Sunday, October 31, 2010

Buying Genuine

I needed Microsoft Word installed on my old notebook to faciltitate word processing. I've been using Open Office, which is free, downloaded from the Internet. However, I found that switching between Word (in the office) and Open Office (at home) with the same document causes a loss in formatting. Guess what? There was a bargain at, and I bought an original version for RM279 - Word, Excel, Powerpoint. That's all I need, and I got 3 licences, too.

I had thought of getting the copied version but from past experience, it's not worth it. From now on, I'll just get originals as they guarantee functionality and security threat-free.

This is my new "toy" - the Student 2010 Edition

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weather Fury!

The front page of the local papers says: "Weather fury" in big red letters, and you see this photo. A glance at it makes you think that occurred in the U.S., but no, this one happened in our own backyard yesterday - in the northern state of Perlis.

The mini twister at Jejawi, Perlis. Photo from The Star Online

If you've often thought that Malaysia will never experience such a weather phenomena, think again. Tsunami struck us once a couple of years back. This is not the rage of God to show His anger at us. It is a sign that we all have to pray for a better tomorrow, and that those affected will be in good hands; it tells us the devastating effects development has on our planet. There is power in a prayer.

We should all pray that our generations to come will be able to sustain the savaging environment as a result of the actions of their forefathers - their greed for more money, their quest to be the best in the world, their thirst for power have hastened the Earth's premature demise. Let us pray that our future generations will help save the planet, or at least let it live a little longer. A-men!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silent Heartbreaker

Question: What's worse than a heart attack?
Answer: A heartbreak

While a heart attack could possibly be genetic, a heartbreak is not. Any one of us could suffer from a heartbreak at any point in our lives, some more often, while others none at all.

Believe it or not, the broken heart syndrome causes the release of plenty of stress hormones (adrenaline), making the heart weaker and temporarily "stunned".

"Acute emotional stress, such as being involved in a car crash, losing a loved one, losing your job, going through a divorce, having a bad boss and experiencing natural disasters such as tsunami or earthquake, are known to be triggers in healthy adults... (Dr. Zulkeflee Muhammad, Clinical Cardiologist, NHI Malaysia)" - Read more here.

In Malaysia, when someone loses a loved one and is heartbroken, they're left to deal with the situation on their own. Some managed to wake up and move on easily, while others struggle for years before they could stand on their own, and there are some unfortunate ones who would take their own lives to end their miseries.

Family members can't do much, relatives just make a mockery of the loss (esp. if it's a divorce), colleagues lend both ears but only to give you a chance to speak to "someone" whom you badly need. Going to a psychiatrist costs money, not to mention that people's perception of you change the minute they know that you've gone to a shrink. Where is the Support Group? None... not in Malaysia. Here, you'll need to be a member of a religious community in order to be "saved".

So what happens to those who have this broken heart syndrome? We can only pray for them that they will eventually see the light, and if possible, be with them as much as we can - not just to listen, but to comfort and to guide. Leave them alone, and chances are, they will go astray.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Melaka Holiday, So...

It's a holiday today - a special holiday to commemorate Melaka as a Developed City. It's a one-off holiday, and I got to know via office e-mail yesterday evening. There was a big celebration at a stadium, and a really horribly massive jam that puts the jam in Fed Highway to shame.

This morning, the weather has been really gloomy. Thought of cutting the grass, but I it rained last night. The grass was wet, so cannot cut using the machine. I went out, had my breakfast at a mamak store nearby, eating the roti canai again. I got home and the first thing I did was to turn on Astro, the radio channel, loudly. Silence often kills me. I then went upstairs and ironed my shirts - well, not an expert - but at least the creases are not very noticeable. I rested a while and checked my e-mail. Nope, nothing to read.

Then I took out the vacuum cleaner and sucked out all the dust in my bedrooms upstairs and downstairs. Floor feels cleaner but not clean enough. I shall mop the floor another day. Once done, I rested and surfed the net, checked Facebook for any updates on anything interesting. Made a couple of comments here and there.

My Yahoo Messenger and MSN have been very eerily silent... and my mind is idling again. Before I become nuts and go to Tanjung Rambutan, I picked up the phone and called home.

"Hi, I'm going home for lunch." - I told dad.

"Why? Anything wrong?"

"No... today holiday what."

"Huh? Oh, you also holiday ah..."

OK... so i'm gonna take a shower now, then go to wherever I'm supposed to go and have lunch with my parents and cousins.

If only I were a computer...

Friday, October 15, 2010

It is Interest...Again

I was surfing aimlessly a few minutes ago, and stumbled across a video clip in The Star Online. I wasn't interested in the girl in the video, but I was more interested in how she got to where she is now. And I discovered that luck (again) plays a role. She was a college student, but dropped the psychology course she took, and focused on her interest - photography. The money allocated for her studies were invested in getting a DSLR - and it's a Canon (i'm not advertising for this company, ok). She began shooting non-stop over 2 years, and people noticed her work.. and it all started from there.

Why am I attracted to this video? It's not because of the 19-year-old teen, but it's the fact that she dared to defy her initial ambition, drop everything related studies, and pursue her interest... and it paid off. They are bold.... very bold indeed.

Moral of the Story: If you've an interest, pursue it. Unless you're a book worm, forget about getting that paper qualification which is not related to your interest. Nowadays, having tertiary qualification doesn't guarantee you a job.

The Middle Finger

Every morning when I wake up, I try bloody hard to make my day look good. However, it's easier said than done. Forcing as much as I can to be OK, my mind suddenly goes on auto pilot, takes over and ruins half the day. I just don't know how other singles or "singles" do it - but then, maybe they're in a different position.

You know the feeling? You wanna get on with life - that's what people have been telling you, and that's what you really want to do - but each time you thought that you're on the road to freedom, it hits a snag, you pull back and get into a depression all over again.

Sometimes, I am successful in handling my emotions. I come to office feeling euphoric, that nothing could stop me from feeling great, and that things will be fine today. Well, it always doesn't last long. I don't know why. People have advised me to join this and that to help me get back on my feet; well, I did join this and that, but maybe I've not been commtted enough. Perhaps it has something to do with my level of stress the day before and will continue to increase. Who says teaching is "an easy job" just because we have "nothing much to do", "get to go home early" and have "many holidays"? Fuck you, if you have this notion. We have other unseen and unappreciated duties on our plate besides moulding teens into useful and knowledgeable citizens.

Now, if I add work-related stress to my own personal stress, what do I get? A total wreck!! If not for my logic and some supportive "Samaritans", I'd have dug my own grave and be buried long ago; it's because of logic that I'm still holding on till today. Ironically, this logic is not helping me to make good, solid decisions. So I end up fumbling, and falling down real hard over and over again. It's hard for me to understand how some people's lives appear to be cut out nicely for them - perhaps it's their "karma", or God bless them more - I donno. Yeah, yeah... I know on the surface things look good for them, but who knows what problems they have, eh? You look at them... wah, so "easy" life; they get what they want. Don't ask also sometimes they get, and you wanna be like them, but you know it's stupid because you can't be them, let alone be like them. You're just who you are; so just live with whatever meagre luck you have been blessed with. I'm not looking at materialistic stuff - that's just not me. I don't wish for the latest gadgets for Christmas or a big win in Magnum. I'm just trying to look for ways to be happy... is that too much to ask? How do I tell my brain to stop fucking things up, and let me live a cheerful and contented person like many of you out there?

So, here comes the big question. What am I gonna do to make things better for me?

Answer: ... just continue PRAYING and BELIEVING in the power of prayer that I will never have to go through this immense internal suffering. I just wanna be FREE from the shackles of this trauma, and be the normal person that I used to be a long time ago. Don't be fooled; praying alone isn't enough. God won't come down to Earth and rescue me. I have to DO something to make it work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Dark Side of 10-10-10

Only two days ago, some of us were celebrating Triple Ten Day. However, on that very same day, others were mourning the death of their loved ones. It has been the talk of the entire nation. See these pix:

Well, I don't know what to say about this accident. It's a national disaster. What could have caused such a disastrous accident that killed so many lives? The bus was torn apart in the mishap! So were some of the cars! There were plenty of gory scenes there. May their souls rest in peace.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Triple Ten

Tomorrow, 10 Oct. 2010 is Triple Ten Day. It occurs once every 100 years. What's the significance of this day? Absolutely nothing besides the fact that the date contains three 10's. However, to many humans on this planet, Triple Ten Day calls for a celebration. I bet at Padang Merdeka or some other open areas or club houses, people are all ready with their party hats and beer bottles to welcome this day, which is like 3 hours from now.

What's gonna happen on this day? Couples will tie the knot because the date is unique (forget about geomancy or looking at "good" dates for marriage), and you'll never forget your wedding anniversary. Cool. Not only that, many couples would force childbirth, not knowing the effects it has on the newborn. 

What am I gonna do? Err... nothing. I'll still go to church, I'll still be around for sure.

"Go la and enjoy the celebration!" - whatever for? Not now... not just yet. But to those who will join the party tonight, have fun and remain sober. Don't forget to pray for those who are unable to celebrate due to unforeseen circumstances.

UPDATE: Acccording to a renown Feng Shui master, Triple Ten Day is good only for those born in the Year of the Snake... and I know someone who's born in this year. So, God Bless You, and all of us today.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Never Stop Loving You

I was driving to work early this morning, and I heard the song entitled "Never Gonna Stop Loving You" - and I started pondering the lyrics - hey, am I not supposed to be driving? In reality, if you have this kind of woman who sticks with you no matter what (as long as you have space to move), you're truly blessed. But in reality, this doesn't happen to everyone. I also wonder why the tune of the song is so lively and cheerful... maybe it's telling us not to be sad when someone dumps you... maybe the lyricist is plain lousy. No matter what, just ignore the video clip which I find rather annoying - but listen to the song - as I see not much of a link between the clip and the song but it certainly makes a good workout song.

Never Gonna Stop Me From Loving You
(Sonia Evans)

Even when you're home
You won't pick up your phone
And take my call
When I see you on the street
You stare down at your feet
You won't talk at all

If only you would see me
One more time and maybe
Someday, you will find
That you could really love me
You could really need me
Maybe you could change your mind

But you'll never stop me from loving you
It doesn't really matter
what you put me through
You'll never stop me from loving you

When I know that you're alone
I wander to your home
And catch a glimpse or two
It seems that all the time
The thought is on my mind
Of being with you

The times I've tried to see you
You know I would meet you
Any time, night or day
But still you just refuse
And no matter what you do
I'll never let you get away

But you'll never stop me from loving you
It doesn't really matter
what you put me through
You'll never stop me from loving you

Oh, woh, you'll never stop
me from loving you
Wherever you gon' go, I will follow you
You'll never stop me from loving you

Oh, woh, oh, woh
Never stop
Never stop me
Oh, oh, oh woh, oh woh
Never stop
Never stop me

If only you would see me
One more time and maybe
Someday you will find
That you could really love me
You could really need me
Maybe you could change your mind

But you'll never stop me from loving you
It doesn't really matter
what you put me through
You'll never stop me from loving you

Oh, woh, you'll never stop
me from loving you
Wherever you gon' go I will follow you
You'll never stop me from loving you

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Greatest Love of All

We hear of child abuse, babies being abandoned, but what we don't know is that, these kids are potential hidden jewels of this ailing world of ours. They can be the ones who would transform this world to a better place for all. Treat them well, and let them lead the way... listen. This song gives me goose pimples. It's powerful, it's beautiful. If you can't receive love, you can surely give some, and I'm certain you have some to give.

I therefore appeal to parents and future parents to be mindful of the message in this song. You don't have to spoil your child, but be firm. You may not be able to have your own child for whatever reasons, but your actions would touch the heart of every child you meet. This, in itself, is very satisfying.. and I believe, one day, I will achieve that satisfaction... you will too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Have a Vision...

About a fortnight ago, I was with a friend. This meeting opened my eyes about my own life. She has spent many years of her life helping children from all over the world through World Vision, an organisation that helps rural communities that are in the poverty level, so that these communities would eventually be self-sufficient and be economically better.

I heard of this organisation years ago but didn't bother much about that, though I was kind of keen to participate. But after seeing photos that my friend had taken, I made that decision to be part of this organisation. I decided to sponsor a child so that he/she would get good education, health, love and everything else basic that children ought to have. This is my vision. I didn't know what to expect, and whose child I'll be sponsoring. I did what my instinct told me to do because I wanted to help these poor people. For each child, sponsors donate RM50 (or more) monthly to provide them with basic education, health care and amenities which their villages and community need. I paid my first month's installment, and I waited.

Today, I got a letter from World Vision Malaysia. In this letter, there is a portrait photo of a little boy, complete with his profile which includes basic family background information. His name - Watthanasin, he's 9 years old, and studies in Grade 2. He lives in an agricultural province in Thailand. When I saw his photo, I fell in love with him - he's cute, and looks shy.  World Vision will give me an annual update on his progress with an updated photo. My dream is to see him one of these days...

Now, I have a "son", albeit temporarily. Watthanasin will never be my own child, I'll never get to hold his hand and walk him to school, we'll never get to meet every day or even every month, and I can never bring him home as he has his own family; nevertheless, I'll still love him. Yeah, I'm glad that now I've a "son" whom I'm sponsoring till he's old enough to be independent - perhaps in 6-7 years' time, or till his community doesn't need my sponsorship anymore. If I've the time and cash to spare, I want to have more "children" to help them lead a good life.

I guess life is not about more making money, being materialistic, or pursuing the highest qualifications. It's about helping others live a normal, good life, too. I pray to God that by helping Watthanasin and hopefully others (God willing), I will have a transformed life. I don't know what awaits me.

I do know that now I have a small responsibility. My responsibility is to remember my vision of helping Watthanasin grow; my responsibility is to stay in touch with my "son" by snail mail which will be delivered to him via World Vision Thailand.

NOTE: For security and privacy reasons, I can't publish the photo of this child, or reveal the exact location.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Here's Walter

This is one good video clip. It really is a creative use of the English language that makes people laugh. If you've seen it, then watch again :)


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Takda Anak Susah, Ada Pun Susah

Once we arrive at a certain age, our parents and relatives will ask that dreaded question:

"So, when are you going to settle down? You're not young anymore you know?"

Fine, then we happily got married (except yours truly), we are asked another dreaded question:

"Time to start a family, la. The older you get, the more difficult to conceive..."

OK, fine. We finally have children. As if that's not enough, there's more to come. This time, it's the complaints. My nephew is now 2-years-old, and his sleeping pattern is inconsistent. Often, when my mother invites my brother to this house for dinner, they'll be late because they don't want to disturb the sleeping child or else that boy would create a big fuss and show tantrums. And each time there's such an invitation, I'd hear this in the kitchen:

"Every time so late. Why can't they just get the kid into the car and come (sleeping or not)?" - mom's also afraid that the food would be cold by the time they arrive. I told her that it won't get cold so quickly. When mom makes noise, dad would do the same. So he actually said this:

"Next time, no need to invite them. Wait for the kid to be older."

It's annoying. It's the same old story each freaking week! Today, I just couldn't tolerate the same comments, so I had to open my mouth and say something to my parents:

"Look, you want a grandchild, now you've got it... it's up to them how they wanna bring up their kid. ... different kids are brought up in different ways" - it is true. No two children are brought up the same way. My siblings and I all have different characters, not only because of genetics, but it's environment, too. I may have no right to speak because I'm not a parent, yet I'm concerned about the unnecessary family tension.

I even added:

"When their daughter is born later, there could be more "problems"... you wait and see." - I certainly anticipate that if having one kid causes noise in THIS house, having another one would be worse. My sister-in-law is gonna give birth end of this year.

I feel sorry for my brother and my sister-in-law. Invited to dinner, but have to face the brunt of people who dislike late-comers, and want things their way. In a way, I'm a bad person blogging about this, but I still do it because I'm sad.

Sigh, I just don't know why this happens. And I wonder if it's the same in all families. I guess it's just the norm... "Nah, they just say things like that, but they don't mean it." - often, out of anger, we lash things out, not knowing that others are listening, and they won't know if what you have said was what you really meant.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Went but Not Conquered

Today's a Saturday. I woke up later than usual - 8:04 AM - yes, later. I guess all the exhaustion of work has taken its toll because by 5:00PM, i'd already be half asleep! Yes, indeed mental exhaustion. The sun was shining brightly, and I eagerly wanted to get my chores done. Did some laundry, then went to breakfast.

At my regular breakfast outlet, I noticed a familiar car parked in a spot. I checked the registration plate - yup, I know that car. I didn't want to stop, so I made a detour and went elsewhere. I knew what I wanted to eat today, but the other shops were FULL or half-full of customers - I dislike crowds. So I returned to the first outlet and checked to see if the car was still there. It wasn't there anymore.

I know I'm gonna see that car or its passengers again some time in future. I also know I can't be avoiding this forever. When it happens again, I've to put on a bold front, put on a smile, or gather enough courage to wave at them and just sit far away because although I know them, I have become their enemy #1.

So, I ate, came home and did a bit of vacuuming. I noticed hairline cracks appearing on the walls... if only someone could call and talk to me.

But then... maybe i've to look for someone to talk to.