Tuesday, May 31, 2005

so you're lost?

the best way to learn a new route is to get lost
the worst time to learn it is when you're lost and in a hurry!

Monday, May 30, 2005

"membuka baju" scholarship

made myself wake up early yesterday to attend the english test for the mext scholarship.

i can't believe i fell asleep the night before while doing some sample ielts papers. ever since i graduated, i've begun to have a tendency to skim through books and newspapers. there is just too much information out there, not just articles, but emails and websites as well. to gather in as much as possible, speed reading is required.

after a long period of time of not doing tests, i find myself straining to properly understand the concepts presented in comprehension papers. when i'm reading an article in the papers, i don't purposely read every word and make sense out of the sentences, well not all. but for tests, i had to make a conscious effort to summarise what each paragraph conveyed and take note of the implied meanings behind the story.

probably that's why my brains was a tad overclocked the last week, hehe...

anyways, there was a fair bit of easy "fill-in-the-blank" questions and some not-so-easy parts as well. no offence to the people in the land of the rising sun, but there were times i thought it sounded more japanese than english. for a while there, i felt as if i was talking to my japanese lecturer back in uni, and tried to imagine what he would have put down as the answer.

oh well, it's over already. i shall have to wait with bated breath for the results then. jeng jeng jeng jeng!

Friday, May 27, 2005

random thoughts?

while john is making an effort to err, randomize his thoughts, i'm beginning to think that a random-thought post would be appropriate for this. there's been too many times when trails of thoughts just run through my head, and i find it difficult to grasp and make coherent sense out of all of them!

instead of finding a single idea or experience to capture, why not just jot them as they come to mind? after all, it's so much easier to just write in pieces rather than trying to make a story out of them. heh!

* * *

so anyways, my previous post saw me trying to express my situation in the office. i'm not one to complain since most of the time, it doesn't do much good. so instead of griping, i decided to write a poem. i'm not a poetic person, though i wish i had the natural talent to just write stanzas after stanzas without having to edit them many times over.

it's been a tough week, to say the least. i shared some stuff with close friends and CB sent me a verse to console me. it was taken from zephaniah 3:17. i found it to be really soothing, and decided to write it on a pretty note paper and put it up on the wall next to my bed.

* * *

i've always enjoyed talks with my "friendly neighbourhood pastor"; he's from the famed "jam with the lamb band". he just found out i have an engineering degree and have always thought i was doing something related to business or arts. for a moment, he was stunned, trying to absorb what he just heard. hehe...

he doesn't know it, but he's one of my mentors. it's amazing how God always gives him the right words or verses to share, and because of this i sometimes feel as if i'm talking to God!

* * *

i have a test this sunday morning. an english test for a japanese scholarship, how about that? hehe.. everyone tells me there's nothing to study for an english test. but i haven't sat for tests in ages! and i'll have you know that i didn't even take my 1119! so pls pls pray for me.

if i get to fly to japan, i'll get to meet takeshi kaneshiro. i know he's a kayu of an actor, but he's the only japanese i know. erm wait, there's also this jap guy i met on the plane when we came back from our philippines missions trip ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

butterflies on my race

i'm runnin' a different race
no slimy slitherin' snakes here
nor rats or preying vultures
not even hamsters on wheels

i'm runnin' a different race
'tis less crowded here
there're people i've come to know
who've inspired me to run like them

i'm runnin' a different race
the air smells different
don't get choked no more
by the smog and gloom

i'm runnin' a different race
where i can stop and smell
the roses by the roadside
pwetty butterflies flutterin' by

i'm runnin a different race, a'ight.

Friday, May 20, 2005

quando quando quando

Michael Buble - It's Time

Yes yes, I got Mr Cutie's latest album for my birthday! Much thanks to my grrlfriends, Adele & Geng. And yes, this wish list thingy works very well for me. I remember getting his first album 2 years back because of this wonderful thing called wish list too.

I used to think wish lists were rather impersonal. Spoilers. You already knew what you would be getting. So when your birthday comes, you aren't so excited anymore. No more delighted squels.

But as we grew up, we found a way to keep the excitement and fun while getting the right gift to the recipient. Get the birthday grrl (or boy, or whatever) to write a long list of things that she would love to have as a gift. So out of the many many things which she has asked for, we will choose one (or more, depending on budget) to buy for her.

She may roughly know what she'll be getting, but there's no knowing for sure which particular one. But just for drama, she may still want to pretend :

OMG! That's what I've always wanted!
Thank goodness! I made 8 trips to all the malls I could think of just to get you this gift. You better like it.

How did you know??
I guess that's because I've got good taste!

Aww, that's so sweet of you grrls!
Uh huh, that's why we're the best grrlfriends you'll ever have.

So, anyways, this album is a blast. My personal favourites are "Quando, quando, quando", "Home", "Save the last dance for me", and "A song for you". My colleague who's getting married in 2 months was telling me she'll be using his songs for her upcoming wedding. I can already imagine the breezy jazz atmosphere that will be setting the theme for the big day.

a poem by mother theresa

You can tell... I'm still bored! :D

Found this to be quite inspiring. During my down times, I find myself looking to quotes, verses and poems such as this to lift myself up. Not easy to do, but definitely worth trying. Because in the end, it's between me and God.

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

strange but true...

... that I'm busy but bored!

Here's a site which I love to go to. I enjoy Anne Geddes' pictures because they speak volumes of innocence and purity with their simplicity. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to make something simple.

peacefully sleeping
peacefully sleeping

what bliss
what bliss

Monday, May 16, 2005

right this way, miss...

Have you ever visited a new church, and the ushers inevitably guide you all the way to the front? And those times, you happened to not come on time because you weren't aware of their service times?

For as long as I can remember, for all those times I've visited new churches, this almost always happen to me. Imagine this : you are a stranger in this place, and you decide to visit the local church one Sunday. Because you are new, you have no contacts whatsover, but decide to drop by a church because you felt like checking them out.

And so happened that the praise & worship session has just finished, and everyone's seated, waiting for the pastor to preach his sermon. And just at that moment, you enter the premises. The usher brings you to the first few rows, and shows you your seat, somewhere not too far from where all the pastors and deacons are.

Everyone from the back rows to the pastors in front see you walking. All eyes are on you as you make your way to wherever the usher's bringing you, because it would be quite rude to not do so. After all, he's smiling his widest smile and flashing his whitest grin. He's also just behind you, blocking your exit should you decide that the front is too front for you.

It feels kinda embarrassing because they might think you purposely came late and you just had to show it by sitting in front. Or because you were new and were trying to be friendly, you smile at them, and they give you this look which says "hey, you're late, what you smiling at?"

But because I'm usually visiting those churches with my family, I can find refuge from those looks by walking very near my parents. After all, I was a kid when all these happened, so their stares aint so glaring. Heh!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

passion cafe

My friend Li Shuan has just opened Passion Cafe as a platform for outreach. It started operations about 2 weeks ago and will be officially launched on the 23rd May, from 3-6pm. Opening hours are from 11am - 9pm, Mon to Thu, and extends to midnight on Fri & Sat. It will be closed on Sundays.

map to Passion Cafe

If you happen to be in that area, do make your way to Passion Cafe at 15-1 Jalan PJU 8/5A, Damansara Perdana, 47820 PJ. It's a bright cheery place with a warm inviting ambience.

Heard that the food's pretty good; it must be true judging from the tantalising menu she passed to me. Here's a sample of what you can savour there...

Alluring Appetizers
Top Hats ~ Sesame Prawn Toast ~ Spicy Fish Cake ~ Deep Fried Chicken Wings ~ French Fries ~ Fried Wantan

Scandalous Sandwiches
Egg Mayo ~ Turkey Ham & Cheese ~ Tuna Mayo ~ Sardine

Local Longings
Nasi Lemak ~ Chinese Fried Rice ~ Pineapple Fried Rice ~ Tumeric Fried Beehoon ~ Kampung Fried Rice ~ Tom Yam Fried Kuey Teow

Pasta Passions
Butter Dory Angel Hair ~ Parshroom Spaghetti ~ Turkey Carbo Maccaroni ~ Pesto Chicken Spaghetti ~ Spaghetti Bolognaise ~ Spicy Thai Spaghetti

Chicken Craze
Cordon Blue ~ Cajun Chicken

Espresso Expressions
Italian Espresso ~ Espresso Ristretto ~ Espresso Napoleon Con Panna

Luxurious Lattes
Café Latte ~ Macchiato Latte ~ Vanilla Latte ~ Irish Cream Latte ~ Hazelnut Latte

Captivating Cappuccino
Italian Traditional Cappuccino ~ Hazelnut Cappuccino ~ Irish Cream Cappuccino ~ Banarama Cappuccino

Sensational Sodas
French Vanilla ~ Western Wildberry ~ Kona Macadamia Nut ~ Peppermint Schnapps ~ Rocky Mountain Hazelnut ~ Georgia Peach ~ Napolean Brandy

And that's only half the menu! I'm definitely going there one of these days, and who knows, I may just decide to waitress for her hehe...

Oh ya, if you bring a friend along, you can sign up for a privilege card as well. See you there! :)

[Update 18 May - Passion Cafe website]

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

my new g strings

I've finally gotten my new strings, and they look so shiny on my guitars.

My darling friends came over the other night, and together we polished my classical and acoustic guitars. I also learnt how to take out the old strings, and put on the new glossy ones. It was exciting seeing the guitars in tip top condition (well, almost!), all shiny and looking like they've been given a new breath of life.

Gliding my fingers over the strings, I found it such joy listening to the sound it produced. So clear and bright. Unlike the dull tone it previously had. So unmotivating to practice on. Heh!

Now the songs I play somehow sound chirpier, if there ever was such a word. Like there's a bounce in the music. Livelier.

And definitely easier on the left fingers as well. Since they're new, the strings are also "gentler" on the skin. Or maybe I'm just too excited about the newness of it, unconsciously thinking everything has somehow become better and easier!

Still, it's all good, and I'm getting enthusiastic about my guitar lessons again :)

Monday, May 09, 2005

the ironic funeral

I thought Wednesday was going to be another funeral where I'd go and play and then come home once the service was over.

I had no problems playing despite the last minute notice (well, it is after all a funeral), and not knowing who I was playing for. But this was one which was quite different from the rest. It was held in our church, though he wasn't exactly a member.

As I was walking into the church premises, I saw this huge wreath of white and yellow flowers near the entrance. Something drew me to it. I took a glance at the name and immediately had a second look. It was addressed to a name familiar to me.

OMG, I gasped, perhaps it was someone with the same name. But it couldn't be. His name is so unique, I still remember what I first thought of when I heard his name. His wife was a uni friend whom I briefly got to know back in Malacca.

Just as I turned from the wreath to walk towards the stage, I saw them. My friend, her husband and their young son. They were seated at the front, the coffin bearing her father-in-law's body near the altar. It was them after all.

So ironic. It was just last year that I played for the wedding of the man's son. And there I was, having to play for his funeral. It was a surreal experience, quite indescribable in words. As I walked towards the front, my head scrambled to find some words to say to them.

Since I wasn't close to her, all I could mutter was "I'm sorry". She appeared fine enough, but her husband just sat on the opposite pew looking understandingly sullen.

I always wonder how I should react when attending funerals like these. More often than not, I'm asked to play for a church member whom I don't know. I try to appear solemn, lest I risk offending the family members. At the same time, I feel like I should say something comforting.

I don't know. If there was a huge line of people waiting to convey their condolences to the family, I doubt if some stranger coming up to say "I'm sorry" would bring much comfort to them. They wouldn't even remember who played for them. For all I know, if my playing was bad enough, that might just have that forever etched in their memory. If I played morosely decent, probably they'll call me for the next funeral.

Oh dear, all these rambling. I hope the family members don't get to read this. I was just wondering aloud what would be appropriate actions in situations such as these.

Well, thank goodness we didn't have the sad hymns that day. The songleader chose some relatively upbeat songs to remember the man by. He was a pastor of a Seremban church, and in his earlier days had attended my church. Hence, his last wish to have a memorial service in GT.

May his soul rest in peace.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

balinese, shiatsu or thai?

Looking at their catalogue itself is enough to evoke a sense of calm and serenity. That's right, folks. I've just gotten myself a spa voucher at the picture-perfect Sembunyi Spa, courtesy of my darling grrlfriends. Can't believe they got me another spa voucher for my birthday. It was just another item on the wish list, and I wasn't really expecting since we try not to repeat our gifts. But still, it was a wishful thought.

I had to stop myself from screaming with delight when I opened the package and saw the voucher. I've been to Cyberview Lodge a few years ago for a friend's garden wedding, and immediately fell in love with the award-winning resort. So when one of my grrlfriends came back ravishing about their spa facilities, I thought of giving it a try.

But of course, with such an exquisite place, comes equally exquisite prices as well. My voucher is limited, so I'll have to top up a bit to enjoy their massages. Was going through their catalogue, and I have yet to make up my mind. I wish it was an open voucher, they all look deliciously tempting!

Mmm, anyone wanna join me? :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

curious collectibles

I wonder how I got myself into this. I know it's not my prerogative, but I wished they could've chosen a better picture. :D

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

dancing the night away

It sucks when you have to work at night. On a Sunday. Make that a public holiday. Till the next morning.

When I tell people I'll be involved in our chairman's father's birthday bash in that posh hotel next to KLCC, they envy me. Said I'm happening.

I wish I was that happening. If I was in the invitation list, yeah, that would be quite happening. Everyone who's anyone in the country was invited to the party. Royalties, celebrities, politicians and ambassadors. You name it, the who's who of Malaysia was in town for an all night of merrying and drinking.

For a prestigious event such as this, the datins came dressed up. If I had a digicam with me, I'd show you they can rival those of the Oscar's. Designer gowns of the finest material, plunging necklines to reveal an ample bosom, matching glittering jewellery, coifed hair of various shades, bareback dresses and stilletoes high enough to break your back.

In the midst of helping guests find their tables and registering their gifts, I had the opportunity to ogle at what money can buy. I started to wonder what kind of a lifestyle they really led. Beneath the hugs and smooches and "Oooo, I love your hair, it looks like a beehive stuck with some hay. So couture!", was it really all merry and bliss?

Most of the guests were really pleasant, said thank you and were genuinely relieved when they found their table. There were the odd ones who looked aghast that they were not allocated a numbered table. One was a particular PR queen who kept leaning towards me as she insisted that she had already RSVP-ed earlier. Since she was wearing a low-cut floral dress, it only confirmed my suspicion that hers were original :p

With everyone asking questions and the chairman making last minute changes to the table arrangements, tension was rising. So much so that my aunty came unexpectedly. I wasn't prepared for it, and had to dash off to the ladies' to see the damage done. The cleaner lady was really sweet, and offered to fold up tissues for me.

It was too late to run off to KLCC, and the convenience store at the hotel was already closed. Since tissues aren't exactly the real thing, the running around didn't help, and soon I was ... let me spare you the details, let's just say it wasn't a scene I'd like to discuss here. I just wished the day would end soon.

Soon came at about 2am. They were serving nasi lemak for supper to guests who were still dancing at that hour. With no food for us the whole night, nasi lemak suddenly seemed like the best food ever. But we were too tired to eat much. Still, they say the Kampung Baru nasi lemak is one of the best in the city.

My heart was practically leaping with joy when our boss told us we could leave. By the time I got home it was almost 4am. Needless to say, I slept the morning away and woke up at about 12 for breakfast. With the heat and a throbbing headache, it really felt like a hangover. I cannot do this anymore. If I had at least drunk, the hangover would have been worth it, no?