?


So who are your best teachers? Mine are my mom and experience....

What do you do for fun?

Are you a bookworm? a movie buff? an alcoholic, clubber, flirt, eater, outdoorsy person, shopper, etc....

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?


Saturday, August 14, 2004

Favorite Restaurant/Food/Recipe?

I initially thought of starting this entry about the Olympics, after all it does start today. But then I got thinking that everyone's probably got the same idea, which means many, many, many blogs about the games in Athens. So I thought I'd take a stab at being different and write about my favorite restaurant/food/recipe.


Ok, ok, for those who know me, you'd also know that I love a variety of foods, restaurants and recipes as my previous blog entries will attest.


Here's a list of my fav foods and where you can get them (in no order of preference)!!!
Asam Laksa:

*maggi mee,

*megamall jusco,

*mom's cooking!

*Red Ginger restaurant

*Penang (??) restaurant - forgot the name of the restaurant in megamall (sara, do u know??)


Sarawak Laksa:

*bangsar coffee shop (forgot name but it's a couple of blocks from Giant, formerly known as TMC)


Otak-otak:

*Red Ginger

*Bangsar Pasar Malam


Tiramisu

*Pasta Pomodorro

*Alexis Bistro


Margaritas

*American Chillis, Bangsar


What are your favorite foods/restaurants/recipes?? Share them with us, so we can try them too!:P


Monday, August 09, 2004

The Piercing Ordeal Pt. 2

Continued from The Piercing Ordeal


Day Four - Sunday 1/08/04
I woke up today wanting to go back to bed, desperately. Had a really late night last night (a big no-no according to my piercer) but 5 minutes more was all I needed. My alarm clock did not allow me to get them.


Having to wake up at 7.45am every Sunday for church really bites (the waking up NOT the going to church - I am a good girl, I am) but waking up 15 minutes earlier today just so I can brush my teeth and tongue at a slower pace? Surely I wouldn't need 15 minutes extra for that? Well apparently I did, because I didn't have a second to spare before leaving.


Had a really pleasant lunch today because I discovered something yummy I could eat - mashed potatoes with loads of milk and butter and Campbell's cream of chicken! Had them for lunch and I have to say, cold potatoes and soup never tasted so damn good (strictly no hot food for fear of injuring my tongue). Decided to have the same thing for dinner again. I mean, more cold mashed potatoes or more liver tasting porridge? 'Nuff said.


I'll probably have the same thing for every meal until my tongue has healed. Who can get sick of mashed potatoes right?


Day Five - Monday 2/08/04
Monday's here and that only means one thing - shopping at Midvalley with my mother. I spent 4 tortured hours at Midvalley smelling all things delicious and eating nothing. Bakeries are the absolute worst with smells of hot pastries and buns coming out fresh from the oven filling the air. McDonald's comes in a close second especially since my Double Cheeseburger craving has not subsided. I return home to eat cold mashed potatoes and chicken soup. Funny, it doesn't taste as good as it did yesterday.


One of my lecturers called while I was out so I had to call her back to find out what she wanted. Just my luck, her name is Zeti. Our conversation is as follows (and this is no exaggeration, folks):


Me: Hello. Can you put me tru to Jheti, pleash?
Operator: Erm, sorry?
Me: Can you put me tru to Jheti?
Operator: Oh, you mean Zeti from the _______ department?
Me: Yesh.
Operator: One moment please.
Zeti: Hello, Zeti speaking.
Me: Hi Jheti, you called me earlier?
Zeti: Who is this?
Me: Thish ish Sara?
Zeti: Eh, apasal suara lain hari ini? (Why does your voice sound different today?)
Me: Oh, shakit tekak. (Sore throat)
Zeti: Oh kesiannya... anyway, your application for __________ has been approved so you have to come on the 4th to reenrol for your course.
Me: The fourt? Dish Wedneshday?
Zeti: Erm yeah, the fourthhhh...
Me: What time musht I be der?
Zeti: Anytime between 9-5 but I would advise you to be here at 9 to avoid the crowd.
Me: Oh ok. What musht I bring?
Zeti: 3 passport sized photos, a photocopy of your IC and money for your fees if you want to pay on that day.
Me: But you haven't told me how mush my feesh ish?
Zeti: Oh, let me check. (Rustling of papers) Your fees for this semester is ________
Me: Oh ok. Let me write it down. Ish dat all? Anyting else I shud know or bring?
Zeti: Mmm no, I don't think so.
Me: Ok den... tank you. Shee you dish Wedneshday.
Zeti: Erm... ok. Bye.


Bet she never had a weirder telephone conversation.


I had strawberry ice cream (melted, of course) and potatoes again for dinner. Did I say I was going to eat potatoes for every meal until my tongue was healed? Ok, maybe not.


Day Six - Tuesday 3/08/04
My tongue felt surprisingly normal this morning so I assumed it was 100% healed. Tried bending it to see if it was still swollen. The searing pain I felt might be a clue... definitely still too early for tongue twisting.


I never thought I'd say this but I am now officially off ice cream and mashed potatoes. I can actually feel them both oozing out of my pores... and I swear that when I raised my arm earlier, I got a whiff of mashed potatoes... my pits smelling exactly like my dinner is definitely not a good sign.


Had my first can of Diet Coke in five days though and it was heavenly. Decide to have just Diet Coke for dinner since I am addicted to the stuff. Was on to my 4th can before I gave up. My tongue had all but turned black because of the colouring so that couldn't have been very good for me.


My tongue became increasingly itchy after "dinner" and I practically had to restrain myself from scratching it with my fingernails. The next best thing to do is sleep it off so looks like it's bedtime for me.


Day Seven - Wednesday 4/08/04
I woke up feeling like I lost ten pounds so I hurried over to the scales... only to find that I'd put on 4 pounds??!!!!! How was that possible? All I've had for days now is milky/ buttery mashed potatoes, cream of chicken soups and loads of ice cream... oh.


I spent most of the afternoon at college reenrolling and prayed that none of my lecturers would notice my weight gain. Lucky for me, none did.


Anyway my tongue has returned to its normal size so I had a really good dinner just now. I guess my face must have looked really miserable in the afternoon so my mother suggested cooking soupy noodles for me. Trust me, at this point, I could have eaten cardboard in soup and it would have tasted like manna from heaven but hot soupy noodles with REAL MEAT was just I needed and DAMN, WAS IT GOOD!


So did I regret piercing my tongue especially after all the sacrifices I've had to make in the past week? Not even for a second. In fact, I would do it again in a heartbeat and encourage anyone who wants their tongue (or other body parts) pierced, to go ahead with it if they're really sure. Hey, you only live once and if you can't do the things you really want to do, then what's the point in living? Trust me, piercing your tongue is definitely a life experience you'll carry with you to your old age.


Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to get rid of those pesky pounds!

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Piercing Ordeal

Precisely a week ago, I got my tongue pierced. Some of you might be going "Eww!" but understand that this was something that I had wanted to get done for years. The plain & simple truth is, I love body piercings and am absolutely addicted to them. When I told my mother a few years back that I was going to get my tongue pierced, my mother freaked out. Not the I-say-no sort of freaking out but rather the I-say-no-and-if-you-go-ahead-anyway-I'm-not going-to-talk-to-you sort. Naturally I had to forget about it if I wanted to live in peace.


I brought it up again recently and shockingly, my mother said I could go ahead with it on one condition: that I spare her the gory details of how they do it (hehe!). Now to be honest, I could have gone ahead with it ages ago (come on, I'm in my 20s!) but I decided to discuss it with her out of respect. Trust me, no piercing is worth it if your mum can't bear to look at you at the end of the day.


So anyway, I raced off to Sungei Wang with my friend once I got the green light and here I am, pierced tongue and all a week later :) Anyway, here is a brief day to day description of what I went through during the last week (also if you're thinking of doing it, you'll have a rough idea what to expect).


Hey, when you can't eat, talk or swallow properly, what else is there to do besides think up your next blog entry and write?



A Grainy Picture of My Tongue Piercing



Day One - Thursday 29/7/04 @ 11.30PM
Pierced my tongue 5 hours ago. Was a bundle of nerves as I entered the shop but the piercer immediately made me feel at ease by being friendly and informative. He gave me a form to fill up, told me to sit on a high stool and explained the procedure. I gargled my mouth with Listerine for a few seconds and then I was ready. I tried to calm myself as much as possible and succeeded for a few seconds... until the piercer warned me that I could seriously injure my tongue and lips if I pulled back my tongue while he poked the needle through. My nervousness multiplied tenfold. I stayed as still as I could while he placed a clamp on my tongue and told me that the pressure applied by the tool usually hurt more than the needle itself. Braced myself for the worst... felt nothing. Then he picked up the needle and effortlessly slid it through my tongue. I could feel the needle going through but it was absolutely painless! The piercer slid in the barbell, screwed in the bottom ball and I was done. Tongue feels weird and uncomfortable. Looked in the mirror to find my tongue bleeding slightly. Felt a little bit faint because I hate blood. Recovered instantly when I saw how perfect his workmanship was. Gargled somemore with Listerine, listened to his aftercare instructions and list of Dos and Don'ts and made my way home... in silence (a first for me).


Reached home and showed piercing to mother. Was expecting mum to be Ok with it since she did say I could go ahead with it. Expected wrongly. Was greeted with "Oh My God!!!" over and over again. My guess is, I'll be hearing it more often than I'd like to.


Made a HUGE mistake of not eating before piercing. Was starving at around 9.30pm so I stuffed myself with the one thing that's easiest to swallow: iced water. Still had to train myself to swallow differently with the barbell. Dribbled more than I drank. Felt surprisingly full but only for about, oh 5 minutes. Am dead beat & still hungry so going to bed now. Have not slept this early since 1997 for exams. Must be the result of nerves working overtime. Decide to have one last look in the mirror... I heard that it would be swollen and sore but mine feels normal so am extremely pleased. Aftercare will be a breeze.


Day Two - Friday 30/07/04
Woke up in the afternoon (told you I was tired) with tongue the size of my fist. All I could think was, whoooboy, what have I gotten myself into? Tongue has thickened but luckily, there is no soreness or pain. My speech has worsened though... have omitted the letters s and z from my vocabulary.


My mother is a doll... she made a huge pot of soup for my lunch and bought 2 tubs of ice cream for me knowing I wouldn't be able to eat solids. Had three bowls of soup plus plenty of iced water so was filled to the brim. Watched a Home Improvement rerun and hey, was hungry again. Decided to treat myself to a big bowl of Neopolitan ice cream. Got greedy and scooped a big spoonful into my mouth. Note to self: big spoonful of unmelted ice cream can rub against the piercing resulting in severe pain. Had an unsatisfying (warm) Neopolitan shake instead.


Dinner consisted of more soup (surprise, surprise) and iced water. Have sudden craving for McDonald's Double Cheeseburger... heck, would even be willing to eat the paper that wraps the burger.


Day Three - Saturday 31/07/04
Ah, the weekend's finally here but I'll be staying home to rest my tongue. The piercer told me that it's ok to smoke and drink but I've decided to abstain this weekend, just to be safe. My tongue is still as swollen as ever and talking is still difficult. I'm not sure if I'm imagining it but my tongue feels extremely itchy! I've learnt that the best remedy is iced water so I've had to drink even more than the previous two days (that's all I need, more iced water!)


My mother cooked chicken porridge for me but I couldn't eat it because the grains were too rough and big. So my mother blended it up for me into a kind of soup and I had that for lunch. Now you might think that chicken porridge and blended chicken porridge would taste exactly the same, right? Wrong... dead wrong. I have no idea how blending it altered the taste but my chicken porridge tasted exactly like mushed up liver. I never want to have blended chicken porridge again... ever.


Spoke too soon. Just found out my mum made more for my dinner. Oh boy.


To be continued: Day Four - Seven...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

One of My Heroes Dies :(

Pennsylvania girl who started a lemonade stand for cancer research dies at age 8
MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press Writer
Monday, August 2, 2004



(08-02) 08:05 PDT PHILADELPHIA (AP) --
A young cancer patient who started a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research, sparking a nationwide fund-raising campaign that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, has died. She was 8.


Alexandra Scott, of Wynnewood, died peacefully Sunday at home on her favorite couch, her father, Jay Scott, said Monday.


"She opened her eyes for the first time that day just before she passed away. She looked out at the trees," Scott said. "In the past she's been in a lot of pain, but at the end she had no pain, which is what she worried about."


Alex, diagnosed just before her first birthday with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for treatment. She took in $2,000 that first year, and a series of stands had raised a total of $200,000 after four years.
In June, lemonade stand fund-raisers were set up in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and France, and Alexandra and her family appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV program and the "Today" show.


Alex hoped that her Alex's Lemonade Stand charity would raise $1 million this year for cancer research. The effort has reached about $750,000, and Volvo of North America had pledged to hold a fall fund-raising event to assure that the $1 million goal would be reached, Jay Scott said.
Since June, Alex's quality of life had dropped off, and her health had severely deteriorated in the last few days. Still, she remained determined to push forward, family members said.


The Scotts plan to set up a memorial fund in their daughter's honor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where Alex was treated most of her life. She had asked this past month that something be established in her name.


"She had never asked about that before, so I think she knew something was going on," Jay Scott said. The family recently gave the hospital $200,000 from this year's lemonade proceeds.
Kay Sweet, a retired principal who home-schooled Alex over the past three years, when she was too sick to go to school, will most remember her student's determination and fierce independence.


Sweet noted the sacrifices the Scotts have made as they juggled Alex's care, their family life and the fund-raising efforts. Jay Scott works full-time, and their family includes three other children.


"They're just wonderful people, and have given so much of themselves to all of the causes that have been really important to Alex," Sweet said.


On the Net:
Alex's Lemonade Stand: www.alexslemonade.com




Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sara and Tira Says...

It's been about five months or so since we first started MY Two Sen and we've come a long way! However, we don't know a lot about the bloggers who visit us (yes, that's you), and you about us!


So we've decided to do a little Q&A, throw out the conventional "What is your favorite color?" questions and hey, presto! The following is what we have come up with.

 
Feel free to tell us your answers to our questions! And remember, be honest!
Sara & Tira.
 

1) I'm embarassed to admit that I listen to:
Sara says:
Avril Lavigne (but only certain songs!)
Tira says: Usher


2) If I were gay (or am gay), I wanna be with (borrowed from mtv):
Sara says: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Marg Helgenberger or Nicole Kidman
Tira says: Angelina Jolie


3) My most unusual crush is on:
Sara says: William H Macy
Tira says: Snoop Dogg and as sick as it sounds, I think Bill Clinton is a hottie. hahaha.


4) My favorite drink is… and you can find the best one...
Sara says: Coca-Cola Light...at my house with loads and loads of ice!
Tira says: Long Island…haven't found best one yet!


5) Five foods I want to be stranded on an island with:
Sara says: my mum's chicken rice (my mum would be so proud), mashed potatoes, steamed fish, assam laksa flavoured maggi mee and McDonald's Double Cheeseburger!
Tira says: Assam Laksa, Sarawak Laksa, dukus, mom's roast chicken, salty licorice


6) I am dressed in…. during the
a) day
Sara says: t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops sans make-up
Tira says: jeans, t-shirt, tracks, anything super casual, sneakers/flat shoes


b) night
Sara says: pants or skirt, top, heels and make-up (trust me, this is a big deal)
Tira says: black, nothing too tight, something decent, flat shoes, hahaha. I have serious accidents with anything with heels,my sis knows this!:P


7) My most disgusting habit is:
Sara says: I'm always playing with my nose ring. I also constantly interchange my nose and ear rings, without washing them (HAHA! - but don't worry, I wash my hands ;-) )
Tira says: bursting zits


8) If I could do something without worrying about the consequences, I would:
Sara says: eat EVERYTHING fattening & unhealthy, break into a bank,kill the spouses/ girlfriends of Chris Cornell from Audioslave, Doug Robb from Hoobastank, Brandon Boyd from Incubus, Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and marry them (yes, ALL of them)
Tira says: kill my enemies


9) When no one is looking/ around, I:
Sara says: pull out my wedgie, sing and dance and yes, play with my nose ring (not necessarily in that order)
Tira says: undo my wedgie, steal office supplies


10) The one thing I don't understand about the opposite sex is:
Sara says: their love for porn
Tira says: why they don't open up more, you tell them something and they'll promise to be more romantic, etc..., they do that for a couple of weeks (or days) and then they forget!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Additions & Changes

Aloha all!


Just a quick update from me... there are some small changes/ additions to our blog such as the expandable blog links and archive sections, a new footer, and our new rating system. (Please insert your oohs & aahs here hehehe :P)


The number of blogs we like to read seem to multiply by the days so we decided to make things a little tidier by making the section expandable. Go on, have a try... you know you want to!


We've also added our own rating system for the music and movies we listen to and watch. As you may have noticed, we don't really write reviews on our blog because the two of us watch A LOT of movies and listen to TONS of music, so we can't be writing reviews for everything. Okay, okay, we're lazy bums too :-D Anyway, we thought the next best thing would be to rate everything so you would have an idea as to what was good and what wasn't (at least according to us). I would also like to take this opportunity to thank R., our dear friend for drawing the durians for us. He really took the time out of his busy schedule to do this for us and for that, we are grateful! Thank you R.!


So have a look around and tell us what you think!


Til my next update (which hopefully will be soon :P),
xoxo Sara

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wanted: The Perfect Job

When I was still a little kid, I would often hear the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Back then, I had always answered, "A doctor!" I dreamt of saving the world, finding the cure for cancer, helping everyone who needed help. Really, I never really waivered from this dream right up to my college years.


Dad dying of cancer reinforced this dream. Applying to universities, I wrote about why I wanted to pursue this career. I cited my reasons. I wanted to save the world (though not in those same exact words), and I wanted to be a caring doctor. Yep, not one of those who forgot the very reason as to why they got into the profession in the first place. I mean, have you ever been sick and the doctor wasn't exactly the most sympathetic person in the world to you? I didn't want to be that doctor, I was going to be the one who listened to your woes, and be at your beck and call.


Then after I sat for my pre-university exams, I realised maybe this wasn't really what I wanted to do. Perhaps I chose this career path because I wanted to make my parents proud, after all I did come from a family of high expectations. I had often heard of my parents oohing and ahhing over their friend's daughter's or son's grades or how many hours they studied, etc...Perhaps I wanted to have them ooh and ahh over my grades. Perhaps I wanted their friends to ooh and ahh over their doctor daughter?


I wanted to please my parents and make them be proud of me, especially coming from parents who are professionals. This threw me in a tumble!


I still wanted to help people but I didn't really know if the medical field was really my destiny or what would make me happy. And the very thought of diagnosing a patient with the wrong illness, frankly, scared me.


So I went soul searching and I decided what I really wanted to do was chemical engineering. I loved chemistry and I knew it paid well. So that's what I did and woohooo, got accepted into uni to do just that. But wait, that's not the end of the story. :)


After a semester of organic chemistry, homesickness and not really knowing if I wanted to do chem e, I dropped out. My other options were pharmacy or speech therapy, yes, all along the lines of helping people. But those didn't work out either!


So here I am about eight to 10 years later, still soul searching...I work for a nonprofit, which of course means that I don't get a lot of money. But hey, I am still on track with the "helping people" dream. :P


It's funny how one starts out wanting to do something and ends up in a totally different career. I am sure there are some who stick to their guns and see it through, but that wasn't me!


I have been forwarded jokes in the past where it says, "If you think your job is bad, think again," and it's got these people in white coats smelling armpits as a job. Then just recently, I read about how this guy became a self-made millionaire. He had dropped out of college, took on a course to be a mortician. But then he watched "Pulp Fiction" and was inspired to pursue in a career where he cleans up the guts and gore of crime scenes, suicides, etc...As you can imagine, it's not a very competitive job, so now he's made and is making his big bucks.


Anyway, I am still trying to find happiness and trying to find that perfect job. I want to be happy when I get up and have to go to work. I want to make enough money to be able to afford the things I want. I want to be able to travel and see the world. I want to be challenged and never lose interest. I want to be have fun. I want to enjoy working with the people around me. I want to help people.


I am okie in my job right now, but it may be time to move on. But before I do, I am still looking for that job, that perfect job.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"A Little Hero Inside All of Us"

If you've already seen it, you'd know that I have too, and gone ahead and borrowed a line from "Spiderman 2." Oprah had also featured real-life superheroes on her show, which inspires the topic of today's entry. Oh, by the way, I recommend the movie! There were some things I didn't agree with but otherwise I think it's a great watch (check back with us to find out our new rating system!)

What really makes a hero? I agree with Aunt May that there's a little hero in all of us. Heroes in real-life don't have to wear masks, capes, or have the ability to fly, weave webs or have a sidekick. They could be that very ordinary person next to you.


Some go out and do great big things that everyone else knows about, but there are those quiet heroes that don't really get recognised for what they do. Then there are of course those who become heroes "accidentally" like in the movie "Hero." (the american movie, not the chinese one, which by the way was great too!)


My definition of a hero is anyone who is a positive role model for me and everyone else around the world. Anyone who "saves the world" by doing good, without so much as wanting recognition or monetary rewards. Someone who does it just because she/he wants to make the world a better place (as cliched as it sounds). Someone who can be brave and strong, not necessarily in the physical sense, but more so mentally. Someone who overcomes personal tragedies, disabilities, rises above them to teach us all that the human spirit prevails.


Some of my heroes include famous people, some who've passed on, some everyday people, some people I don't even know. Here's who I think are heroes. But keep in mind that these are just some of them.


First of all, I think Mother Teresa was a hero. A champion for the poor, disabled and just about practically everyone who was not of the privileged world. She was humble, gave up her materialistic world, donned a white sari with blue trim, yet, world leaders all considered it an honor to be in her presence. In her eyes, there was no such thing as color, everyone was equal in her eyes.


There are times when I remind myself that I should not be materialistic or bitch about the person walking past me, but it's a lot harder than it seems!


Another hero would be blood donors and organ donors. Donating blood can help save lives...as many as three! All it asks of a person is to go to a blood center every 8 weeks, and to donate blood, which takes about an hour! How hard can that be?


I think it's remarkable too that siblings or friends can donate a kidney to the other! It's giving of yourself and one has to have a great big huge selflessheart to take that step to help save your loved one's life. Without a doubt....heroes!


One day, I was at the theater and there was this guy standing there collecting our tickets. He was and is a hero. Why? He had the courage, the guts to stand there infront of the public. He could have chosen a less public job, but he didn't. This guy's face was badly deformed, yet instead of hiding behind closed doors, he chose to stand there tall and proud! How many of us fret whenever we have the tiniest zit on our faces? We rush out to buy concealer to try and mask it, so we'd look all "perfect" infront of everyone. This guy couldn't. That's what's so amazing!


Everyday we're bombarded by ads of perfect people with perfect faces and bodies. Sometimes we may meet these people and you just know looking at them or them looking at you with their upturned noses, that they think they're better than everyone else. I hate to burst your bubble but there's a lot more to a person than physical beauty. I honestly would rather be friends with the guy at the theater than snooty people like these. I saw him only for a few minutes but in those moments, he taught me about courage and that it's really what is inside all of us that counts.


Then of course there is my mother. We've probably written about her in this blog several times, but hey, if I'm writing about heroes, she definitely belongs to this category!


She's got one of the strongest spirits I have ever known. Every kid will say their mom's the best, and we're no different. She will literally lay her life down for any of her kids if she were put in that situation. Growing up, she did not always have what the kid next door possessed, and her childhood wasn't always the happiest. She made it a point never to let any of her kids go through that.


When our dad got sick, she looked after him day and night, literally. The burden was huge and heavy, but she pulled through and kept her marriage vows, in sickness and in health, she looked after our dad.

Times are better now, but I could not have turned out the way I did if it weren't for my mom. She's always wanting the best for me, for us.


Other heroes of mine include: Nelson Mandela - 1993 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Aung Suu Kyi - 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Bono, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks - a black woman who refused to give her seat up to a white man in 1955, etc... And to add to my ever-growing list of heroes and role models, (borrowing from Oprah) this little girl is a true hero too, Alex Scott.


I am sure I will add more to my list as I go through life. It's the person you think least likely to be your hero, that person who inspires, the person I could meet today, tomorrow or whenever in the future. That is what keeps me going in life!

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Sick!

I took the tube home the other day from the airport. There weren't a lot of people on board, so I chose to sit by myself next to a window.


The ride was fine, until this guy got on. He wasn't scruffy at all. In fact, at a glance he was rather well-dressed in a suit, neat-looking, in his 50's or 60's. I saw him look my way from the corner of my eye, but I ignored him as he walked past me and sat behind me. But a couple of minutes later, this guy got up and sat next to me.


I didn't bother with him, although I did think it suspicious. I mean there were several other seats, most of them empty and he sat next to me??? I stared out the window on my left, enjoying the scenery when I noticed movement on my right. SHIT. I didn't want to directly look but I could tell his left hand was moving repeatedly.


Instead I looked at the reflection of the window to see and confirm what I thought he was doing. I was right...and he wouldn't stop. In my head, all I kept wishing was for him to stop, but he wouldn't. He kept on brushing his groin.


I felt sick, wanted to throw up. I felt violated. I excused myself and moved away and sat at another seat. And started to cry...


What I should have done of course was to make a scene, go to the police, but I just couldn't even bring myself to look at this guy's face. I just felt too sick.


You're probably thinking I was wearing something that showed some skin, that tempted him. No. On the contrary, I was in baggy sweatpants, t-shirt and a baggy sweatshirt!


And, this isn't the first incident! I have had at least two others, both made my stomach all knotted up, both made me want to throw-up, both made me cry. Plus, I have related my story to my friends and it seems as if every girl I know has had at least one such occurrence.


One girlfriend of mine had just got home from college and was at the door of her apartment building. She was fumbling around, looking for her keys when she noticed someone was behind her. She figured it was another apartment resident, so she turned to look. This guy had unzipped his pants and was jerking off just behind her! God knows what would have happened, if she had opened the door to her apartment building.


This brings me to the subject that should NOT be taken lightly. So if you've got some smart, funny comments, save it for another blog entry, please.


Rapes, sexual molestation, incest, etc...


I was watching Oprah the other night about this amazing woman, Angela Shelton. She decided to make a documentary on as many Angela Sheltons as she could find in the US to find out what story they had to tell. She found it shocking that in the process, half of the 32 women she talked to, had been raped, beated, sexually abused, herself included. Angela Shelton confronted her own father who had molested both her brother and herself. What was sick was that her father would not admit it, would not even apologise for what he had done, he just kept denying it.


It was heartbreaking to see her deal with her father's denial. She cited the used of crayons, how he sexually abused her. He was a sick, sick man.


I just did a search for statistics on sexual assaults in the US. 683,000 forcible rapes occur every year, which equals 56,916 per month, 1,871 per day, 78 per hour, and 1.3 per minute. I don't know what the statistics are in Malaysia but I am sure no statistic is too small to be ignored.


There have been several movies, documentaries that touch on this subject. Some I can't even bring myself to watch because they are too graphic and it's just inconceivable that in reality humans can really be so cruel to one another.


If you've seen "Capturing the Friedmans," "The Celebration," "Irreversible," "Boys Don't Cry," or "The Magdalene Sisters" you'd know what I mean.


Men, women, children, transgenders, Asians, blacks, whites, mothers, fathers, brothers, uncles, sisters, grandfathers, altar boys, priests, husbands, wives, teachers, students, etc...


ANYONE can be a victim.


ANYONE can be an abuser.


We won't hear everyone's story because not everyone will be as courageous as Angela Shelton to confront her abuser or seek help. But try to be supportive should someone find that courage to share his/her story with you.


In our society too, it seems as if it's something we just don't talk about in our families for fear of being disowned, no one will believe, bringing shame to the family, etc...it's taboo. In some other cultures, the victim especially if it's a woman is regarded as the one who deserves the punishment, while the male abuser/rapist has done no wrong. It's sick.


In AWAM's (All Women's Action Society) research on rape in Malaysia, only 10 per cent of the reported cases end in a successful conviction of the rapist, its administration and finance manager Wong Peck Lin noted. "Four out of five reported cases do not make it to court," she explained, saying that the failure to convict could be due to lack of witnesses and/or inadequate forensic evidence.


I wish something could be done to rid this world of perverts, child porn, rapists, sexual abusers, molesters, flashers and every other disgusting "it" that does not deserve to be called a human being.


Innocent lives have been changed, many ruined, some killed. My heart goes out to all those lives affected.


Be wary of your surroundings and of those around you. Sometimes home isn't even the safest place. Be wary, it can be a sick world out there.:(

Friday, June 25, 2004

3 Down...

Thanks for sending in your e-mails but there can only be three "winners" and here they are, the lucky owners of a brand new spanking Gmail account:


1) Kew Ang aka Q
2) Boey aka eishin (how about giving me Barons in exchange for the invite??? :P)
3) Yuen Li


Invitations have been sent so check your inboxes (for Yahoo Mail users, please check your Junkmail folder if you don't find it in your Inbox). Congratulations, enjoy and put those Gmail accounts to good use! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Get 'em While They're Hot!

Hello everyone! This is an update on the whole Gmail invite situation. Reading back some of our old blog entries, I came across Tira's post about Random Acts of Kindness and decided to do just that by giving away 3 Gmail invites. This giveaway only applies to those who do not have a gmail account yet! I have no way of knowing if you're being honest or not so let it be on your own conscience if you choose to deprive some poor Gmail-less chap of an account.


Now all you have to do is e-mail me at saradipity@gmail.com with the subject title "Give Me Gmail, You Bitch!" (I'm bored, so humour me) together with your first and last name, your nickname if you have any, and the e-mail address you want me to send the invite to. It's that simple!


Note: Any e-mails I receive without said subject title will not be entertained. Please double check your e-mail address before submitting it to me as I shall not be held responsible for any spelling mistakes done on your part. If you are one of the lucky chosen three, you should receive the invite in your inbox by Friday 5p.m. MAL time (sorry for the delay but I'm a busy girl). The names will also be published on this blog so check in from time to time. If you do not hear from me, chances are you were too late... but fret not my friends! I just might have more Gmail invites up my sleeve for next time so stay tuned for any updates! ;)


UPDATE: Thanks for the e-mails guys but this giveaway is officially over! Stay tuned to find out if you were one of the first three!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Of Free Games & Gmail...

If you've been a regular reader of this blog (and hopefully there are some of you out there :P), you would have gotten a glimpse into my personality so you'd know by now that I'm a cheapskate by nature. My theory is, why buy the expensive original product when you can get it for a cheaper price or better yet, for free? Hence my undying support of pirated DVDs and free movie and music downloads off the Internet.


Anyway, right after posting my last entry 2 Sundays ago, I felt bored and decided to try out some games on RealArcade. The deal with RealArcade is, they allow you to download the program for free but all the games come with a 60-minute demo period, after which you have to buy the game to continue playing. Now 60 minutes might seem like enough time to try the game out, get bored then delete it but what if you're like me and can't get enough of games like Super TextTwist or Bounce Out Blitz and would love to play them for hours on end?


There is only one logical solution... No, not buy the games (this is me we're talking about here) but go on a Google hunt for patches! The wonderful thing about the Internet is that for every one program on sale online, there are about ten patches or unlocking methods floating around the net just waiting for you to get your hands on them. If you're patient enough, you might find exactly what you're looking for and then you'd be enjoying free programs or games in no time. Just like lil' ol' cheap me :)


I'd be glad to help anyone out by the way... just e-mail me at saradipity@gmail.com with the subject "RealArcade games" and I'd be glad to tell you how to unlock the full version on Windows XP (not sure if it works the same for other versions of Windows). Mind you, these aren't your typical Doom/ Quake/ Counterstrike computer games but rather word games, puzzles, arcade games, card games, strategy/ SIM games that work great to help you pass the time when you're bored or downloading music and movies :) Some games I highly recommend - Super TextTwist, Ballistik, Inspector Parker, Feeding Frenzy, Mummy Maze Deluxe, Tamale Loco and Return of the Incredible Machine Contraptions.


Well, RealArcade is half the reason why I haven't been blogging for the past 2 weeks with the other being sheer laziness (hehe!) so a thousand apologies to those of you who have been checking in regularly.


On another note, Google seems to be handing out lots of Gmail invites lately. I myself have a few extras so now I'm wondering what to do with them. GmailSwap? Free giveaway?


Suggestions anyone?

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Third Wheel

I'm pretty contented with my life. I'm surrounded by wonderful family and friends, my life is heading in the right direction, there's enough food on the table and enough money to spend... so what more could I ask for right? Well sometimes, just sometimes, I wished I had a boyfriend. No, I'm not some desperate young woman who sits around pining for a man any chance she gets. In fact, I don't usually feel like this... not unless I've just seen a pukingly sweet romantic movie or I've spent the night being the third wheel aka the Lamp-Post with a sickeningly lovey-dovey couple, which coincidentally I did on Friday night.


It was supposed to be a night of fun with a group of friends but somehow I landed myself with just Him & Her (who are close friends of another friend) at a mamak restaurant in SS15. The rest of my pals had gone off to play Counterstrike or Far Cry (or whatever the latest PC game may be) and it was the only time I wished I played too. So there I was, trying my very best to act blissfully ignorant by looking around, drinking my bladder away to the point of bursting and making polite chatter without ruining the "mushy" moment for them. It was like a scene right out from a Bollywood movie where the male and female characters chase each other around trees and roll around hills and slopes only in this production, both male and female were doing their share of teasing and flirting over a plate of nasi lemak. Each mouthful was accompanied by a seductive look and a flirty smile but the absolute worst came when they "fought" over the egg in the nasi lemak.


Him: You take it...
Her: No, you take it...
Him: But there's only one piece of egg and I want you to have it...
Her: But I know you like eggs so you have it...


After a good minute or so on the merry-go-round of love, I came thisclose to tearing my ears off and yelling "I'll have the damn egg!".


I thought things could only get better when we shifted venues to a pub in Bangsar so I made sure I sat as far away from H & H as I could. But alas! As the evening progressed and people changed places to talk, I found myself once again sitting next to them! Phew, no nasi lemak here but wait, is that a long island iced tea they're sharing?! So once again they rode on the merry-go-round of love while I drank long island tea after long island tea (all by myself, no less) to drown out all the mushy talk. With my bladder working overtime, my only thoughts were, "This is worse than being single on Valentine's Day", "Somebody kill me now!" and "I'm going to stab myself in the heart with this straw". Yes, it was that bad. But all is forgivable, especially after finding out that H & H have only been dating for 3 months. Give them a year or two, then we'll see how lovey-dovey they still are. Haha.


But nevertheless, an evening as the Lamp-Post has given me the extra insight as to what is "missing" in my life. I am a *ahem* young woman in the 21st century and sometimes I think having a boyfriend these days is more of an option rather than a necessity (sorry guys, but it's true!) but it still would be nice to have someone I can cuddle up with while watching a movie and pigging out with beer/ wine and chips (believe it or not, this is what my dream date would be like... no fancy schmancy stuff for me, thanks).


So I'm on a quest to find myself a boyfriend (no, this is not an advertisement) but I'm going to take all the time I need to look for someone who suits all my needs. I've always settled for less in the past and look where it got me... a place all by myself next to Him & Her from coupledom hell. It won't be easy I know, to look for Mr. Perfect... but then again, I'm not looking for Mr. Perfect. I'm looking for Mr. Perfect-For-Me and I just know he's out there somewhere. But rest assured that when I do find him, I will not subject him (or myself) to major embarassment by playing Pass-the-Egg. Not in public anyway. ;)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Help Me, I'm a Foreign & Indie Film Addict!

Don't you just love watching movies? For me personally, there's no better way to spend the weekend than pigging out on my sofa with some Pringles and Diet Coke while watching a really good movie on DVD or cable (yes, it's pretty rare but Astro is capable of showing some pretty good films sometimes). What many of you don't know is, I usually steer clear of Hollywood blockbusters and prefer to spend my time watching indie or foreign flicks. I am absolutely addicted to them actually. Of course when I say 'steer clear', I don't mean I avoid them blockbusters like the plague... I do watch and enjoy them from time to time but offer me a choice of 28 Days Later or Freddy vs. Jason, and I'll take 28 Days Later anytime. Okay, Freddy vs. Jason is a lousy choice because the movie was shit, but you get the drift.


Now don't get me wrong... I don't think that every film that touches Hollywood's mainstream shores is crap or unworthy of your two hours (just like not all foreign films or indie flicks are brilliant)... I mean, there are thousands of superb films that come out of the United States or major movie studios but a lot of them, I feel, are willing to sacrifice originality, art and creativity all for entertainment's sake. It's "important" after all, for the movie studio bigwigs to earn back their precious millions which they invested in the movie so they can continue to churn out many more blockbusters for you and me and artsy films are hardly the way to go.


When I was much younger, I thought the film industry revolved around America, Hong Kong and India. Never did it occur to me that Italy, Germany, Iran or France could be just as capable of making great films as the three biggest movie-producing countries in the world. I was first exposed to the world of foreign films in my film appreciation class and I fell in love with the very first one I saw, Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo. Suddenly all these American films I'd been watching didn't seem so great anymore! My fascination for foreign flicks soon grew with more of Kurosawa's flicks, Lola Rennt, The Road Home, The Bicycle Thief, Nikita & many more. I also realized that a big budget film didn't necessarily mean better and pretty soon my interest in huge blockbusters waned.


Call me cheap, call me resourceful but I now get my movies from the Internet. I rarely go to the cinemas unless it's a great film with wonderful reviews or it's something I'm really interested in seeing (eg. LoTR trilogy). P2P programs have a pretty wide selection of both mainstream and indie movies and a fair share of foreign films so I've been able to satisfy my movie needs so far. But this past weekend found me with absolutely nothing to watch!! My connections to Overnet and Kazaa Lite were exceptionally slow so downloading was impossible... and that brings me to my next 2 questions - what other P2P programs can I use to download movies and where on earth (with the exception of Petaling Street and Sungei Wang - too far!) can I buy foreign films in KL or PJ?! I know lots, if not all of you, buy or download your movies so any help would be good. I'm getting desperate here... help me with my addiction!


Well, since we're still on the subject of films, I thought I'd list some of my favourites foreign/ indie movies and actors here so you could check them out if you're interested. I have nothing better to do anyway since I've run out of movies to watch! :(




Foreign Films I Recommend:
|   Akira Kurosawa Films   |   L'auberge Espagnole   |   Battle Royale   |   Dogville   |   Hable con Ella   |   Y Tu Mama Tambien   |   Amores Perros   |   Everybody Famous!   |   Infernal Affairs I, II & III   |   Lola Rennt   |   Hero   |   The Triplets of Belleville   |   Eat Drink Man Woman   |   City of God   |   Amelie   |   Goodbye Lenin!   |   The Barbarian Invasions   |   Osama   |   Life is Beautiful   |   El Crimen del Padre Amaro   |   Spirited Away   |   Son of the Bride   |   Three Colors Trilogy   |   Hana-bi   |   Sonatine   |   Whale Rider   |   No Man's Land   |   The Cuckoo   |




Indie Films I Recommend:
|   Kevin Smith Movies   |   Quentin Tarantino Movies (Pulp Fiction is the best!)   |   The Secretary   |   My Big Fat Greek Wedding   |   Waking Life   |   Memento   |   The Usual Suspects   |   Punch Drunk Love   |   Requiem for a Dream   |   Fargo   |   Donnie Darko   |   Lost in Translation   |   28 Days Later   |   The Virgin Suicides   |   Monster   |   Pi   |   The Station Agent   |   Thirteen   |   Dancer in the Dark   |   Intermission   |   Ghost World   |   The Magdalene Sisters   |   Boys Don't Cry   |   Igby Goes Down   |   Bend it Like Beckham   |   What's Eating Gilbert Grape?   |   21 Grams   |   American Splendor   |   Pieces of April   |   Being John Malkovich   |   Trainspotting   |   Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels   |   American History X   |




Favourite Foreign/ Indie Actors
|   Gael Garcia Bernal   |   Diego Luna   |   Patricia Clarkson   |   Steve Buscemi   |   William H. Macy   |   Sam Rockwell   |   Parker Posey   |   Jake Gyllenhaal   |   Maggie Gyllenhaal   |   John Malkovich   |   Edward Norton   |   Uma Thurman   |   Takeshi Kitano   |   Maggie Cheung   |   Eugene Levy   |   Giovanni Ribisi   |   Cate Blanchett   |   Audrey Tautou   |

Sunday, May 23, 2004

White, Black and Red

I'm already twentysome years old and I still have that dreaded teen problem. Zits. Acne. Pimples. Whiteheads. Carbuncles. Blackheads. Aiyah, whatever you call them, I hate them.


I had them through my teen years and upon hitting 20, I thought it would be a problem of the past. Alas (always wanted to use that word)! They've followed me into adulthood as well. Sure sucks I tell you. I'm still having this problem. I am sure some of you can relate.


What have you tried to "battle" les eruptions?


Let me tell you mine...


I've tried the cucumber mask. Yup. I used to peel, slice, and puree lots of cucumbers, then slop it on my red, acne infested face. Not sure if it really worked though.:(


I've also tried a certain "marvel gel." Hehehe, I remember making my mom call the skin specialist after listening to a radio show advertising it. Not sure it really worked either but I tried. By the way, you know it's bad when your mom buys you a book simple entitled, "Pimples." Remember this, Sara?


Steaming my face over a bowl of hot water? Been there, done that.


Clearasil, oxy...yup, yup. No product endorsement here intended but I figure everyone's used one of these at least once, unless you're blessed with smooth, pimpleless skin. If you are, you're banished from this blog!:)


All that glycolic, alpha-hydroxy gunk.


Done the toothpaste zit zapper remedy, oatmeal mask, a certain "sage and comfrey" conconction, etc...Actually, I think I have tried everything under the sun. Oh wait, that's supposed to be bad too.:)


Also used tea tree oil, apricot scrubs, fragrance free soaps, cleansers, not to mention the $$$ ones, etc...Experimented with that thing you stick on your dalmation spotted nose, let it sit, and then rip off in the hope that those damn blackheads are gone.


It is said that chocolates are not bad for your skin, but I never took/take any chances. When the going gets tough and the enemies of the face start popping up, I try (keyword here is try) not to eat chocs. Eat more tofu, carrots, veggies, instead.:P Oh yeah, even bought those "Skin, Nails, Hair" vitamins too.


Anything I have read in some Cosmo-YM-Self sort of magazine I have also done. Some are absurd but hey, when you're desperate and think everyone's staring at that one huge pustule on your face or a conglomerate of them, you'd try ANYTHING!!!


I still haven't found the "cure." In fact, I think as one gets older (hehehe, notice the use of "one" and not "I"), scars are slower to heal, so really, when they say don't burst them zits, DON'T! Ok, ok, I admit I don't practise what I preach. But I am sure you understand. That unstoppable urge to squeeeeeeeze...die you damn zit, die!!!!!!


But really, zits don't stop once you've reached adulthood (sorry wishful thinking teens), unless you're one of those flawless skinned models you see in mags (which by the way, I hear that isn't really true either...ah! the wonders of retouching, technology, etc...)


So what have I tried and find helps? It's rather expensive but I like charcoal facial masks. No, no, not to hide behind them. You put it on for ten mins and wash it off. Feels great. A trip to the facial lady/guy every now and then doesn't hurt either (not speaking wallet-wise). Vitamin E cream is great too.


Anyway, let me know what works, what doesn't or didn't. You may help some angst-ridden teen/adult...or me for that matter. Divulge!


PS: If all fails, concealer, concealer, concealer......:)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Food for Thought

Is there a certain type of food or a specific dish that reminds you of happy or sad memories during your childhood? That was the question posed to me by one of my friends (we have weird conversations) and right away, I started rambling on and on about home-cooked meals, take-out and dine-out meals along with the memories each one came attached with. My friend must have regretted asking me the question because he didn't quite know how much I like food. Or talking about food. Or anything related to food for that matter.


Let's see... the first steak I remember eating was with none other than Tira, my dad and his business associate. My sister and I were both young and boy, how we struggled to finish our steaks. The portions were way too big for us so we had to bring the leftovers home in a doggybag. My sister and I find it amusing now because these days when we eat at steakhouses, we have one whole steak each. Plus appetizers. And salad. And soup. Oh, and let's not forget the dinner rolls with butter. Gone are the days of filling up on half a steak!


Then there's ice cream, glorious ice cream... I remember how Tira and I used to wait for the sound of Mr. Ice Cream Seller's bell signalling his arrival and how we ran out to yell "Ice cream! Tuuuuunnng, tuuuunggg! Yat kor Cornetto!" (that's "Ice cream! Wait, wait! One Cornetto!" for all non-Chinese speaking folks :P). Those were the only Chinese words we could utter fluently as kids. Oh wait, those are still the only Chinese words we can utter fluently now :P. But if for some reason we missed Mr Ice Cream Man and had a craving for ice cream that day, we would conveniently be outside the house after office hours to wait for our neighbour's daughter to arrive home from work. She always had extra Cornettos in the freezer and never thought twice about giving some to the two girls playing outside who then mysteriously ran into the house as soon as they got ice cream. How cheeky we were back then!


We also used to spend a lot of afternoons playing at our grandaunt's house while our mother went about her business. It was fun playing at my grandaunt's place because she participated in everything we did. But what I remember best is my grandaunt's cooking... boy, could she cook! Her specialities included potato and fish cakes, cold chicken salad with sesame seeds and lemon juice, acar with whole garlic pieces and fried potatoes with mixed vegetables and chicken. And being the great grandaunt she was, she also specially made non-spicy curry chicken with potatoes because she knew us kids couldn't handle spicy food. We haven't had that dish for years now since we've moved on to spicy food but damn, was that curry good!


It's also hard to not think of a turkey everytime I think of my grandaunt. Wait, that sounds horrible, but let me elaborate. The whole family would congregate at my grandaunt's house for the annual Christmas lunch and both she and my mother never failed to whip up a meal less fitting for a king. They would both slave away in the kitchen while the kids played and adults chattered. Our Christmas spread always consisted of a whole roast turkey with mushroom and chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, soup, sausages, mixed vegetables and brussel sprouts and it was all washed down with sparkling grape juice. After lunch, it was time to open presents and pull crackers while waiting for our dessert of vanilla ice cream and fruit cocktail.


And what walk down memory lane would be complete without talking about my mother and my father? To boil it down (no pun intended) to just a few dishes and memories would be impossible. My mother was always there with her chicken or fish porridge whenever one of us were sick. My dad was busy at work and often came home late but he made sure he made his yummy pancakes on Sunday mornings and often brought home fishballs and roasted pigeons (which tastes like chicken by the way) after work. My mom would deep-fry a whole chicken for my dad for his dinner (issues about fat and cholesterol were non-existent back then) and I would sit next to him so he could peel off the crispy chicken skin for me. I remember the many breakfasts my mother prepared for us before we headed off to school - scrambled eggs, cocktail sausages, fried rice etc and how she had to wake up at 4.30a.m. every morning just to prepare everything while we slept like pigs. She also made sure we had a litle tuppperware of food to tote to school for our recess. You'd probably have guessed by now, but we rarely went hungry at home or outside.


So anyway, I continued rambling on and on (much like this actually) and when I was finally done, my friend looked at me and said "I envy you... I asked you for both happy and sad memories and all your memories seem to be happy ones". And it was true. I know I must have had some unhappy moments in my childhood but I've just had so many more happier memories that they overshadow the sad ones. I realized then how lucky I was to have had such a great childhood because while it was great to have been surrounded by yummy food and never having to go hungry when I was young, it was even better to have been surrounded by my family. Because we all know that food always tastes better when we're surrounded by family and love anyway.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Wacky Laws Around the World

I was doing some research on the Internet for my assignment when I came across this page with a list of crazy/ weird laws from around the world. Some are really funny, some are interesting but weird and some just lack plain common sense. I'm not sure if these laws really do exist though or if they're just made up but let's just pretend they're real (it's so much more fun that way!). Here are just some of the zanier few:-


In the United States:
In Miami, it's illegal for men to be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.


It is illegal to say "Oh, Boy" in Jonesboro, Georgia.


Chicago law prohibits eating in a place that is on fire.


In Clawson, Michigan, there is a law that makes it LEGAL for a farmer to sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats, and chickens.


No man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath in Alexandria, Minnesota. If his wife so requests, law mandates that he must brush his teeth.


In Merryville, Missouri, women are prohibited from wearing corsets because "the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male."


Lovers in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, should avoid satisfying their lustful urges in a parked car. If the horn accidentally sounds while they are frolicking behind the wheel, the couple can face a jail term.


Harthahorne (Oklahoma) City Ordinance, Section 363, states that it shall be unlawful to put any hypnotized person in a display window.


It is illegal in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania., to sleep in a refrigerator.


An ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having sex while standing inside a store's walk-in-meat freezer.




Elsewhere Around the World:
In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.


In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman's genitals, but is prohibited from looking directly at them during the examination. He may only see their reflection in a mirror.


Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. This also applies to undertakers; the sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick or piece of wood at all times.


The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.


There are men in Guam whose full-time job is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins, who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time...Reason: under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.


In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but may only do so with her bare hands. The husband's lover, on the other hand, may be killed in any manner desired.


Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England - but only in tropical fish stores.


In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, it is illegal for a man to have sex with a woman and her mother at the same time.


In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have sex with her husband, and the first time this happens, her mother must be in the room to witness the act.


In Maryland, it is illegal to sell condoms from vending machines with one exception: Prophylactics may be dispensed from a vending machine only "in places where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises."


**********



Suddenly the laws in Malaysia don't seem too bad or crazy eh? :)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

"I Hope We Can Still be Friends"

Breaking up is never easy, on the person doing the dumping or on the person being dumped. If you've ever been the Dumper or the Dumpee in a past relationship, you would have undoubtably uttered or heard the "I hope we can still be friends" line amidst all the other "I love you, I'm just not in love with you", "I never meant to hurt you", "I will always love you" and the ever popular "It's not you, it's me" breaking-up speech cliches. But I'm wondering, do the Dumpers really mean what they say while sitting across the person whose heart they're breaking or is it just a feeble attempt at making themselves feel better so they appear less like the bad guy? While I can't speak for everyone, I can however, offer my two sen on the matter because yes, I was once the Dumper.


I was in a 4-year relationship which ended last year and I learnt firsthand that uttering those lines only do more harm than good. They do nothing to appease the hurt and anger in the other person and in fact, only seem to make matters worse. For a while at least.


My ex, C and I had a rough 4 years with us being the on-again, off-again couple in our group of friends. No one took us seriously when we broke up because hey, there we were together again a week later. But I guess the death blow finally came when C announced his decision to work outstation. The alarm guarding the Rational Thinking department immediately went off in my head but I chose to ignore it and carried on with a long-distance relationship with C. As you can guess, things between us deteriorated quickly so I figured the most sensible thing to do would be to break up. It should have long occured to me that our relationship was hardly working out when we were face to face so what were the odds of it working when we were miles apart?


I told him of my decision when he came back for a visit and yes, those break-up cliches came spewing out as well and I guess there must have been an air of finality to my words because he looked absolutely crestfallen by the time I was done. He must have asked "Why?" a thousand times that night only to be answered by my looking down at the ground. I will never forget the look on his face and I felt lower than pond scum for saying "I hope we can still be friends" when I didn't even know if I had meant it or not. C, on the other hand, just got angry and left behind a string of obscenities before he left.


We went for weeks without speaking and I'm still not sure who was the first to pick up the phone but we did start talking again and C and I are now the best of friends. It took a while for us to get over the awkward moments (there are still some every now and then) but it helps to know that a normal friendship is much more fulfilling than a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship ever could be between us.


And just yesterday, he called to tell me that he was coming back to KL for good. Will things change for us in the future now that he's coming back? I don't think so. All I do know is, C will always be a permanent fixture in my life and I'm happy with that. And yes, I never meant to hurt him, will always love him and am grateful that we're still friends. I guess I really did mean what I said then.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Random Acts of Kindness

I was watching the news the other day and a tv station had decided it was going to have a "Random Acts of Kindness" week.


It was interesting. Everyday for that week, they did something good, kind, etc...for strangers, in the hope that they in turn would do something good for someone else. One day, they bought strangers coffee and breakfast, another day they paid toll fares for commuters, and yet another day, they paid cab fares for those who catching one. All these strangers who received that random act of kindness were all asked to do something positive for someone else in return. I wonder how many did.


This of course brings to mind the movie, "Pay it Forward." I remember watching it with Sara and it made me cry! It seems so simple, someone does something nice for you and you pass it on. If everyone really did pass the good on, the world would be a much better place. It's so simple, but yet kind of complicated, eh? How many of us actually do it?


I don't know if I have carried out as many random acts of kindness in my life as I would like to. I wish I could say I did or do! It could be as easy as putting a few extra coins in to someone's expired meter so they don't get a ticket, buying someone coffee, giving someone flowers for no reason, all in the hope of making someone, a total stranger's day. It doesn't have to cost a lot, or be something out of one's way. Any simple, small gesture will do, just to put a smile on that person's face.


I am guilty of being selfish. I sometimes feel like I don't need to do something kind for someone I don't even know and will probably never cross paths with again. I feel like I need a reason, but is that really necessary to be nice to someone??? I am no meanie of course (or at least I don't think so). I do the everyday courtesy thing like mind my "p's and q's", hold the door for the person behind me, etc... but nothing randomly kind!


Anyway, I am thinking of what I can do. It's not easy for someone who's somewhat shy like myself to go and buy someone I don't know coffee or breakfast, I would hate to give someone the wrong impression. I do often buy food for the office, is that counted? Maybe not. Maybe I'll just go pop some coins in to someone's parking meter.


I'm going to visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to see if I can get any ideas.


I am still thinking...I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Love Ya Mom!

Just wanted to ditto my sis' sentiments. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Our mom's the greatest! She's the darling of the family.:) I mean this woman would lay down her life for us...and, she's the coolest. We can email her dirty jokes, swear in front of her (she'll swear back), go out with her as if she was our best friend (she is), etc...aiyah, the list goes on.:)


It's weird, cos when we were younger we used to rebel. But now, on days like new year's eve when we want to stay home and avoid the suffocating crowds, our mom will try to persuade us to go out, or she'd be ever willing to buy us alcohol so we can celebrate at home. I mean our mom will really make sure we're happy. She's the best!:) I'd do ANYTHING for this woman, our mom.


For the past two years, Sara and I have entered a newspaper's mother's day contest. And we've always come away feeling like ours should have been the winners - I am sure everyone else feels that way too, hehehe! Anyway, this year, we've decided not to enter any contests, instead we're posting one of the "poems" we came up with previously:


No matter how it's said,
Flowery words or sappy cards,
We decided to tell you straight from the heart,
"Mom, we love you very much!"


Just for fun's sake, we decided to look at some contest entries for a mother's day contest! We don't think they're all that, but that's just what we think. Damn, don't you think we'd have won if we submitted our poem??? (it's copyrighted, by the way:) )


Whatever it is, we just wanted to let everyone know...We love our mom and she's the best! :)

Happy Mothers' Day!


"God couldn't be everywhere, therefore he created mothers" ~ Jewish Proverb




Happy Mothers' Day to all mothers!

xoxo,
Tira & Sara

Friday, May 07, 2004

Songs I Love to Hate

Well, the long weekend is over (bummer!) and yours truly is currently suffering from serious chillin' and pigging out withdrawal symptoms. Warning: That's what you get when you attempt to return to some form of normalcy after 4 days of eating, sleeping and nothing much else. My couch now has an indentation in the shape of my body and is encrusted with crumbs from all the food I've been eating while lying down hahaha... not a pretty picture, I know.


I did however, amidst all the inactivity, manage to catch up on some worthwhile(?) reading online and came across several interesting music articles, one of which attracted my attention more than others. It featured Blender magazine and their choice of the 50 Worst Songs Ever and just reading it inspired me to come up with my own list of bad songs that I love to hate.


In my opinion, a song can be bad for a variety of reasons but more often that not, it's the bad lyrics and cheesy tunes that wear thin after a couple of listens. I do, however, also think that music is a matter of personal choice so a crappy song to some might literally sound like music to the ears to a whole lot of other people. While it's safe to say that I agree with more than half of Blender's choices, I thought some of the other tracks were pretty decent (come on, there are worse songs than John Mayer's Your Body is a Wonderland and Limp Bizkit's Rollin'!)


Topping the Blender list, however, is Starship's 1985 hit, We Built This City and while I agree the song is pretty crappy, I thought it couldn't possibly out-crap some of the rubbish we hear today. So I've compiled my own list of bad songs - you know, those songs that make you switch channels or stations as soon as you hear them or worse, make you want to throw your stereo out the window. Visibly absent from my list are boybands, teen popsters and UK pop bands, all for good reason. No, not because they sing great songs but because I think all their songs are pure crap and listing them would just be a waste of space and time.


So here they are - my personal choices for worst songs ever... all bad, all horrible and all definitely cringe-worthy.


15. Missing by Everything But The Girl   Otherwise known as the boring lullaby. Play this song and I'll be out cold like a lightbulb in 20 seconds, 30 tops.


14. What's Up? by 4 Non Blondes   A whole lotta wailing, yodeling and nothing much else actually.


13. The Sign by Ace Of Base   Among all their similar sounding songs, this has got to be their worst. Don't Turn Around comes in a close second.


12. Shoulder To Cry On by Tommy Page  Besides being one of my choices for worst song, the trophy for the most depressing song goes to this one as well. I'm not sure if you even remember Mr. Page but trust me, his half-dead singing on this particular track could make even the happiest man alive weep buckets of tears.


11. Big, Big World by Emilia   Hmm, let's see which part of this song qualifies it as bad... "I'm a big big girl in a big big world, It's not a big big thing if you leave me, But I do do feel that I do do will miss you much". Yes yes, that would would be it it.


10. I Stand Alone by Godsmack   Just one of the worst rock songs ever. And I rarely hate rock songs.


09. 500 Miles by The Proclaimers   I have no other way of explaining this but listening to this song makes me wanna flex my (non-existent) muscles, march across the room and go "Grrrrrrr!", which can never be a good thing.


08. Who Let The Dogs Out by Baha Men   I think the real question should be, who let this turkey out?!


07. It's a tie! Scatman by Scatman John / Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega   One hit wonders for both artistes. What a relief!


06. Ray Of Light by Madonna   All her other songs are pretty unbearable too but I thought this particular one was a little worse because it was edging past the pop barrier into dance techno territory. Never a good thing with me.


05.Down With The Sickness by Disturbed   I admit I liked this song when I first heard it. But it's hard to keep liking it when the "Ooh wah ah ah ah! Ohh ohh"s in the song start getting painful on the ears. Now it's just plain torture.


04. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion   Probably the most overplayed single from any movie soundtrack ever. I, along with many others I'm sure, suffered for months when I had to listen to it every second of the day and all that repetitious airplay made a shitload of money for Dion and her Titanic compadres. How unfair!


03. Blue by Eiffel 65   By far the most annoying song I have ever heard! A thousand mosquitoes buzzing around my ears would be less annoying.


02. The Ketchup Song by Las Ketchup   Think Macarena (another horrible song and dance number) with chicks for singers. Note: It's also a crappy idea to name your song after a condiment you would dip your chicken wings in, even if your father's name is Tomate.


And now, for my number one choice of the worst song ever... (drumroll please)


01. Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden   This song exploded everywhere when it was released! I remember going shopping at Sungei Wang Plaza one weekend and they had this plastic lemon tree at its entrance which played the song everytime the button was pressed. Naturally thousands of people kept pressing it so the song kept playing on and on... and on... and on... and on......... I could have burnt that tree down there and then, I tell ya. That was a few years ago and hearing it still bugs me as much, if not more, today. The childish tune, the lyrics a 10-year-old kid could have written... there's just nothing good about this song!


So there you have it, my two sen on 15 of the worst songs ever. I could have expanded my list to 20 or even 50 but just thinking about all these songs has given me a headache. What about you? What songs do you find bad, annoying or just plain love to hate?

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Two's Enough, Thanks!

How many of us have had one too many drinks and ended up acting like a fool???


I am guilty of: throwing up all over the bathroom, wanting to sleep on the road, crying, suddenly becoming a flirt and a chatterbox (I'm quite quiet and shy in person sans alcohol), swearing a whole lot, etc...


Yes, yes, I know...it's not lady-like, could be dangerous, etc...Funny thing is, when I am sober and I see someone drunk and acting all stupid, I KNOW it's unsightly, annoying, embarrassing and sometimes could be looked upon as plain slutty and cheap.


It's just that alcohol impairs my judgement (yeah, really). I take one and I feel a little loosened up. A couple more and I am a little more loosened up, somewhat happier and talk more. More drinks into the night and I feel like everyone's my best friend, I say things that are on my mind and give my unwanted opinions on everything. Suddenly I feel like the only way I can have fun is with more drinks and that it's cool for me to drink as much as I do (don't know why I think that but I do), the inner alcoholic in me gets unleashed!


Fortunately, I don't party as much as I used to. Just the occasional once every six months or so. But when I party, I PARTY, end up drinking more than I should. Lucky for me, I don't drive in the city, so usually a designated driver friend sends me home.


Worst thing about drinking too much? Apart from the awful hangover the next day and swearing never to drink again, is trying to remember what I said the night before...worst yet, wishing I hadn't said some things or acted the crazy way I had or given the digits to someone I didn't know. Gulp.


Doubly worst is being drunk at an office holiday party, crying, and then having to go to work the next day. ARGH!!!!


Anyway, I have decided to limit the alcohol intake to two drinks. Yes, dos, due, deux, dua. TWO!!!! I've spent way too much hard earned money on useless drinks that just get peed away. Plus I'm just getting too old to be throwing up all over the place, the clean-up isn't exactly fun either, by the way. Enough embarrassing moments for me.

Camera Olympus 765

Thank you everyone for emailing me about digicams! The response was overwhelming! But as Sara would know, I am as fickled as anyone can be...so before I make a final purchase....please let me know what your thoughts are on the latest Olympus c-765!


I am not the most technology savvy person around and any feedback is appreciated! Let me know if there's a digicam around that I should know about or look into. THANKS!

Friday, April 30, 2004

A Sobering Message



This is Jacqueline Saburido before September 19, 1999.






This is the car Jacqueline was in when she
was hit by a drunk 18-year old student.







This is Jacqueline today.



Early on Sunday morning September 19, 1999, Jacqui - then 20 years old - and four friends were on their way home from a birthday party. Reggie Stephey, an 18-year-old high school student, was on his way home from drinking beer with some buddies. On a dark road on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, Reggie's SUV veered into the Oldsmobile carrying Jacqui and the others. Two passengers in the car were killed at the scene and two were rescued. Within minutes, the car caught fire. Jacqui was pinned in the front seat on the passenger side. She was burned over 60% of her body; no one thought she could survive. But Jacqui lived. Her hands were so badly burned that all of her fingers had to be amputated. She lost her hair, her ears, her nose, her left eyelid and much of her vision. She has had more than 50 operations since the crash and has many more to go.


In June 2001 Reggie Stephey was convicted of two counts of intoxication manslaughter for the deaths of Jacqui's two friends. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $20,000.
~ www.helpjacqui.com


-----------------------------------------------------------



Jacqueline Saburido is an amazing woman. I saw her on the Oprah show a few days ago and was deeply touched and saddened by what she had to say. I cried when I saw her interview and I don't usually cry when I watch TV. The thing that touched me most about Jacqui was her positive outlook on life and her willingness to forgive. She accepts the way she looks and only allows herself 5 minutes a day to feel sorry for herself and cry. She also doesn't harbour any hatred towards Reggie Stephey or think of him as an evil person, just someone who made the wrong decision one fateful morning.


Let Jacqui's story be a lesson to all of us. We all love to have a good time and more often than not, friends and alcohol seem like the perfect combination. But let's be honest here, lots of us have made or allowed someone else to make the same decision Reggie Stephey made that morning. We've allowed our friends to drive home a little drunk or convinced our own friends that we were sober enough to drive. I guess the problem with most of us is, we take life for granted and think that the bad stuff only happens to other people, never to ourselves.


Well, I'd hate for this to sound like a public service announcement but I really hope these pictures make us think twice about the responsibility that comes with drinking or driving. Remember, it's all fine and dandy if you get into an accident and die but what happens if you end up paralyzed or disfigured like Jacqui or worse, end up paralyzing, disfiguring or killing someone else? I doubt any one of us would want to be in Jacqueline Saburido's or Reggie Stephey's position so think about it the next time you're planning to drink and drive.




Want to know more about Jacqueline's life before and after the accident? You can download the full story here.