Friday, July 30, 2004


Early morning trivial from the radio.

What do you get when an elephant sits on your best friend?

There were a few calls of wildshots but this is the only one that stuck in my mind!

Get a new best friend!

I was actually thinking of jewellery. You know, ivory made into accessories. After the elephant has been shot. I know. I’m sick.

But then comes the answer from a woman who swears it was a wildshot.

A flatmate.

Okay… I suck at trivial questions.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

25 things about me

Wanted to do 100 things about me, but it takes too long to work on. So I'm following another blogger's example by doing it in batches. Here's 25 things about me.

1.      I’m a simple gurl.

2.      I am a cat lover.

3.      I have 7 cats, whose names are Pierre, Samantha, Tikka, Felix, Simon, Frankie, Henri. But they’re all stuffed toys.

4.      I’ve never owned a real cat, bcos my parents hate cats.

5.      Instead I’ve had dogs, whose names were Tracy (he died of old age when I was 9), Lassie (she had to be put down becos she was crazy, seriously), Peppy and Droopy (sisters – totally different characters), Koalie (he looked like a koala bear during puppyhood), and Cookie (the sweetest little gurl who never barked).

6.      I was born in the year of the Dragon.

7.      I’m a Scorpio.

8.      I’m a multitude of contradictions; Dragon (fire element) and Scorpio (water element).

9.      I’ve had weird dreams all my life. I didn’t so much have nightmares, as much as I had weird dreams.

10.  I still have dreams of my old house in Ipoh, with weird scenes with different people in the kitchen, the livingroom, the 2nd floor bedroom, the master bedroom, the landing, the garden, the TV room, and everywhere.

11.  I dream of my late grandmother a lot, whom I never got to see one last time.

12.  I’m afraid of sleeping, to a certain degree.

13.  I was born in Ipoh, a sleepy small town that was upgraded and blossomed into a city in the early 80s. I think. But it’s terribly crowded now.

14.  I’ve lived there all my childhood life, till I went to Singapore for ‘O’ Levels.

15.  Not all Singaporeans are ‘kiasu’ or that bad. 3 of my best friends are Singaporeans.

16.  I love bubble tea. I liked going to a pretty little café that served really nice bubble tea in Orchard Road, Spore.

17.  I hate pink. Can’t stand this colour.

18.  I follow Catholic ways but am not baptised, due to an unpleasant incident in Sunday School, when the teacher got irritated by me asking questions and declared to the whole class that I was not interested in learning about Christ and that they should not follow my example because I was not serious. I went home, told my mom, and never went back for classes.

19.  I believe in God, but I don’t believe and follow all the ‘rules and laws’ that have been passed down.

20.  I believe in reincarnation.

21.  I didn’t have a happy childhood. My mother and I have been loggerheads with each other since I was born. Till today she still finds ways to create conflict with me.

22.  At the moment I believe that I am to atone for my past wrongs done to my parents. That’s the only reason that I can justify why I was born to them.

23.  I used to think that I didn’t want children, didn’t dare to have them, because I was terrified I would turn out like my mother. But now, I do want them. I think it’s because I hear my biological clock ticking.

24.  Also because I am a proud aunt to my favourite cousin’s cute little boy.

25. But I want to adopt them, not conceive them in my womb. In my mind, the world is filled with too many abandoned children. Why not take them in and give them love instead? I’ve decided on 4 – 2 boys, 2 gurls.

Back at the unhappy home

I don’t usually criticise people of their mood swings.

Because I am the mother of mood swings.

Hell, I don’t like to criticise people much. Unless they’re horrible parkers and drivers. And bitches and hypocrites and idiots and sleazeballs and… well, you get the idea.

I try not to stay at home much. Or speak much. God knows when a simple word I say will trigger another damn ‘silent war’ with her.

I know we cannot choose our parents. And I do not subscribe to the belief that we do choose our parents. Something about the way we behave equals to the end results of what our parents are like. I don’t believe that crap.

Many people don’t understand when I say that I can live happily without family. I learnt sometime back, that our family is the friends we choose to surround ourselves with. They are our chosen family. If you are lucky, you will be born into a fine family. If you are not, like me, you suffer. How do you suffer?

Self-doubt. I cannot do anything or say anything, on my own, because if I say something that will make her unhappy, I will be in trouble. Hence, I’ve constantly paused and ask myself, ‘Is that right? Should I do this? Can I say this?’ I question myself.

Inferiority. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been celebrated for who and what I am. Oh, there have been moments when she does say that I must be unique, that I am unique. But the times that she put me down and said that I would never amount to anything outweigh them more.

Doubtful of own femininity. I must remember to tell my daughters that they are beautiful, that they are lovely, in their own way and no matter what. Even if they are plain, I will not tell them straight out that they are ugly or nothing much to look at.

Insecurity. Since young, I would be abruptly attacked by this sense of fear, that I cannot trust the person(s) I am with, and that I need to run. Most of the time, they occurred when I was with my family members.

Fear of expression. I cannot show extreme liking towards objects. Because conditions will be imposed on before I can be allowed to possess things. Like my first jeans at the age of 18, but gifted by an aunt who knew that she would never gift me them. Nor can I fully express thoughts, because they would most likely be in conflict with what she thought.

I am a cauldron of contradictory emotions. Yesterday I was tremulously swaying between happiness at being with friends for dinner and despair of her indifference at my not going home for dinner. This morning I was in anticipation of my planned hookey. This afternoon I was exhilarated with the movie and filled with satisfaction. This evening before I left for another movie with my friend, I was almost in despair at her apparent lack of interest in my outing. And at her lack of effort to make the situation better.

People don’t understand why I won’t feel sad if I didn’t have my family with me when I move over to Australia. They don't understand why I won't miss them. This is why.

I don’t believe that humans are meant to live like this. Constantly wary of conflict with parents or siblings. Constantly guarding thoughts and words. Constantly examine actions and behaviours. Constantly revise speech, phrase, expression and emotion.

Which I have been doing since age 3, at the very least.

I’m tired. I’m fed-up. But I cannot ‘give up’.

I don’t think I’m a horrible daughter. I know I am not a bad daughter. Imperfect, maybe. Irritating, maybe. Negligent, maybe. But compared to many other daughters I know and heard of, I’m alright.

I’m trying not to get sucked into the despair whenever these ‘silent wars’ happen. I suspect if I didn’t experience a wonderful thing recently, that I would deeply mired in depression by now.

I pray to God constantly, that He keep me safe and grant me wisdom so that I may not aggravate a ritual with her. It’s still happening… Yet, I cannot rail at Him now, can I? Who am I to question Him? All things have a purpose and reason, isn't it?

No, I cannot question. I can do nothing. I shall not dwell on this tonight. I’m tired, so tired.

Morpheus calls me to his arms. I shall go willingly.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I scared 3 men last night… and I was naughty

Waahahahhaaa… it’s 4 o’clock, on the dot, and I’m back in the office!! Waahahahhahahaaa…. Ok. But before I go into the naughty part, I wanna talk about the ‘I scared 3 men last night’ incident.

I had dinner with 3 friends last night and after that we walked a bit, to let the food go through the various levels of acid. And we went to the Pet Wonderland. As we turned into the cat section, yes, my kin!, I heard a loud ‘rhioooww’, and I answered automatically. 3 men just standing in front of my meowing kin’s cage jumped and exclaimed the equivalent of (I'm guessing) ‘Jesus!’ in their native language. My guess is they’re either Iraqis, Iranian, or Saudi Arabian. They had those little woollen caps on and spotting curly beards. I wanted to burst into laughter but I gave a demure smile and ‘Sorry’, because they looked sincerely shocked at a runaway cat right behind them!

Now if I had any liquor during dinner, I might just have been a bit more wicked by stretching out my hands in the form of a clawing cat paw and meowed at them more. But I didn’t have any alcohol… damn!

Ok. So I’m a sadist!! Waaahahahhahahaaaaa….

Now. Right now I’m feeling, much a like woman who had sneaked out at lunchtime, to have a little tryst with her lover, at some topnotch hotel; had a wonderful time being thoroughly loved (now, the day I do get to sneak out of the office to jump into the bed of some 5-star hotel to have sweaty sex with a lover, will be a most momentous day indeed, which would deserve breaking out the champagne and dancing naked throughout the house! Not that I haven’t danced naked throughout the house, mind you, but that’s a wholly different story why I was dancing naked through the house, granted it was a long, LONG time ago. *reminiscing*), and looked it, pleased as Punch (and I wondered why on earth we make idioms and descriptions after inanimate objects. - And people wonder why foreigners think that English is some convoluted language! I don't blame them - I mean, why ‘pleased as Punch’? Is it because he had a Judy? Well, bloody hell! I’m a Judy without a Punch!!! Let’s not even talk about why I don’t have a Punch!!), and grinning non-stop since I left the cinema.

I feel like the Cheshire Cat!!!

Yes, I left the office at 12-ish and drove like a madwoman to the cinema and spent close to 3 and a half hours outside. (see – I was calculating that the show was only, at the very least 2 and a half hours. So since the show started at 1pm, I thought I could get back into the office by 3.30pm. But it finished at 3.15pm, and I needed about 25 mins to get back, so… *counting fingers* there was no way I would be in the office BY 3.30pm!)

At the traffic light, conversing with my evil voice:-

Evil voice in the head: Well, duh! Don’t forget to count the 5 traffics lights and ridiculous jammed area your office block is situated. Thank the Sweet Lord you didn’t take up accounting!

Me: Shut up!
Playing hookey, no less. But it felt good!!! Man, it was like a rush of such utter bliss, sitting in the dark cinema, enjoying a good movie, while no one knew (well, some will know now! But at least they are NOT my colleagues!! Muahahahahaa), with my favourite bubble tea!!! Waahahahahaaaaa….

My colleague just commented on my smiling like a maniac to myself.

“Smiling to yourself? What naughty thing did you do?” she wagged her finger at me. I blinked innocently and smiled more.

Yes, today is a good day. Yes, sirree, indeedie. *big smiley contented face*

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


I'm gonna do something naughty tomorrow.

But I can't tell yet, cos I'm still examining the loopholes that might exist in this juvenile scheme that I'm planning! muahahahhaaaa....

I'll be doing it alone. That's the sad part.

The fun and satisfying part is that I'm playing hookey and no one will even know that I'm planning to do it!! muahahahahaaaa....

It all just involves a little pre-planning that I'mworking on tonight. Then it will be smoothly executed tomorow.

Oh, most might even say it's nothing. Nothing fantastically outrageous.

But I'm a good gurl, you know... I've never, ever cheated on serious stuff. "I y'am a gud gurl, I 'yam." A la Eliza Doolittle! hahahahhaaaaa.... And I think I've been goody-two-shoes for TOO long!

Ok. I can hardly contain the glee. But I'm gonna do it!!! "Just do it!" Nike rules.... yeah right!


Monday, July 26, 2004

My review of 'The curious incident of the dog in the night time'

I finished reading ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night time’ by Mark Haddon.

I don’t know much about the autistic children, even though my brother is autistic. But I think it’s quite a good representation of autistic children’s behaviour. They do find certain things unpleasant that they don’t want to hear, see or feel. They do groan to shut out the world. They do rock their bodies to comfort themselves.

But I must say I found Christopher Boone’s attitude of wishing everyone was dead disturbing. I certainly do not like the image of little children wishing everyone was dead and that they ruled the world, in a sense. I do not like that they think they can hit anyone they don’t like, even if it’s because they don’t like a colour or a word or gesture.

It’s inconceivable, I guess. For a normal person to comprehend. But who are we to say what’s normal and what’s not?

It reminds me of the time, in KDU I think, when we were constantly debating, when someone said that one day, we, the normal people, might be the special ones, whereas the Special people will be the majority in the world. At that time, I felt it was cool and possible and not so inconceivable. Now, after reading this book, I’m slightly terrified. If all those were like Christopher, who felt he could hit anyone he didn’t like, then the world would be a scary place.

But I’m glad this book was written, and I hope that more will read it. This will make people understand about autistic children more. The language is simple, rather enjoyable and easy reading.

The only thing I didn’t really like was all those mathematical explanations! Hahahaaa…

The plaintive violin

I finally watched Schindler’s List and I cried at the end.

I couldn’t hold back the tears. It was so poignant, so touching. That the Jews made him a farewell remembrance token. That just before he left he could still berate himself for not thinking of ways to get more money. That he could break down and cry at his failure of not being able to save ONE more person. It was truly touching.

I can better appreciate the theme song now that I’ve seen the movie. My colleague had sent me the mp3 but to me it was just the violin moaning plaintively. Now I can feel the emotions, the fear, the joy, the hopelessness, the weariness, everything in it. Yes, I definitely appreciate it more now.

Side note: This is another popular movie that I only watch years later. The First was ‘Pretty Woman’, produced in 1991, and I watched it only in 1998. Seven years later. Now, Schindler’s List, produced in 1993, and only watched it now in 2004. Oy…

Saturday, July 24, 2004

I killed my hair again today

One and a half years ago, I went and killed my hair (my mom's lingo, so to speak), meaning, I straightened my hair. And it cost me RM400 because the salonist justified that I had so much hair and that it was almost waist length. And because the straightness would have lasted at least a year.

Barely 6 months later I chopped it all off. Out emerged a Malaysian Posh Spice wannabe.

Well, I didn't want to chop off that much. But it was supposed to be nice and suited for my face and all that crap. Said the hair-stylist, who had a reputation for chopping locks. Why didn't I think of that?!?!!

Another 6 months now, and I decided that I needed to do something about the unseemingly mess.

So I killed my hair again.

But since my mom is still not talking much to me, she didn't make any smart comments.

One small blessing!

And this time it cost me RM300.... sigh...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Working dynamics

Working is so not easy. Not only are there the demands of a job, but the complicating dynamics of colleagues and management.

I’ve always avoided management as best as I can. Though my management’s seemed to be reasonable and friendly folk, I’ve gotten to know them better since joining and working here longer.

Yes, they can be friendly and smile at you. They can even buy cakes for you when they go out for meetings.

But I dislike the way they bully mild-mannered staffs who daren’t speak up against their own indecisiveness, their own pettiness and their own incompetence.

I dislike the way they scheme to squeeze existing staffs’ salary by lumping other responsibilities on them. Responsibilities that are immense in itself and should be given to another hired staff, and which they are not willing to do.

This is what I am seeing in my company and which I dislike immensely.

A colleague of mine resigned 2 months ago and while management is saying that they are still looking for someone to replace her, their actions indicate that they have no intention of hiring another.

So meanwhile they are taking this post’s job duties apart and giving them out in bits and pieces to 4 other colleagues, whose job scopes do not include such duties. Without any additional pay raise or allowance for taking on additional responsibilities.

I hate these kind of mentality people. Though now I don’t see some of the job touching my plate, we are all connected and affected. What has touched them, might touch me sooner or later. I can only pray it doesn’t ever, or it’s much later, when I am prepared to leaving. I have no power or authority to argue or protest. I dare not. My job will be in jeopardy. Sigh… I hate this.

I’ve been very disturbed over this issue for the past two weeks. But I cannot do anything.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Something less morbid

Nearly cracked myself up when I read this. 
7 Effective Ways to say "Your Fly is OPEN!" 

1) The cucumber has left the salad.

2) Your soldier ain't so unknown now.

3) Paging Mr. Johnson... Paging Mr. Johnson...

4) You need to bring your tray table to the upright and locked position.

5) Mini Me is making a break for the escape pod.

6) You've got your fly set for "Monica" instead of "Hillary."

7) I thought you were crazy; now I see your nuts.

*Inspired by the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

Of Passings and Releasings

Got a mail about the diary of a meds student who committed suicide in New Delhi and found it really sad… 
I can’t help but wonder, if I had taken that step myself years ago, if I would have left anything behind to speak of why I had done it.
Sometime back, I did write some sort of a letter, for my mom. I don’t quite remember if I wrote, but perhaps I wrote more of the agony and mental torture she put me through. And I sent the letter to my best friend, my heart. I told her, in not so many words, that in the event I ‘go’, I would like her to pass this letter to my mom.
Then, I was angry. Intensely angry. I hated the mental torture she put me through. Perhaps I hated her with an intensity that knew no words or feelings. I didn’t care what she would go through after I had gone, and after she had read my letter. In my mind, then, I felt she deserved it.
Later, when I got to go to Perth, and met more people, exposed myself more, and with the thought that peace was possible since I was an Australian grad, I let go a little of the pain, after all, who could hurt me when I’m far away in another country?
I resolved to apply for PR when I graduated. I refused to allow myself to be manipulated long by her. I had a right to lead my life the way I wanted it to be and no one should have to cringe everytime something minor happened or was said.
In the end, I told my heart to throw the letter away. I realised that, in time, she would know, she would realised. I didn’t need to resort to such petty acts of leaving behind a letter.
Besides, I had already promised someone that I wouldn’t do it. A blind promise, but a promise, nevertheless.
For this poor soul who couldn’t find someone to promise blindly, and whose guardian angel didn’t step in in time, I can only dedicate this song to him. May he find peace finally.

Prayer ~ Secret Garden
Hush – Lay down your troubled mind
The day has vanished and left us behind
And the wind – whispering soft lullabies
Will soothe – so close your eyes
Let your arms enfold us
Through the dark night
Will your angels hold us
Till we see the light
Sleep – angels will watch over you
And soon beautiful dreams will come true
Can you feel spirits embracing your soul

So dream while secrets of darkness unfold

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Eyes wide open

God I'm so sleepy....

...despite the fact that I just came in from an interview.

Power of a mother

Got another one with my mom. And what's it over this time?

Well, it's about me not putting the chair in front of the door, me not locking the window (it was slided close, just not latched) and me not turning off the gas switch.

So now she's not talking to me.

Now, I plead defence. The first thing she did in the morning when I got out of bed, was to pounce on me, with these three incidents to fire me with.

I'm blur in the morning. I'm grouchy in the morning. If you try talking to me in the morning, the best you're gonna get from me is a grunt and a growl. Expect me to jump out of bed singing and you'll be sorely disappointed.

Sure, I didn't put the chair in front of the door. She's paranoid. There have been too many rape cases and thefts and murders happening lately in KL. I can understand her disgruntlement over this.

Sure, I didn't latch the window. But then again, there have been some nights that I or she or my brother didn't do this, and everything was fine. Ok. She's not happy this time.

Now, this is what's puzzling me. I distinctly remember that I switched off the gas. I even went to turn it off a second time, and when I felt it was off, I scolded myself in my head, 'Silly gurl. You already turned it off. Why are you checking it again?' And I went to bed.

The first thing that went through my mind was poltergeist. Then I discarded that reasoning and went for, that my brother turned it on, and she didn't know, and he's not saying anything. Then I thought of another thing, which is, she's confused.
But if I even hint that, I'm dead.

Naturally I protested over the gas switch thing and she got mad and told me that she didn't want to talk to me. Ok. Fine. Whatever. I couldn't be bothered in the morning, because I know I turned it off and I was too groggy in the morning.

But then when I went to work, I wondered if in my absentmindedness, my fingers dislocated the switch, hence, the 'on' switch.

Oh, hell. I'll never know. I'll just have to ride this one out. But I'm glad to feel that I'm not feeling too distressed over this incident. Normally, before the Soul Retreat, by now I'll be a pathetic despairing wreck. I hate the way my mom has such control over me. I'm going to be 28, for God's sake, and I still cower before her whims and fancies.

Power of a mother? If so, I hope I don't become a corrupt one myself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Conditions to Happiness

Got a mail from my darling about happiness. You know, those mails that are suppose to uplift you with inspiring words and phrases, that say don’t wait till you have money, till you go back to college, till you pay off the mortgage and etc.
But you know what? I don’t think I can wait anyway… because I’m so goddamn impatient and procrastinative and impulsive and impetuous sometimes. I know, very contradictory, but there it is.
So here goes.
I don’t think I can wait…
“Until your car or home is paid off.”

Because I don’t have a car (paid by my dad anyway! Muahahaha) and a home (also paid by my dad anyway! Muahahahhahaahahhaahaaa)
“Until you get a new car or home.”

Hmm… seeing that I have no savings, and no inclination as to where I will be next year, I’ll hold off on both.
“Until your kids leave the house. “
I don’t have kids now. Even if I do, I’ll probably take them with me on my pilgrimage to Tibet and Lourdes.
“Until you go back to school.”
Hell, there’s such a thing as, part time and one month deference. I think I would be working full time and studying one or two subjects in the evenings or stop work to study for one month, then head back to work, then stop again to work fulltime. I got time to kill.
“Until you finish school.”
Er… like I said, ‘Take your time!’
“Until you lose 10 lbs.”
I’m comfortable with my weight, thank you! I may never reach the size and weight of Kate Moss, but life is full of disappointments anyway!
“Until you gain 10 lbs.”
What are you? Stupid?? Who wants to gain 10 more pounds? Hello?!!
“Until you get married.”
I’m cohabitating. Don’t believe in this so-called ‘sacred’ institution of marriage.
“Until you get a divorce.”
See above.
“Until you have kids.”
Oh, that’s okay. I’m adopting.
“Until you retire.”
Don’t think I’ll ever retire. I believe in keeping one self occupied.
“Until summer.”
There’s no summer in Malaysia.
“Until spring.”
Nor Spring.
“Until winter.”
Nor Winter!
“Until fall.”
Any Rise?
“Until you die.”
Everyone has to die. But if anyone knows the secret to immortality, do let me know!!! 

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Definitely suffering

I am definitely dying from work here!!! Man, I feel like being overwhelmed by this fucking wave that is crashing, nonstop on me and sweeping my legs from under me and bashing me against the cliffs, with the seagulls happily chortling overhead and probably swooping overhead, planning on some Bigboys for my unsuspecting head.
Ok, enough dramatic ranting.
Seriously, if my marketing manager (MM) decides to come up with more 'fantastic' plans for the magazine and company, I'm gonna start upating my resume and plan my escape. Well, maybe I won't lah.. that's so cowardly and so... weak?
Oh, I'm sure it's great, whatever she's planning, but bloody hell!! We're short-staffed!! And management doesn't look like they are putting out any advertisements for my much-needed, no, wait, DESPERATELY NEEDED, writer, and equally desperately needed promotions executive!! How the fuck are we suppose to function without a writer or a promo exec??
See, I'm getting foul-mouthed here and that's not a good sign. It means I'm going to be irritated beyond reasonable behaviour and I'll get into trouble with my mom soon with all this unhappy tension.
Dun care. I'm going for the Bon Odori this evening. I need a good fucking holiday. Oops. I need a nice getaway plan, something to distract me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

New leaf of life

I finally found the time to sit and to update my blog. Sorry, people. I needed the time to get a better grip on the changes I’ve felt inside of me, since the Soul Retreat. And I didn’t have the time and presence of mind to do anything, because there was so much work to be done the last week due to the Popular Ikano subscription drive.

Yeap, lots of updates. Here we go.

New blog look
Lighter, fresher and more pleasant than the previous one. Besides, it’s blue! My favourite. The reason I’ve changed it is to commemorate the new and improved changes in myself after the Soul Retreat. I felt it fitting. After all, it’s like a fresh start to a whole new way of leading life.

Soul Retreat
I do resolve to close the door to my pain and begin to be happier and to continue to make sure that others around me are happier. For this, I have Shahreen to thank. I’ve always thought that I needed a shrink or a psychiatrist to work me for say, I don’t know, at least two to three years before I am able to let go of the pain of the past.

Shahreen asked me a very important question which I never thought to ask myself. Can’t exactly remember the words she used, but they were along the lines of “If you had a choice, how long do you want to hang on to the pain, before letting go?” I answered with no hesitation, “No longer.”

And it is amazing how simple a question it was, that it was the crucial thing to ask, which had me thinking later, ‘Why didn’t I think that way before?’

Perhaps people are suckers for pain, sometimes. They are so engrossed in the trauma, the pain, the wound, that they can’t see past it to the simple and only important crux of it all – How long would you want to hang on to the pain?

Naturally, no one would want to hold on to any pain. Why torture oneself like that? Yet later, I did think to myself and wonder, why didn’t I say, ‘When she has apologised to me.’? Perhaps, deep down, I knew that such a fantastic thing would never occur, so why wait for such an event to come. If that’s so, why hang on? Why not let go?

Hence, that question was the thing that made me decide that I will not let my mother control my life in that manner anymore. Sure, the problem is still there. She will always be the way she is at this age. The only thing I should focus on, is the way I behave and change my attitude. As the saying goes, ‘If you want to change others, change yourself first.’

That very Sunday night, when I returned home after the last day of the Soul Retreat, I had a driving need to reach out and touch my mother and somehow start afresh. I debated the whole drive home, on whether or not I should just maintain silence and work it within me. But that night when we were all preparing for bed, I knew that I needed closure of a sort, to be able to begin a new lease of life.

So when she was already in bed, I asked if I could hug her. And though she was surprised, she agreed and I held on and asked her to forgive me for not saying how much I appreciated the things she had done for me and the sacrifices she had made for me, and there were many. I cried and told her that though I didn’t say it enough, I do love her.

I guess I was trying to rekindle the love a daughter should have for her mother. The truth is, I’ve felt it banked a long, long time ago. Perhaps in time, it will rekindle into a burning fire. But for now, it was enough for me to have assured her that no matter what, I am still her daughter, who is eternally grateful for the sacrifices and love that only a mother could give to her children.

My feelings are lighter, more hopeful. After all, I’m still young, I’m going away to Australia next year, I will be away from this pathetic place and in the place where I long to be, my ke’chara is there, my beloved cousin is there, my favourite aunt is there, my best friend will be with me so I won’t feel so lonely and scared. What more could a gurl ask for?

I still expect some down times, due to work, as I am swamped with work and feel quite tired that I’m working the magazine content alone with no chance to breathe in between. But I refused to let it pull me deep down. Work isn't everything, I realise. Stress is a horrid thing to experience, because it affects health so much. And I feel it affecting me – me who used to scorn the concept of ‘stress’. Now I’m not so hasty to do so.

Though work is necessary to survive, I will not live my life like a dog working till ungodly hours to bring home the bread. No. Life is more than that.

That was why I sms-ed my friends to have dinner on a Monday night in KLCC, which was something that I and they don’t really indulge in or find we have the luxury to do. But we made it. We had dinner. We window shopped. Or rather I shopped! And spent over RM80 on books, and RM100 on shoes. Well, I’m a sucker for books and I needed new shoes! I will suffer next month when the bill comes, but, what the heck!

I just shaved tonight, so for the next three to four days I will be wearing skirts. I so seldom wear them. A lifetime conditioning of pants since young. That’s another thing that I need to break out of. So all in all, I say that changes are good!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Everything's fine

I poured out my feelings to a friend (a darling fren in NZ who happened to call me!! I love you darling! You know who you are!) and he advised me to either speak to him personally or to talk to him professionally with a neutral superior in attendance, becos I really must make a stand on this issue of his behaviour.

I didnt want to make it over the board by getting another colleague involved. So I just went up to him and told him that i wanted to talk to him in private. so we sat and i told him that what he did was inappropriate. To his credit, he sincerely realised that he was wrong and that he had sent an email to apologised to my marketing manager, and when this morning I didn't greet him, he knew tht things weren't quite right. And he knows that his black moods are not good. And he will try to be more aware. I think when I told him that his words hurt me, he really saw where he was wrong.

Well, I did cry a little. Becos I was so relieved! That things were gonna be fine.

As for his assumption that i dislike my other colleague, he felt from the few comments I've made before and recently (we were really stressed over the recent July production magazine and i did raise my voice to her) that i seem to dislike her. Well, i told him, never jump to conclusions.

Anyhow, it's all under control. Everything's fine. I can sleep better tonight.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Hurt and saddened by accusation

I’m saddened by an accusation that happened in my office today.

See, situation is like this…

This morning my Graphic Designer (GD) was in a foul mood, which I heard, was due to a very bad traffic jam. So his face was black, and he snapped at my Marketing Manager (MM), who was only at the wrong place at the wrong time.

This – in my mind – was very rude. This was not the first time that he has been in a foul mood and shown his black face and snapped at people rudely. But even though I have the authority as the Deputy Editor to reprimand him for that, I’ve never exercised that right.

But today I did.

I sent him an email that said very simply and in a very mild and logical tone – I believe – that his attitude towards my MM was rude and that this was not the first time, and that he should just be more aware of how he shows his personal emotions at the workplace and how he talks to higher-ups.

Below is the email that I wrote.

I just want you to know that you were rather rude to MM just now. I know you are in a bad mood, but whatever the reason, especially when it's personal, don't take it out on other people, like the way you responded to her this morning. This is not the first time and I think you should be a bit more aware of the way you handle your emotions, especially with colleagues and your higher-up.

Just be more aware, ok?

And below is the reaction for my efforts in being logical and mild.

I believe that my mood can be obviously tell by judging on my face. I would not simply throw my bad mood to others, when I’m not annoy by anyone. And I believe that u dun quite like (my other colleague), I’m not try to cover my case here. Just dun know whether u realise it or not. So next time just stay away from me when I’m not making any noise early in the morning, ok.

Questions arise when I saw this.

1. What has (my other colleague) got to do with the issue? Why do you say that I don’t like my colleague? Which part of your eye saw this? Hell, I like this person! How can you accuse me of disliking someone that I like!!! And it makes no sense when there is no connection between the issue of you throwing your tantrum and my supposed-dislike of this colleague.

2. It was so obvious that he did ‘throw his bad mood’ at others. He snapped at a superior! Come on. You literally snapped at a superior and ignored the person who was speaking to you. Whatever the reason for your black mood, keep it under control!

3. I didn’t bug him or disturb him or get in his face this morning. My exact words were, ‘Are you alright?’ In a very concerned tone, for which efforts, I got snapped at, too. But I didn’t say anything; one reason being, I’m used to his black moods; a second reason being, Ok, I know you’re not in a good mood, I’ll keep quiet now. Well, since you are like this, then fine! In future, I shall definitely not say anything to show any concern, whatsoever, even when it’s very serious!

I was so hurt. What did I do wrong? Did I do anything wrong? I don’t think so.

But I guess it’s necessary to be hurt in life… After all, what better way to protect oneself in future than to have been hurt before, so that you can better armour yourself against future occurrence?

Well, offended by the email, I replied. But only tomorrow will I see the effect of my 2 emails. Because he had already left the office when I read his reply. So tomorrow he shall read my mail. We shall see.

Come to think of it… this is not the first time I’ve been hurt by showing concern… and those times were also caused by men…

My life is an obstacle course

I’ve been seriously thinking that my life is an obstacle course.

I lost a writer. True, I rejoiced in it. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need a new one, or that I am able to get one in a jiffy on my own. And I definitely don’t think that I can handle the entire magazine on my own.

Now, I would appreciate some help. From? Well, my management, for one. It would be nice, even logical, if they just put up a bloody 2-inch by 2-inch ad in the Classifieds section.

But do they do that?

Noooo! Heaven forbid, because it costs money. Well, duh!!!

All they did was to tell a (stupid) college that we are looking for junior writers. And they expect me to find one on my own. Sure. My new title should be 'Miracle maker'.

My colleagues. It would be nice if they didn’t look at me, as though I’m not doing my job. I am!!! I just have 2 hands, 1 brain and a lousy computer.

My marketing manager. It would be nice if she didn’t think that I am superwoman and that I can handle the magazine and promotions, at the same time. And worst of all, she has recently come up with a ‘brilliant’ plan of a health ‘carnival’ that looks to take up lots of time, energy and brain cells to make it a reality.

And why is it worst, I say? Because she wants me to help her work on the PUBLIC RELATIONS part of this health carnival, in addition to writing up her sponsors’ advertorials and articles!

And why did she come up with this wonderful idea that I should help? Because I was working in a PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM before.

And her logic? She gets to save on hiring PR to work on publicity for us.

What am I? Stupid? Bangladeshi worker? Chinese coolie? Indonesian maid?

Can anyone understand why I’m fuming? And I am literally fuming, as can be seen on my face that is full of breakouts and dry patches now.

Another reason why my life is so upheaval is that my mom wants to play tagalong wherever I go, if it’s not work-based.

Why? Because it’s not safe.

Well, duh!!! Nowhere’s safe!!! Rapists, murderers, thieves, terrorists are everywhere? How safe can ‘safe’ be? Should I then stay at home all my life? If you gotta go, you gotta go! No two ways about it.

I need to work on a plan for my going over to Australia next year, but I don’t know where and what I should be doing first.

I don’t know which part I want to go – Melbourne, Sydney or the Alice Springs.

I don’t know if I can save enough money to go over. Been thinking of prostituting myself for some time now.

I don’t know if I can get a decent job of my desired field when I go over, or work odd jobs.

I don’t know if I can create a decent life there for myself, much more for my brother.

And speaking of my brother, I don’t know what to do for him.

I don’t know if I should let him stay on in Malaysia, where it’s ‘safe’, or I should take a chance and get him sponsored over there.

I don’t know what kind of lifestyle of job will make itself known to him, if I take him over to Australia.

I don’t know if he can adjust to the life and people over there. or whether he will feel that Malaysia is what’s most comfortable.

Another more pressing matter on my mind is my mom’s latest occupation with the idea of renting out one room of our apartment when I’m gone, so that she can get some form of money every month out of the rent.

She is also thinking that it would be good to have another person in the house besides just the two of them.

She also feels that my brother won’t feel so lonely when I’m not around. And if anything should arise, there is another person to handle things, when my mom cannot.

Which is probably indirectly saying that when she is ‘no longer around’.

Gods, I wish I was a single child, sometimes.

And Gods, I wish I wasn’t born.

I had, or rather, still have, dreams of a life that is beyond worries of these matters.

Very selfish, I know.


Sigh. Just as well I’m going for a retreat this weekend. It’ll give me an opportunity to clear my muddled head and try to see a clear path to all these worries. Work, home, personal.

So many crossroads. So many bumps. So many blind spots. So many, many signs.

But I don’t really know what to do.

Wish I had a crystal ball to gaze into.