7/31/2004 10:57:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|

Note: This is a work in progress. Yes, I'm working on something new. Finally decided to screw the writer's block excuse and come up with something. So here is what I have to offer - for now, anyway. Will write more tomorrow.

Under the warm glow of the yellow light of her lamp, she stared ahead into an old picture of her and Ray. It had been a good eight months since she made that dreadful call, asking to be released from him. Yet she wondered to herself now, was that ever a good move? Once, she thought she found the perfect life with him – marriage, children, career, the works – and it seemed like it was only yesterday that she spent a better part of the day in tears, rueing her own stupidity for sleeping with him and then losing him; where she spent a good half of the day begging him to take her back despite the way he treated her. Fool, she called herself then…and even now. Was it the distance? Was it that he fell out of love with her? Or did he ever love her at all? Clutching the wineglass tightly in her hand, she reminisced back to the days where their lives were filled with laughter and a certain kind of emotion that could always be equated as love, where she never doubted him, where life was…perfection. “I will always love you, Mia. You will always be in my heart forever. And I promise that I will find you when I do come back.” Liar, her mind screamed. All lies. His promises, his words, they were all meaningless, words uttered only to pacify an aching soul but carry no meaning, no life. He betrayed her the second she left for home, the second she was out of his sight, the second things become easier to bear. Out of sight, out of mind was the cliché and it was epitomized in many long distance relationships just like the one she had with Ray. Once not so long ago, she wondered if things would have been different had she been a different person. She wondered if it was ever her fault for being herself, for questioning him. She wondered if what she felt was ever love or was it some image conjured up by a lonely mind. She sipped the wine slowly, a sweet rich warmth engulfing her throat and setting her heart on fire. “The bastard doesn’t even have the guts to see me. Just another sign of how much I ever meant to him,” she sarcastically whispered to herself. “And to think, I once wanted to marry him. I once proposed to him! And what did he say? No, I’m not keen on it. Fucking prick even told his bitch of a sister!!!! And did I tell anyone? NO!!!! BASTARD!” She screamed in frustration. The wine glass flew across the room and smashed against the wall; the red liquid staining the pearl coloured walls, shards of glass sprinkled on the fuzzy brown pillows. For a brief moment there was nothing but the gentle sounds of Jonathan Cainer’s Love and Respect playing in the background. Then just as suddenly as it had begun, it ended. The anger replaced with something else – perhaps loneliness, perhaps depression, perhaps sadness. The tears began to flow; eight month old wounds reopened just through listening to the soft play of violins and an old piano. Her sobs grew louder and she crumples to her side, bringing up her knees to her chest in a foetal position as if to protect herself from whatever it was that was making her cry in this manner – imaginary or otherwise. Why her, she questioned as the heart constricted with pain, as tears fell onto the hard parquet floor. Was it through some stupid mistake made by the Fates that lead her to where she was today? Or was this some form of punishment for the lies she used to tell her parents as a child? “Why do you punish me, God? Whatever did I not do to deserve such pain? I loved You, I followed You and I walked with You. What did I not do right?” she sobbed, hoping that somehow she would hear an answer, a sign…anything. Instead there was nothing…nothing but the sounds of music that only tore her heart into pieces not soothe it. Turning to her side, she reached out for a pillow and buried her tears in the superficial comfort it offered her.

|W|P|109128943825840449|W|P|Untitled|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/31/2004 06:54:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|*scratches her moisquitoe bites* I hate them - didn't have them in Australia and once I got back, I got swamped! Bah...it would seem that my blood is sweeter than most. Moisquitoes seem to be very attracted to me more than any other member of the family. I can't seem to understand why. I *do* know that moisquitoes are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide but every time I am with my parents and we are out in that little patch of green we have just around the corner, I got more moisquitoe bites that I can care to count. >< O'well... Hm...I'm putting on the pounds again AND I HATE IT. Don't get me wrong. I love the way I look but I really don't like not be able to fit into nice clothes, especially here in Malaysia. Besides, I prefer to have a more muscled and well-toned me rather than a flabby me. I had the body I wanted while I was in Australia initially. Then I was coping with the initial long distance relationship with my ex and to kill time, I went to the gym. EVERDAY. TWO HOURS each visit. By the end of three months, the scale still read 54 kiloes but my waist was 26 inches and my hip bones were showing and I had a pert bum. ^_^ Besides, I was happier, fitter and more contented with myself then. I cooked to suit my active lifestyle then - everything was broken down in portions and I was more heavy on multigrain breads, veggies, and lean beef/chicken than I was on rice and noodles (like how I am now). Desserts were low-fat vanilla yoghurt and fruit...and if I was tempted, I would treat myself to four spoons of ice cream or a handful of baked pretzels (as snacks). I ate more mangoes, peaches, grapes and strawberries than I did with anything else. I miss Australian mangoes. ;_; Anyway, I am on the good way of doing a favour for my body - I signed up for gym today. Well, it isn't really gym - more like classes for aerobics, yoga, step and kickboxing sort of thing. I went to the place down in Section 19 and took a liking to it. It is not a very big studio and good thing about it is that it's all female place and concentrates more on classes than building an actual gym - it just has one treadmill, bicycle, stepper and a multi-weight thingie. Oh! Did I fail to mention that they have a steam bath? The location is quiet and there is plenty of parking - not to mention the plus factor of my house being a few minutes away. So yeah, I signed up for a three month unlimited package - that means I can go as often as I like and attend as many classes and I want to. On the side note, my credit card bill is now getting much too heavy for my liking. -.- I am starting on Monday and for the next three months, this is going to be my schedule; I'm not going to put down the time slots for fear that someone might stalk me. *looks wary* I'll be including one hour of gym work before or after the classes. For my diet, I have this in mind tomorrow - since I need to start eating like I used to before (all my diets except for what I did while I was in Australia failed...so I'm sticking to what I remember doing best in Australia - eating fresh fruits and loads of veggies and exercising regularly...): So yeah...that's my goal...to lose some inches and keep my body in good shape. I'll be starting up a fitness journal as well - to keep track of my goals. When it's up, the link will be on the sidebar and in this post. ^_^ Wish me luck! |W|P|109127335517976019|W|P|Need to lose weight!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/29/2004 11:02:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|
WARNING: Not for the faint-hearted. Graphic description and pictures ahead! Btw, this is not an entry for religious arguments and what-not. IT IS ABOUT MY THOUGHTS OF THE MOVIE. If you want to argue as to whether Christianity is real or not, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!  First of all, I would like to say one thing: I have no idea what the Jewish community in the US were talking about when they said that Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ was inaccurate. It was...TOO accurate in my opinion. I am still reeling from the aftershock of watching one of the world's leading religion figures being scourged, spitted, battered, tortured and ridiculed at before being finally crucified. Nevertheless, before I do go on about what I feel towards the movie, let me first talk about the movie. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Christian faith and Passion of Christ...well, let me give you an introduction. The movie is about Jesus of Nazareth, a thirty-something year old carpenter from Galilea. At the time of his birth, Judea, Samaria and Galilea were states surrounding the Great Sea and opposite of Egypt (remember Moses?). These three states were also under Roman rule and at that time, the Roman governor was Pilate (not to be confused with Pilates - the guy who 'invented' the exercise regime) and the Galilean king was Herod (incidently the son of the man who order the massacre of every first born male for the sole purpose of killing Jesus at his birth). He was born to Mary (the matter surrounding his birth is a controversy itself but for the context of this lesson - she was a virgin...) who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter as well. Jesus picked up the trade of his father - as is customary back then.  He spent his childhood in Nazareth - a district in Galilea and only ventured out into Judea at the beginning of his 'missionary work'. Now in Judea, you have the Roman governer, Pilate (and his army) together with the Pharisees and their bunch. Think of it as BN and PAS living together side by side - one political, the other religious. The Pharisees are governed by a group of high priests and this group of 'religious' bigwips are known as the Sanhedrin. They are known to enact very 'interesting' laws and are often concerned with the entire religious image rather than the practice of the faith itself. To cut things short, Jesus' ministry was extremely different from the Jewish faith at that time. While the Jews look to the priests as middle men, Jesus preached of a more intimate relationship with God. While the Jews saw God as something to fear, Jesus preached of a more loving Father figure. While the Jews were concerned with purity of blood in the faith (God for Jews only), Jesus preached of a religion that would transcend race, ethnicity and even class.  So the Pharisees saw him as a threat to their status and money-making capabilities - of course, Jesus didn't help matters one bit by calling them hypocrites, selfish old bastards who were using religion as a front to cover up their sickly personalities. But yes, they hated him - more like his guts actually. And they begin to conspire to trap him and eventually kill him. After all, NO ONE in the Sanhedrin's eyes would dare call himself the Son of God - it was blasphemy! The horror!!!!
So yes, our movie opens just after the Passover (and remember the painting of the Last Supper) in Bethlehem (if I'm not mistaken)...and we see Jesus praying vehemently in tears in what we know today as the Garden of Tears, otherwise known as Gethsemane. From there, we see how the Sanhedrin pays off Judas with thirty pieces of silver and plotted to have Jesus killed, Judas betraying his teacher with a kiss...chaos erupts in the garden and one soldier had his ear cut off - Jesus somehow gives him a new ear, leaving the man completely dumbfounded and in awe. What struck me was how Judas then realizes that he had betrayed an innocent man and how his guilt drove him insane, even to the point of throwing back those thirty pieces of silver to the Sanhedrin. A knot formed inside me as I watched Judas clutching his hands around his head, trying to drive his own demons out only to find himself sitting next to the rotting carcess of the donkey which had earlier in the week brought Jesus into Bethlehem majestically for the Passover. He hung himself, unable to bear the guilt and shame of his actions. Meanwhile, Jesus is brought to Pilate. Now Roman law dictates that only under the permission of the governor may a death penalty be given to any prisoner, Roman or otherwise. According to records and the Bible, Pilate was a man of good heart, just and fair. His wife had earlier warned him to free Jesus - it is my gut feeling that tells me perhaps this Roman officer's wife knew deep down inside who Jesus really was. But that day, Pilate was torn between condemning an innocent man (and the truth) or risking an uprising (which was caused by the Sanhedrin). By this time, the Jewish people have gone nuts. So in order to buy more time, Pilate transfers him to King Herod. King Herod is a dumbass - seriously dumb and childish. His courts are filled with people who laugh no better than hyenas and look no better than madmen. It was no surprise that Jesus was brought back to Pilate where finally, Pilate washes his hands off the matter. Jesus' life was exchanged for another - a mass murderer was freed - and he was brought to the cross for crucifixtion. The rest is, as most would say, part of history. I'm sure I don't have to go into detail as to what happenened. The movie ends with an image of Jesus who has risen from the dead and the camera focusing on his pierced hands. Now for the faint-hearted, there are some parts where you would like to skip.
Like where Pilate orders Jesus punished before turning him to the people (and washing his hands). Jesus was brought to this small square with a group of Roman soldiers and officer looking on. He was stripped bare, leaving only a loin cloth, chained to a rock and beatened at first with rods. That left long streaks on his back and legs. Somehow he manages to stand despite the enormous pain, which lead to the next punishment - the whips. Now these whips are different. They are made from hide with tiny barb-like hooks and balls at the end, convenient for tearing off flesh and ripping apart the skin. Scourging and how it's administered... Posted by Hello Imagine being whipped with it until your entire back is stripped off skin...then turned over and your belly and chest scourged again. The flesh on your belly and chest, by the way, is one of the softest as well. Jesus was whipped until he could no longer stand - his entire body stripped off skin and raw. Blood covered the floor of the square. He was mocked, given a course scarlet robe and made to wear a crown of thorns. Most people would say that he could have easily taken off those crown of thorns...but imagine this... You have not eaten, drank and have been beaten before being whipped until you bleed all over the place. Your body is in shock from the immense pain and loss of blood. Moreover, those crown of thorns are rings of nearly three inch long individual thorns which Roman soldiers pushed onto and down your head. If that isn't enough...I have not gotten to the part where Jesus in his state had to carry a 136kg cross two thirds of a mile to Golgotha, known as the Skull. Even while carrying the cross, he was whipped and imagine the pain of course cloth rubbing against raw skin. We are talking about more pain and more blood loss...and suffering. -.- Once reaching the Skull, he was stripped naked and his wrists nailed...not to mention his ankles. Nails were hammered in, damaging median nerves - causing A HELL OF A LOT OF PAIN! Pictures below will show you what exactly happens in a crucifixtion and they are obtained from this site (click to read it). I don't think I want to go on as to how and why Jesus finally died from all this suffering. Read the site...you'll find detailed medical information and what not (highly recommended that you do!).
Nailed to the cross at your wrists... Posted by Hello Nailed at your ankles... Posted by Hello And we thought breathing was going to be easy... Posted by Hello   *takes a deep breath* I still find it hard to close my eyes and not hear the whipping, the jeering, the screams, the Hebrew/Latin words of "Why has thou forsaken me?". I find it hard to believe that a long time ago, what was once good was no longer alive just because many could not stand to let go of themselves and their fucking pride. I find it hard to believe that hearts can be so hard and cold at moments of intense pain like this.
And I found it hard to hold the tears back...
Yes, I cried.
I cried as I was reminded of how I once believed that an innocent man died needlessly for me.
I cried as I was reminded of the cruelty of mankind.
I cried as I was reminded of how it felt like to be abandoned at the hour of need by the one you love.
I cried as I was reminded of what it was like to feel pain, suffering, torment, betrayal, torture, hatred, anger, hunger, thirst and loneliness.
And finally, I shed teads as I was reminded of what hope, love, joy and happiness meant; of what religion brings to many of us; of life itself.
Passion of Christ - while being a religious movie - has many lessons that we can stand to learn from. It all depends on you. All in all, I would say that this movie is very different from all the movies that have ever been made about Jesus. If ever Mel Gibson was aiming to shock people into understanding a little bit more about the Christian faith and what Jesus had to go through during the crucifixtion, he did it with this one.
I don't know about you but I like this one and I'm giving it a 5 out of 5.
|W|P|109111347410838750|W|P|REVIEW: Passion of Christ|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/29/2004 04:50:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I'll blog on something more substantial when I can, alright? But right now just a short note. In the meantime, I just dropped a note to say "I GOT MY PACKAGE!" *points to sidebar* (I just changed the header to 'currently reading...') ^______^ Yes, yes...those two books just arrived at my office today - I didn't expect it to anyway because they were due to come in next week. So when I got in from an exam invigilation around noon, there it was sitting on my table. *excitement excitement* I fluttered around looking for a cutter, sliced open the box and there it was...NEW BOOKS! And perfectly sealed wrapped too! Ahhh...I couldn't stop myself from showing it off to my colleagues and flipping through it. ^______^ Okay, okay...now back to lunch and then more exams to invigilate! I'm looking forward to reading it and buying new books. Got some recommendations from Ash as well! ^______^ [EDIT: 3:25pm] I spent the better part of the day - during invigilation - going through this book entitled Woman's Inhumanity To Woman by Phyllis Chessler. I don't recall ever blogging about this - spent a few days trying to tell myself that I should but I never did. Bah. Anyway, I thought it is high time that I speak about this book and how it relates to me and my life - I bought it nearly two months ago in attempt to understand why the ex's sister hated my guts more than anything else and why she just had problems getting along with other girls - she was always bitching and complaining about her friends, even her best friend. NOTE: Following contents is not a rant or barb directed to anyone. Just my thoughts and understanding of the complex relationships that women form and how that has changed the way we look at the ideal woman. In a nutshell, the book addresses various issues revolving around woman and social relationships - how women interact with their mothers, daughters, sisters and best friends; why bitching is more common among women than men; and why is it that more often than not, women are the first to judge each other. I remember how I felt when I first read this book. It was through gradual reading and understanding did I finally caught glimpse of why me and her (the ex's sister) just couldn't get along. For some strange reasons, I represent all that she ever hated about her mother and the things that she strived to be but couldn't be because of her negative feelings - the power, the confidence, the wisdom, the advice, the maturity. She never saw me as a fellow daughter, peer or sister but as a mother, adult and competitition. It didn't help that like her mother, I was vying for the affections of the men in her life - her father and brother. No, I was not involved with Raymond's father in a romantic way BUT he liked me enough to praise me often whenever I am with him - something which he rarely does for his daughter or son. With me now removed from the equation (since the breakup), her journal is often filled with rants about how ignorant, how stupid, how cold her own mother is. How her life is miserable because of such a woman's presence in her life. Her words below only serve to reiterate those which I came across today in Chessler's book. Only difference was that Chessler and me have understood and matured, while she obviously still has not seen the light.
...And then there's Mom who's never made conversation with me, whose idea of conversation is either putting me down or making fun of me, and I don't like the idea that this stupid woman who's ignorant by choice, who talks to her family by lecturing them very loudly implying they're stupid all the time, is my mother... But I'm not proud of my mother. I'm not proud of her money-grubbing ways. I'm not proud of how she treats her own family, expecting homage when she's done nothing to earn it, except bring home money. I can deal with material poverty, but we don't have material poverty, we have emotional poverty. I'm in no mood to justify myself, since I can't, and can only explain why I feel the way I do, and then hope someone understands because I'm being extremely selfish, self-centered and avoidant - I don't stay around things which hurt me because I don't like being hurt. My parents hurt me when I'm around them, when they can say things carelessly out of their mouths without thinking about the effect that those painful words will have on me. Therefore, I remove myself from their presence, and then I feel better. They may not be bad people. But I don't like being around them. There will be a long time before there's a resolution to this. Infact, on my mother's deathbed I might still not be able to say "I love you" without feeling it's a lie, and since I hate being a liar, I simply will not say it, even if she entreats me to. There is no point entertaining a pain. There is no point keeping a bruise blue. There is no point in re-opening wounds.
Firstly, my mother and I had to drive to the airport to fetch my dad home. My mother, since she's not the kind to use her brain and assumes she's going to share with her family, buys three McValue meals, two burgers and one nuggets for me, and while we drive off, she exclaims "I forgot that Alvie in not in the car!" She'd bought three meal sets because she's so used to having three people in the car. She decided to leave one aside for my dad, and started trying to eat a burger in the car, an easy feat if one knows how to hold the burger, but after a while, she complains about how troublesome it is, and says, "give me a nugger, that's easier to eat." There is no fucking way I easily give up a nugget for her to eat, I've argued with this many times with her, and I protested, "if you wanted something easier to eat, you should have bought yourself a set of nuggets instead of taking mine." I know it sounds really ungracious, but I've got no patience for patent stupidity. She snapped back at me. "Why do you have to be so selfish towards your own mother?" And I said, "because I only have six nuggets, and I don't like burgers, and you're basically cutting into my dinner."
So my mother's conclusion absolutely baffled me. The more I think about it, the more I feel that she's expressing what she feels about me - that she's the one uninterested in what's going on in my life, and she wants me to stop talking about my life as much as possible (and focus on 'what's important'). That, or she's just suffering from envy that I'm having the time of my life. Then she said, "I sent you to university to study, not to have a love life, you know!" This really pissed me off, because I got nearly all As for my studies, and only one B, because I'VE BEEN STUDYING the best I can, on top of that, I didn't go overseas to live under he dictatorship of how I should live my life. I do my best away from home. AND - she told me to go get a boyfriend when I'm in university, or else I'll be "stuck on the shelf". It made me realize how very little she knows of me, and how little she understands. And how little she cares about me as a person. I'm quite sure she tries to keep up her end of the bargain as a parent, working to provide for me and worrying about my studies and stuff like that. But I used to believe that I'd be willing to give that all up for a kinder, more understand, more loving and happier family. I'm wrong now, of course. Any overture of affection my mother gives me now is just a cold token of the expected, and anything more will be greeted with suspicion.
There is more but this entry is not about her. Reading her journal and then reading Chessler made me realize that she is living proof of the kind of relationships that women worldwide have developed with their mothers. Chessler herself went through the same thing - the criticisms, the antagonism - and yet, Chessler realized after the death of her own mother, that she was exactly like the old lady. Note that before she came to this conclusion, she had written how daughters fear to end up being exactly like their mothers without realizing that they ARE already like their mothers. So she had this to say:
A daughter also becomes what she fears most: her mother. No matter how hard we try to escape this, nature provides incontrovertible evidence: a smiliar skull-shape, a smile, a hair texture, eyes, the way we laugh, our turn of phrase. Like my mother, I am quick to tell others what to do, why my way is 'better'. Unlike my mother, I do not restrict myself to my own children; the world is my oyster. (Raymond's sister did not restrict herself to her friends but to strangers like me - her brother's girlfriend - then anyway.) My mother's family responsibilities banished all spontaneity from her life. She had no exit, no solitude, no wordly channel for her enormous energies and intelligence. She took pride in being able to dominate others, especially her children, but her husband too; she had no capacity to show affection. My mother was very ambitious. I used to say that she could run a small country, but that's exactly what she thought she was doing as she presided over our family of five. And althought she berated me, bitterly, for my 'wild' ways, she never forced me to help her with the housework; she disparaged, but she allowed me to do my non-stop reading and writing and drawing and thinking. Did I love her? Oh, I did - I still do, her death continues to bring us closer. Only now do I really begin to know her. She is gone, and yet I think about her more now than when she was alive...I have come to understand that my mother is the one person I have most tried to please, the one person whom I could never please - and she might say the exact same thing about me. My mother did not inherit any money. She lived entirely on a small pension; she pinched every penny. She stopped buying new clothing back in the early 1950s...when she died, she was still living with the same inexpensive furniture she had brought in the 1940s and 1950s. My mother was determined not to burden her children as she herself had been burdened. Thus, she deprived herself of every luxury and of many necessities, in order to assist her children financially while she was alive and to leave each of us some money. I think she wanted to to give us what her parents could not give her and to spare us her fate as her parents' nurse and provider. How generous! I was utterly inattention, oblivious. I thought I had to borrow money for her funeral. I had no idea that she chose to continue living in the 1950s for the rest of her life because she planed to save and invest every last penny as a triumphant legacy for her children and grand-children.

...In a sense, I was the shrinking violet, she, the mighty magnificent forager and provider.

Is it very hard to see that sometimes we as daughters are a little like our mothers and our mothers a little like us? After reading the first few chapters of Chessler's book, I finally understood why she and me just couldn't get along. In her eyes, I was the embodiment of everything she had spent a lifetime trying to please and still could never please. Hence the accusations of me being patronizing and unfriendly towards her, despite my obvious efforts to be a friend and sister towards her. It would seem that she was directing her anger, frustration and disappointment - not to mention her misery - to me instead of her mother. She could not do so. How could she? When she could not understand my mother or herself the way I understand my own mother and myself. Sometimes reading her journal reminds of me of the many blessings I have in life, especially the one where I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have the ability and maturity to see things in a way that most people fail to take notice off.  I wish I could tell her all this without creating anymore conflict but I understand her well enough now to know that she will never understand what is it I am trying to get through to her. Neither her or her brother will. And that is alright by me. |W|P|109107521958613719|W|P|Of daughters and mothers...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/27/2004 03:39:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|While watching a movie at work (yes...I can watch movies at work...perks of teaching culture, sociology and media studies!), I came across this quote, which I remember to be one of my favourites and so very true...
"The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time."
^_^ Anyway, it has been very busy and I ought to get back to work...will be back later to edit this. |W|P|109091412062959437|W|P|The key...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/26/2004 06:59:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I love collecting postcards. I use them to decorate my notice board at the office and at home (althought the notice board at home is now behind my book shelf...XD ). So whenever I can, I stop by in front of the college registry and shuffle through that little postcard stand nearby. And I came across this one today: Note: It's actually for a DaimlerChrysler Red Ribbon Media Awards 2004 - and was introduced by the Malaysian AIDS Foundation as part of efforts to acknowledge and honour the vital role played by the media in HIV/AIDS education. The categories include print media, broadcast media and non-traditional media (like websites, BLOGS, photo essays and newslettters).  Front & Back of the postcard (click to view the full picture size)   The one thing I don't get about this is why haven't I or anyone else heard of this until the closing date is over and done with. Hm. Just for your info, the closing date for entries was on Friday, 23 July 2004. Geez. No wonder awards aren't big in Malaysia - no one ever hears of them until it is closed and done with. Then again, I suppose it has something do with the fact that I am often the last to know of everything. Heh. O'well...at least these people are beginning to recognize the impact of non-traditional media on society and social issues. Good going for including bloggers and photoblogs in the category as well! *thumbsup* Won't blog for long today. Have loads of work and I am very tired. Attended a talk at Taylor's College today - had a very interesting time trying to get there - but I'll blog about that one another day. That is if I remember to in the first place. ... Just so you know, my feet hurt. Woe to me for wearing four inch stillettos on the day where Murphy's Law come into play. -.- |W|P|109083958195706587|W|P|Short entry.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com11/02/2005 05:53:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous work from home directory|W|P|this post... I've enjoyed reading your blog. I was searching for work from home in the uk sites. I have a home based business and I wanted some ideas and tips. I also have a blog, it is www.adminsupervisor.blogspot.com it’s new and it’s getting better all the time. Have a look if you want, but I'm moving house and have not posted in a while. I'll get back to it soon.

My other site is a work from home in the uk site. I recently decided to build my own income and I thought I searching for tips would help me become a better mentor.

Keep up the great work the scarfer, I'll be back soon.7/26/2004 12:13:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I was in the middle of my daily blog-reads when I came across this post - found it in another blog but I thought I reference my article to the original stuff - and I think it is a good read, for knowledge or reflection. Sometimes, people need to be reminded of the little things in life that we often take for granted...and of the simple errors that we keep on repeating despite our vehement promises of not doing so. 9 Ways of Marrying The Wrong Person by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A. 1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change after you're married. The classic mistake: Never marry potential. The golden rule is, if you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it, "You actually can expect people to change after they're married... for the worst!" So when it comes to the other person's spirituality, character, personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure you can live with these as they are now. 2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than on character. Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keeps it burning. Beware of the "I'm in love" syndrome. "I'm in love" often means, "I'm in lust". Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked out this person's character? Here are four character traits to definitely check for: Humility: Does this person believe that "doing the right thing" is more important than personal comfort? Do I want to be more like this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her? Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't have to be nice to? Does s/he do volunteer work? Give charity? Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what s/he says s/he's going to do? Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he enjoy life? Is s/he emotionally stable? Ask yourself: Do I want to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her? 3. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn't understand what a woman needs most. Men and women have unique emotional needs, and more often than not, it is the man who just doesn't "get it." Jewish tradition places the onus on the man to understand the emotional needs of a woman and to satisfy them. The unique need of a woman is to be loved -- to feel that she is the most important person in her husband's life. The husband needs to give her consistent, quality attention. This is most apparent in Judaism's approach to sexual intimacy. The Torah obligates the husband to meet the sexual needs of his wife. Sexual intimacy is always on the woman's terms. Men are goal-oriented, especially when it comes to this area. As a wise woman once pointed out, "Men have two speeds: on and off." Women are experience-oriented. When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented, he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing things happen. 4. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common life goals and priorities. There are three basic ways we connect with another person:
  • chemistry and compatibility
  • share common interests
  • share common life goal
Make sure you share the deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide. After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart. To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you're "living for," while you're single -- and then find ! someone who has come to the same conclusion as you. This is the true definition of a "soul mate." A soul mate is a goal mate -- two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals. 5. You pick the wrong person because you do not have a deeper emotional connection with this person. To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional connection or not, ask: "Do I respect and admire this person?" This does not mean, "Am I impressed by this person?" We are impressed by a Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. You should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty, determination, etc. Also ask: "Do I trust this person?" This also means, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on him/her?" 6. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom you don't feel emotionally safe. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person? Can I fully express myself with this person? Does this person make me feel good about myself? Do you have a really close friend who does make you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way! Are you afraid of this person in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you're afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there's a problem with the relationship. Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you. Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don't feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you. There's a big difference between controlling" and "making suggestions." A suggestion is made for your benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit. 7. You pick the wrong person because you don't put everything on the table. Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way. To evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise. You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you? Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with! this person. If you can't be vulnerable, then you can't be intimate. The two go hand in hand. 8. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness. If you are unhappy and single, you'll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them. If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You'll feel better, and your future spouse will thank you. 9. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a triangle. To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop another relationship. A person who hasn't separated from his or her parents is the classic example of triangulation. People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money. Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in the triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You will not be their number one priority. And that's no basis for a marriage. |W|P|109081554901202263|W|P|Marrying the wrong person.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/25/2004 06:26:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I was at church today - amazing considering that I haven't been to church in ages...or rather, I haven't been mixing around with the young adults (people my age and older) or youths in church (I would just go for the morning service and leave right away). I never could mix around with them because of the difference in our thoughts - they are more inclined to just talking and I'm more inclined to doing more than just talking (read on to understand why). Today, I was there to help in the kitchen for Family Day (or Night depending on the month - it's a monthly affair). It's a big event with concerts/performances and food. So where there is food involved, there is cooking, preparing (tables and etc) and cleaning. Ushering teams are not included in this process because of the nature of their work. Anyway, Mum (and now Dad) make it a regular affair to help out - service to God and etc. Me? I help out because I want to (although it's partially for God as well) and because it's one of the few things I am good at - getting down and playing dirty with food. Other people help out in terms of music and the PA sound system. Some are into ushering. Me? Cooking and washing up. Now while I was busy washing this gigahumoungous pot - lets just say that the pot is big enough to contain 10 packets of rice vermilli noodles (beehun) or any food item to feed 350 people - my mind was running into overtime and I looked around me. Apart from me and another girl who was a year younger than me, most of the people buzzing around in the kitchen were at least around their late fifties...if not, slightly younger. I kid you not when I tell you that it *IS* back-breaking work. I started since 9am and I only finished everything at around close to 2pm. And not even a moment of peace. The menu today comprised of mee siam, belacan fried rice and sphagetti. Now the chefs in charge of sphagetti got started way earlier than the rest. And when I got there, everyone was really busy cutting up stuff or meddling around in the kitchen. While Mum busied herself with chopping up carrots for the fried rice outside, I went into the kitchen and got dirty with the chicken - diced and slicing. Then it was cucumbers...for garneshing. After that was Thai basil leaves which was to be added into the fried rice later. After that was done, the cooking began. I helped out Helen with her mee siam - and that involved bringing stuff and making sure she got everything she needed. It wasn't that bad - until it got to stirring beehun. Now for those of you who can cook, beehun absords water and because the strands are long, they end up being rather heavy and difficult to stir. One packet of beehun is bad enough - try stirring four packets at one time. *OUCH* I couldn't even stir the damn thing. So it was off to someone else. On the next stove was Doris with the sphagetti sauce. Helped her taste it, add salt and what-not to it. Then Helen called for me. "I need someone to carry this pot down" - and I looked at it and went O_O! It contained the four packets of beehun together with fish cake slices, chicken and...well, there was mee siam sitting in it. So a few deep breaths, one lift and one bend and it was on the floor covered up. By this time, my arms was beginning to ache, but no biggie. Sphagetti sauce was done, so fried rice was up next. And I couldn't bear to let Doris do the stirring for the fried rice - besides, I was tired of just standing around and watching. Can never bear to be just a pillar - coz pillars have this tendency to be good-for-nothing and a bloody nuisance in the kitchen. So in the end, Doris just added in stuff while I stir the condiments, spices and ingrediants together. Ended up doing the heavy stirring - I think I had about five to six cups of rice each round - FOUR blardy times. By the end of the fourth stir, my right shoulder was killing me. This was excluding the stirring you had to do when you mix all four portions into one big pot! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Washing come and this was really painful. The sink is low...about up to my lower abs and bending midway hurt my lower back. I didn't seem to mind that fact in the beginning - it is kitchen duty. I mean what do you expect kitchen duty to be? I have grown up my entire life helping my mum or the church with cleaning and cooking, so I was okay with it. Until a bunch of young baboons walked in and just dumped their dishes and cups into my sink. *grrr* All that while I was washing this gigahumoungous pot. I started thinking. What's wrong with our young people today? Here you have a bunch of old foggies (excluding me and the other girl) in the kitchen bending their already old backs, washing plates, cups, forks and you have youths who are outside yapping and laughing with each other. And these old foggies are the same people who assist in cooking up a meal for them. When I think about it, I don't know how to tag such phenomenon. It wasn't the case some few years ago when my brother was still unmarried and when I was still a young teen. Then, there were many youths who helped out in the kitchen with the washing up. There were a few who bothered to come into the kitchen and assist with the cooking. Those youths grew up, got married and now take care of families. Well, I don't blame them for not being able to help out - especially those who have children younger than ten. They end up being more of a nuisance rather than helpful. What irked me was that the ones who were unmarried, and young like myself were more contented to come, have fun, eat and leave without lending a helping hand. Ever since the last of those youths got married, the church has seen a drop in youths helping out in the kitchen or with the dirty task of cleaning. They were gravitating towards the music industry, PA system or other things. Does it have something to do with upbringing? One of the ladies in the kitchen remarked that it has something to do with interest. Young people these days have no interest in cooking and thus see no value or rather no point in helping out in the kitchen. That leaves just the old people and the rare few like me and my other church friend to the kitchen. I think it is more than just a question of interest. I think it has a lot to do with iniative, civic consciousness and maturity in thought - not to mention the direction of how our society is developing. I look at the young people in church and I get extremely disillusioned about my religion (not God, that's different). Here we are talking about serving God, about helping but when it comes to actually doing it, most young people are more interested in helping God IF it doesn't involve getting dirty or stinky (I ended up smelling like belacan and mee siam - had to wash my hair like twice today!). Is doing that really helping? And here I thought being helpful meant helping WITHOUT any conditions tied to it. Here I thought being helpful meant more than just saying "i'll help"; I thought it was ACTUALLY helping. Silly me. < /sarcasm> Two years ago, before I left for Australia, I remembered how disgusted I was at my own peers when speaking of service. One said that she would never serve in the kitchen because she didn't know how to cook. When I retorted with "you don't need to cook to help", she just went "i'm not interested" followed by "it's hard". Geez...then what am I? Frankly, I am no cook - compared to these ladies, I bring no experience into the kitchen when I help them. But I know of one thing that I do bring and that is the gift of assistance. That means less time, less stress and more time to relax (since things get done faster). For me, it means being able to learn, being able to speak to these ladies and get tips from them - like today...you use corn flour or rice flour, dust chicken with them; it makes the chicken less sticky and easier to cook. And I didn't even know that to begin with. ^_^ Looking at it as a whole, if our youths cannot even see the good in a simple duty of washing dishes for the good of everyone, how can we expect anything out of them in the near future? I do wonder: is this where our society is heading? Where everyone is more concerned about themselves? Where the communal attitudes and behaviours have somewhat disappeared with the passing of the older generation? Are our young people growing apathatic or just plain lazy? I see it all around me - whenever people require anything from our young people, they are often greeted with excuses, and then complaints and finally one lone star steps up voluntarily. National Service, community service, weddings...affairs that were once the place where young people interact with each other, learn from their elders has now become a place where old people rekindle ties and where young people just sit quietly and watch each other. At least that was how it was with my cousin's wedding earlier this year - it was the same affair as today at church. At her wedding, I was the only young one below the age of forty helping out in the kitchen, making glutinous balls (tong yuen), cooking curries, mixing drinks and laying out the main dinner table - while my peers were all busy getting pretty and cool outside. I was sweating, smelling like curry (a little anyway) and having a ball of a time talking with this aunties - all old enough to be my mum (some were my grandma's age). My peers just sat outside and looked at each other. I doubt they even laughed at a joke that they shared, that is if they shared any in the first place. And these were the children of people who told me two years ago that a woman (that is me) had no need for higher education (like a degree or masters) since she would be better off married and having babies (and to think that my mum once said how I would make a great wife and thus whoever who wants me is very lucky and not the other way around...). On a side note, I actually ended up looking very pretty during the wedding - had extremely red rosy cheeks because of slaving away in the kitchen. *LOL* Anyway, it is true when anthropologist look at humans and see relationships being built, knowledge gained during communal events like a wedding. Most often than not, these events are the best places where young women get ingrained into society, into the community and into their roles as women. REAL women...not just women who look pretty and could do shit nothing else but look pretty. Question to you readers: Do you know how to cook? How many women your age do you know who can cook a mean curry or any delicacy like rendang or kueh kapit or even tosai? The answer? Very few. And the few who DO know how to cook (by my definition, cooking is more than just being able to boil rice or water, alright?) are living on their own and around my age. The younger ones? They just eat out or get someone else to do the cooking for them. Young women like me are a dying breed. Young women like me who know how to cook, are intelligent and modern (career-minded) are a dying breed. Young women like me are being replaced with MEN who can cook (and cook better), intelligent and modern. Why? In all honesty, I cannot answer that question. Perhaps it is because of lack of interest. Perhaps it is because of our environment. Perhaps it is because of the way our society has begun to evolve. Perhaps it is because of nothing at all... On the side note: Just earlier, my church friend who is hitting his thirties this year came into the kitchen complaining about how ill-mannered some of the children were. He was going around distributing ice cream and when the children asked for a flavour that he didn't have, they started giving him kicks on the shin. He got extremely disgusted and frankly, so did I.  These were children aged between six to eight being extremely ill-mannered and rude - all for a ice cream. Whatever happened to parental guidance and teaching? Whatever happened to good manners? Where is our society going? Where the older generation are being replaced with individuals who have a warped sense of male/female roles, where individuals are beginning to be more concerned about themselves than others, where our children are rude and undisciplined? Is it any good at all? Does it play a purpose? Perhaps this requires more indepth thought on how and why we are changing (that's what Sociology is for). Personally, I don't like the way our society is heading. Malaysians are slowly becoming rude, uncivilised, uncultured, lazy and extremely apathatic. -.- But I am one person. Against the many. I suppose I'll have to do my best and hold my head up against the rest. I suppose I'll have to see if I do get that one lone star, that one gem...from my Sociology class. A thought for today: Name one helpful act you have done which heavily impacted the life of another person. (Me? I helped ten women lighten their load, I helped feed 350 hungry adults and children, I helped another five people with washing - including my dad - didn't want him to hurt his back washing up...) ps: My shoulders and lower back aches very badly now. Left shoulder was because I slept oddly last night. Right shoulder from the fried rice stirring bit. Lower back was from washing dishes. -.- *ouch* |W|P|109074100213772646|W|P|How we are changing...is it good?|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/24/2004 11:23:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|The ex had earlier sent a parcel to me, containing my books, DVDs and papers. Today, I went to get them and while I was going through it just now at the office, I got some shockers. One: Not all of my books were in the parcel. Sure, I got my LOTR Alan Lee-illustrated books (it's a box set which costs me AUSD119, but the box encasing the books has now become something that resembles flaps! It was torn apart. *grrr* >< ), my X-Men comic collection (sue me k?) and another two or three fiction books together with some books for work (I bought them as research material while I was in Australia). BUT where is my thick book on beauty stuff which contained tips and homemade recipes? Where is my book on Development and Communication studies? Instead, I got sent home two of my journals and a box filled with cards that I collected while I was there. AND where is my LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA? *grrrr* Two: I got all my DVDs back but I didn't remember getting Dreamcatcher, Titan AE or Lord of The Rings 2 (or was it one?). My Mr Bean box set come back to me as well with four flaps instead of a proper box. Thankgawd Perfect Blue and other DVDs were in there or else I would have yelled at the ex. This part I have no complaints...just my books. My precious books. Good note: I did get my Palm back. ^_~ So yeah, I gave the ex a call because me, being an honourable person, decided to make good on my promise of paying him back for sending my stuff back. Sister pickes up the phone and out barks a rather rude hello. What's new anyway? Left a message and the moment I introduced herself, her tone of voice changed. Why the hell should I care anyway what she thinks? This is between her brother and me. But yes, I left a message saying that I would call back to negotiate on how he wants to get his money back and said a work of thanks. She just barked out okay and hung up. How typical. Ohyes, did I mention postage costs AUSD110 including insurance? *shakes her head* I'll come back later to put a full list of the stuff he sent to me. But now, I'm going to try and give him a holler and get this over and done with ASAP. -.- [EDIT: 8:30pm] Ex-boyfriend was amazingly nice and witty to me over the phone when I called him to thank the dude for sending the stuff and check on how he wanted me to pay him back for the courier. Hm. Even remarked on being scared to meet me in college for fear that my students who jump all over him in revenge for what he did to me. HAHAHA. Anyway, I managed to unpack properly and here is a list of stuff he sent back to me - everything else went to Salvation Army (good on him for thinking about that one!): Books
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • Essential X-Men Vol 1-4 (contains comics from the beginning till the death of Dark Phoenix - I think)
  • Essential Uncanny X-Men Vol 1
  • Love, Obsession, Secrets & Lies (written by nine Aussie writers)
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R. Tolkien (hardback, box set, Alan-Lee illustrated)
  • Yoga ( >< )


  • Perfect Blue
  • Scooby Doo
  • Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of The Ring (which is his but he got the special edition so he gave this to me)
  • Dreamcatcher (don't remember buying this too!)
  • Birthday Girl
  • Ever After
  • Mr Bean Vol I-III (all the episodes plus extras basically...)
  • X-Men
  • X-Men 1.5 (it's a documentary...don't remember buying it though. ~_~)
  • Beauty & The Beast (special edition - I'm a sucker for this animated show)
  • Cleopatra
  • Romeo & Juliet (the one with Leo Dicaprio and Claire Danes)
  • The Rescuers (yaaaay for old piccies!)
  • Bandit Queen (it's about Phoolan Devi, btw - I'll explain in another entry who she is!)

Okay. I'm ending this here. It's late and I'm hungry. Just got back from shopping - yaaay for sales! But booooo for money going out. Bah.

|W|P|10906401906740129|W|P|Parcel from Australia...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/22/2004 05:45:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|It's strange. I look at everyone else's blog and I just go "Now why can't I think like that person?" I have a strange feeling that it has something to do with the constant rumination of information that I do every day - since I teach humanities and social studies. I have come to a point where I cannot bear to digest those bits of information again on my blog (if I do, I'll probably fall short of overloading and overworking my already tired out brain) and thus am left with the alternative of talking about my life. Sometimes I wonder if it bores people to death. At other times, I wonder if my life is even that interesting to read at all. Other people's blogs are so...philosophical. So in tune with the thoughts. So...matured. Mine? They seem to be more intune with my emotions first and then my thoughts. It is as if it has to relate to me before I can actually digest it any further. Well, at least that is when blog content does flow naturally from my mind to the fingertips and finally onto the computer screen. I could sum up at least a gazillion topics to write about philosophical but I would rather not. Probably end up sounding so unlike me. Then again, who I am? Recently, one of my more new friends had brushes with me - I suppose it is also my fault. The main issue was that I never seem to just listen, nod and say "things will be alright". I have this tendency to get 'judgemental' - or at least that was what he said and what I heard. -.- I don't suppose saying that they are wrong and I am right is going to sound nice or explain anything at all...but I never recalled my best friends having issues with me listening to them in this context. Most of the time, I get calls from frantic people with problems, with vents, and I get thanks for the realism, advice and support that I give them. I learnt a long time ago that sometimes being too idealistic isn't healthy for the self development. That sometimes "things will NOT be alright" despite people telling me otherwise. That sometimes the truth is better than a lie no matter how hurtful it can be and is. That sometimes grounding would be nice, far better than the flimsy realm of the clouds. Nevertheless, such things are debatable (sp?) honestly. Some people prefer the truth, others lies and some prefer half-truths - whichever rocks their boat. I reckon I'll have to learn to work with it and see how things go on from there. Sometimes I wonder if I am losing my touch, my identity, my personality - don't ever seem to remember having this much drama or problems with my best friend or anyone else. Perhaps it's because I have grown contented with myself. Perhaps it's because I have learnt that some people are better left ignored and un-cared for. Perhaps it's because I'm finally developing a backbone of my own and just...just being a different Mei. I look at my life now and I see contentment looming ahead. I barely have issues with my parents. These days, the 'nagging' is over work and that I should be sleeping early and not staying up late to work on lectures or sort out student issues - which I understand perfectly well. They are just concerned about my health. Yes, it is as if my teenager years and pre-adult angst never existed. I barely have issues with work, apart from the ocassionally hiccups (like students, colleagues and etc) BUT other than that, everything else is good. I have been getting more active with the students and going for more talks which are related to my teaching subject and areas of speciality AND I am truly happy. Although....a promotion and hike in my pay would be kinda great right now! My personal life is as smooth yet as bumpy as it can get. Been busy making new friends and trying to make time for old ones. Seriously, I am not about to start looking for love again - this time, I have decided to take it easy and let love come searching for me. I learnt many lessons about love and myself over the past one year to understand that sometimes going slow is great and being essentially me is wonderful. Screw anyone else who doesn't agree! But yes, this is one area of my life which I am not overly concerned about - although I miss the new guy who is oh-so busy with work. O'well... Everything aside, yes, I see contentment looming ahead. I see the prospects of a happy and joyful Mei with plans that including getting a PhD OR an apartment (toying between the two now - it all depends on the company) in three to fours years time and perhaps a puppy for companionship - just in case, the Man upstairs decides to wait a few more years to give me a man as a companion. If no dogs allowed, I'll get a guinea pig instead.  I see the prospects of a busy Mei shopping around IKEA for some fancy-scmanchy item for her home. I see the prospects of a prolific Mei working away on an ancient typewriter, preparing some research papers for submission to a big-wip overseas journal. I see the prospects of an artistic Mei with a camera in her hand - digital or analog - snapping pictures away and filling that section of living room wall with those gorgeous pictures. And if there is still no man in her life, I see an excited Mei going to the sperm bank and getting herself all ballooned up for a period of nine months only to end up cuddling a babe in her arms whilst she stands next to the window, the light streaming through the lacy curtains. Yes...I want to be a mummy - more importantly, a mum who teaches, photographs and writes. Ahhh...the smell and dream of contentment looming ahead and as surely as the sunset today. |W|P|109049136671815679|W|P|Reflections and contentment...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/21/2004 11:28:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|"I hate you! You never understand me like Dad does! All you ever do is hurt me over and over again. I love him more than I love you!" Hard to believe I use to say words that amount to the ones above to my own mother when I was much younger - I think I was thirteen or fourteen then. I remember when I was a child, I have always felt closer to my father, always more loved by him, always more understood by him. My mother - in my eyes - was this ogre, this...hard, cold, unfeeling person. While I have fond memories of it now, I never had any fond memories of her when I was younger. It was my father whom I would remember. Like this one time when I was nine and I got really sick - I couldn't talk (lost my voice and all that) and my brother was ill as well - and Dad took the day off from his work at the Air Force and we had fun playing Monopoly. I suspected even at that tender age then, when I seemed nonchalant about the entire incident, I was actually upset. Mum was always working. Mum was always so not fun. There was this one time she even forgot to pick me and my brother up from the bus-stop - we were both in afternoon school then. I was resentful because every time she 'talked' to me or my brother, it was nothing but cold hard unfeeling words - things like "why can't you do it properly?" "must I tell you all the time?" "are you stupid?" "if you don't like it, you can get the hell out of my house..." I used to cry...cry myself to sleep all those years...and even pretended that I had an imaginary friend who would take me to somewhere special and warm, somewhere without my mother. I had some civilised moments with her...but when we moved down from Shah Alam to PJ (the house that I'm living in now), things just got really bad. I resented her tone of voice, I resented the way she 'lorded' over me, I just...hated her so much then. I withdrew from her, choosing instead to cling closer to my dad. Luckily for me, Dad was always the more emotionally stable, wise-man figure (compared to Mum anyway) and he tried to bring both mother and daughter closer together. He kept pushing me to go out with her, talk to her, have fun with her...the way a daughter should turn to her mother for things. I hated it even more. By then, I was nearing thirteen and my relationship with my brother had changed - we weren't close anymore, I was in an all-girls school (no more guy friends for me) and essentially becoming a woman (or a young lady...). I was tired of the constant belittling from Mum. It has been so long; I can barely remember the details. All I remember was that I got into this huge fight with her, so huge that even Dad's scolding could do nothing to stop the tears or pain. I just rambled and vented about how I hated her. How I didn't even want her to be my mother. And when I was done, I ran to my room, slammed the door and crumpled to the floor, crying my eyeballs out. The house was silent...so silent that you could even hear the breeze outside. A few minutes later, she came in, eyes all puffy and red. Her voice was quiet and I could still remember what she had to say to all my venting:
"You know something, bi (short for baby)? I wanted to have you. I got pregnant with you on purpose because I wanted a daughter. I wanted to have the kind of relationship you would see on movies...the ones where mothers laugh with their daughters, go shopping, have chit-chats, play dress-up, cook together...I wanted more than a daughter. I wanted a friend. I would like my daughter to be more than just my daughter - I want her to be able to talk to me like a friend, to be able to see me as more than just a stuffy old nagging mum. I just want...a friend."
When I look back and see myself as a thirteen year old, I must have been so stupid and naive then. My life changed the moment that fight happened. I grew up. I stopped being a child and I started becoming an adult. And I began to see Mum in a different light - the things she does these days and used to do. You see... It was and IS because she saw me as more than just a daughter. She feared for me yet she wanted what was best for me. She, like every other mother, wanted...no, actually needed to still feel important and an integral part in their children's lives be it me or my brother - but because of her astounding affection and emotional bond with me AND the fact that she often sees herself in me, she worries for me, for my future and for the choices I make.  It is not that she doesn't trust me. She just doesn't trust what the world holds in store for me. It is not that she doesn't love me. She just loves me too much to NOT care and let things be. It is not that she is jealous of my friends or my life. She just wants to be part of it, she just wants to be friends with me. As I grew older and went into college, despite having gone through some rough spots, we got close and finally, managed to breach the 'unspoken' matter - her attempted abortion...yes, I was nearly murdered by my own mother. The story goes like this: Dad was quite happy with just one child - my brother was a handful at the age of five and frankly he didn't want anymore children. Mum on the other hand was lonely. She was going through hell with my grandma and Dad was often away on outstation trips. I suppose being a woman, she wanted someone she could bond with, a female companion since all the females she was living with - my grandma and aunts - were dead against her and was making life hell on earth itself. So yeah, she wanted a baby - specifically, she wanted a GIRL baby. I still remember how gleefully she would recall to me the story of how she 'cheated' Dad into thinking that it was her safe period, thus getting her pregnant. I think my parents are cute...sort of reminded me of how I am sometimes - cheeky and such a riot. Anyway, to cut the story short, she got pregnant AND somehow she knew it was going to be a girl. But Dad didn't want a baby and sent her packing to the gyne for a D&C. For those of you who have no idea what that means, to crudely put it, it's the equivalent of an abortion. -.- Yeah, Dad didn't want me and she had no choice but to adhere to his decision. Luckily for me (and a blessing in disguise for Dad coz according to Mum, he absolutely fell in love with me the moment he saw me!), I wouldn't budge. The Doc (I still visit him sometimes) gave her an injection and I still wouldn't budge. No matter what, I just wouldn't curl up and die. So she went home and nine months later out I came. I suspect she must have fed Dad some cock-and-bull story about how I and her were destined to be together. Anyway, from that day onwards, my mind was set and it never changed. Whether I liked it or not, that cock-and-bull story WAS true. Thinking about it, I *was* destined to be her child and she my mother - nothing was ever going to change that. Instead of making four lives miserable - my entire family including myself - why not try to make things better? And it was then that I begun to remember the little things that she would do for me. That huge drumstick that was bigger than my 1 year old face. My favourite hawaiian pizza whenever I stayed at school waiting for my brother to finish his squash practices. The lunches she would bring when I was in primary school. The way she offered to braid my hair in the mornings.   The new dresses and blanket that she would make for me.   How she would read story books to me and buy me fairy tale books. The times when she would stuff me with bird saliva (yes, bird's nest). And...that time...that time when I was frightened of dying. I was seventeen, and alone. I looked up from the bed while being wheeled to the OT (Operating Theatre) and looked at her face, all stained with tears. Dad was standing by her side, trying his best to look brave and it was then that I heard these words...
"If I could, I would take your place and give you my life. If I could, I would die for you."

Whenever I think of all that the many things that she had done for me, one picture comes to mind. What a cute baby! Posted by Hello These days, things are still the same with her and me. She still nags me, she still nitpicks, she still pokes fun at me BUT one thing has changed: the way I look at it. I stopped seeing it as nagging, nitpicking and poking fun. Instead I choose to see it as a way of her loving me and I made peace with the fact that being a mother doesn't make her perfect, but it makes her even more worth loving. For her to love someone like me despite all the wrongs, all the hurt and all the pain I have caused her through my 24 years of life with her...well, she deserves nothing but my respect and love. When I graduated with my BA and then with my MA, she told me this and I'll never forget it.

"Never forget that I am proud of you. I will always be proud of you and I will always love you. No matter what."
I wrote this entry...because I read something (that I shouldn't read but never mind). Yes, I read it and I felt utterly sorry for her - to never be able to have what I have with my mother, to never be able to understand what it is really like to be a mother, to never be able to hold up her head high and say outloud that her mother is proud of her and vice versa. Sometimes being a mother doesn't mean just being a good parent, providing for your children and educating them the right way. There is no real guide to parenting and no one can claim to be a better parent than the other. I have heaps of respect for mothers because of one thing: their undying love and support to children who are disrespectful, hurtful, rude and even mean to their own mothers. Loving someone who doesn't really rightful deserve any love or respect. Only a mother would do that. I wish that someday she will be able to see how much love her mother has for her - to talk about her, to send her overseas for an education, to provide, to 'nitpick' and 'emotionally abuse' her (as the girl would say)...because you know what? Only someone who cares would bother expanding so much energy trying to make sure you turn out better than they are. Only a Mum would bother. Someone once asked me if I wanted to be my Mum, I said "No...but I would love my children to love the way she does." For my mother. |W|P|109042386124802893|W|P|For all the mums out there...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/20/2004 08:27:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I have something against Internet banking here in Malaysia.   After spending 1.5 years in Australia enjoying the wonderful world of finance there, Internet banking proves to be a pain over here.    Two days ago, I tried going onto the bank's website and went through a series of steps, webpages and what-not only to discover at the end that I have to go all the way to the bank/ATM and get a pin number if I wanted to do things the paperless way. -.- I don't see why they cannot issue account holders with a special password the minute they register for an account. Why bother asking questions like "Would you like to activate Internet banking?" or "Would you like to active phone banking?" when you ALREADY have the service up and running AND available to the general public? When people are already going wireless with almost everything and anything?   Today, I got fed up - because bills for my cellphone and broadband came pouring in. It's bad enough that I have to go all the way downtown to Ampang to pay the plastic (credit card) bill, so I decided to put everything on the plastic itself. Went online and began the long process - and they say that online e-billing/banking is suppose to be quick, easy and fast - of paying my bills.   Started off with the broadband bill. Now I'm paying for the bill even though bro comes home and utilizes it as well is because *I* am the one using it most of the time. It's only fair. That went without a glitch. Scribbled the 'receipt' number down just in case the stupid company decided to charge me extra on the next bill (you never know what might just happen...).   Next up was the bill for the cellphone. I recently switched from pre-paid to post-paid because I was spending nearly as much as I would on a regular 138 package. Besides, I think I *am* grown-up enough to be able to manage my phone calls. Gone were the days of hanging on the phone for hours every day. These days, I have no time for such things. ^_^ So yeah...once again, I did the long process of signing up, setting up a profile and what-not. Clicked on e-billing and went to "pay now".  Guess what? I needed to have RM30 above on my cellphone bill before I can pay for it through my plastic. -.- My bill is that low because of the recent switch - that's why.  Why can't I just pay the fucking RM22.95?      What irks me the most is the bloody fact that I have to go to the ATM/bank even though I shouldn't have to in the first place. So yeah...this Saturday, I'll be making two trips, one to Ampang for my plastic's bill and the other to KLCC or the nearest tiger ATM to pay off my cellphone bill.    I used to remember how the former premier was gloating about the MSC status of the country and how we were going to go paperless with everything - from the health sector to banking. That was when I was in secondary school. A good what....SEVEN years ago? Look at us now.   Throngs and throngs of people are still queueing up at banks, complaining about the two out of six counters that are opened. Sometimes I think our banks are football ticket stands. Am I wrong? Throngs of people are still having to go around on a merry go-round for their medical records which have gone 'missing' - unexplained...just like those UFO sightings which people swore were real. Mulder and Scully would have been proud of our medical departments. Throngs of people are still having to put up with issues about our MyKad and that new microchippy thing on our ATM cards. What's the use of having an integrated system when we can't even use our ATM cards to pay for food or groceries EVERYWHERE and not just selected outlets? Sometimes I think Malaysians (not all but most...) are just good at one thing: bullshitting. I don't want to even get started on things like civic consciousness of Malaysians, drivers, public transportation, the labour market here and lastly the education system - for fear of not being able to stop, drive myself locos and then have trouble sleeping (I'm exhausted enough from today's daily activities at the workplace!).    I still remember how I had to really adjust to things back home when I first came back from Sydney. I came back from a world of order and civility - where buses adhere to timetables (that were to the minute and damn punctual), where drivers do not hog the fucking 'turn right' or 'turn left' lane, where people greet, smile and NOT SPIT in front of you, where young people are intellectual and do not have the capability of causing Kant to roll around in his grave - to a world filled with chaos and barbarism. Is it any wonder why my dad goes around saying that Malaysians are uneducatable?   All this talk of progress and we are still nowhere near the word itself. Gah.    People ask me why I'm so into my work. Because it is through teaching that hope floats again. Because it is through teaching that I find my main purpose and happiness in life. It is through teaching that I have a chance to impart what I do know, what I do love about Australia into the minds and hearts of young people. It is a long and difficult task - those of us in the education industry would know how hard it is to change the way people think, especially our young people who are more interested in making money and less interested in building intellect, character and heart.   Don't get me wrong. Our young people have potential - loads of it...the enthuasism, the drive and the dynamism - but sometimes I feel that they lack proper guidance and direction in life. Sometimes I feel they lack balance for it would seem that they only edge towards one extreme instead of seeking to find that precious balance needed to build an all-rounded character.   *pauses to think for a while*     I am teaching Sociology this semester. The class, I suspect is gonna be small but I am still excited to start teaching it. I'll be covering contemporary social issues ranging from construction of the self (theory) to things like religion, inequality (gender AND social status), politics, family, work and even government before finally ending with a chapter on how all this will impact society as whole and our environment - it has an activism twist to it. For this unit, I have a special goal. It is a personal but it is still a goal. If at the end of fourteen weeks, I can inspire ONE - I just ask for one - student to be more interested in the world around them - be it politics, philosophy, culture, activism...I would be happy. I would really really be happy. It would be one of the best ways to end my first year as an educator.   All I ask is just for one person. Nothing big. |W|P|109032649642137137|W|P|Just one person.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/18/2004 10:05:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Today, I went to the airport to see someone off - it was a at-the-whim sort of thing. I called up another friend and the two of us took a nice drive to KLIA where I met up with my friend, handed him his gift, tooks some piccies and got home. Right now, I'm beat - tomorrow and the rest of the week looks really bad - and I'm beginning to miss my friend...or at least the prospects of bugging him over MSN all the time. Anyway, my friend took some photos of us and myself (since I'm such a vainpot! *lol*) and since he wants to remain anonymous, I can't credit him to taking these pictures. O'well... 1) At the KLIA Burger King where I forced myself to drink the sin of my life - for today at least - Coke. *ugh* The smile was for the photographer, just in case you're wondering. Posted by Hello 2) Trying to get some coherent words out of the phone - hmmm....person on the other line is the one leaving for Oz-land by the way. Was there an hour earlier than predicted. Bah. Oh yes...if you look clearly, you can see the scar I got from my heart surgery 7 years ago. Posted by Hello 3) That is an utterly cute Hershey's reindeer...can someone get that for me??? *bats her pretty eyes* Posted by Hello 4) Trying to kill the one leaving for Oz-land with my gift to him - one of my very own specially hand-knitted scarves. I'm glad he likes it...now I just hope he has some use for it. Hm. Posted by Hello 5) Me, the going-to-Oz-land-kid and his girlfriend...the sunset sure is bea-u-ti-ful. And I look...different. Don't know whether to be happy or what. Posted by Hello 6) After sending the guy off, me and my companion headed back to Klang Valley for dinner and we ended up taking pictures of me. I'm such a vainpot...and I loveeeeeee my hair! *giggles* Posted by Hello 7) And a giggly me just to end the day off. It didn't help that we were laughing at some joke about boobs and fisting. *gives herself a wtf look* Posted by Hello |W|P|109015961688869179|W|P|Just another un-ordinary day...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/17/2004 10:57:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|On a whim I decided to put up pictures taken using the Olympus OM2000 camera several years ago - bear in mind, this was my first real serious attempt at photography. So yeah...here are some of the 'worthier' pieces out of the many botched attempts... 1) Just another round globe along the fencing at KLCC park. I found this shot rather interesting - even though it is my first real effort-filled attempt at photography. Posted by Hello 2) Cloudy days in KL many years ago...or rather just three years ago. The weather was less stormy and unpredictable then. Posted by Hello 3) A few years back, I had a fascination with perfume bottles, particularly the ones from The Body Shop. I was too broke to get one...save for this fantastic men's perfume. It was also my first attempt at product photography. Posted by Hello 4) The Petronas Twin Towers and Maxis Centre side-by-side on a very cloudy day. Oddly enough, when I sent the film in for processing with two separate stores, I got two different shades - the original was in greyscale and this had a more brownish hue to it. Needless to say, I chose this on because of the impact it had on the clouds behind the towers. Posted by Hello And finally, my favourite...the white flowers of KLCC Park - well, I don't know if they are there anymore. 5) Since taking this picture, I have yet to replicate this shot and the feel of it. I made no edits or changes to this picture. Till today, it still has that ability to waver the heart of the photographer (that is me) and I have used it before as a signature banner piece for my now defunct website. Pity I have no idea what these flowers are called... Posted by Hello G'nite, people... |W|P|109007629157283521|W|P|Manual cam piccies!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com7/17/2004 05:48:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I found what I want for my birthday this year. As a matter of fact, I got into photography recently again and this is what I want. I could still stick to my Olympus manual crank-up and bear with the film development, then the scanning and photoshopping it before it can be up for decent viewing. However, nothing beats going digital. ...BUT... I'm strapped for cash - with bills (credit cards, books, cellphone, Streamyx, clothes for work, food and other items such as petrol and parking for my car), and loans (the housing loan which I took over from mum coz I'm a dutiful daughter...heh.) to pay off as well as savings to keep adhering to. And I don't even earn much to begin with. Hence this is in my wishlist - the first material item and the only item on my wishlist. Heh.  Now I never did have much use for a birthday wishlist. It is because I believe in the simple things in life and I learnt to make do with whatever I have. AND it is because I learn that sometimes the thought is all that matters when it comes to birthdays. This time I decided to get a wish list. And I wonder why. Maybe it's because I am hoping that some good samaritan will take pity on me and get me stuff on my wishlist for my birthday.   I am still a bit hesistant to sell off my Olympus OM2000 which comes with a 1) 35mm-70mm lens; 2) 70mm-210mm telephoto lens; 3) a very nice camera bag and 4) the usual stuff like flash, filters and books. Nevertheless, when I get to thinking about the amount of cash I save on film (colour 800 ASA min for me...and black & white - B&W costs me close to RM14 a roll for 36 800ASA), film development and the energy on hooking up my scanner and actually go about scanning pictures, saving them and all that...*sighs*...

It's a Canon Digital SLR EOS10D and the features are: 
  • 6.3 Megapixel Digital SLR with DIGIC-based image processor
  • High-speed, wide-area 7-point AF with superimposed focusing points
  • 3 fps up to 9 consecutive frames in RAW, JPEG or simultaneous RAW+JPEG
  • Rigid magnesium alloy body covers for outstanding durability
  • ISO range extended from 100-3200, manual WB mode added
  • Selectable processing parameters including multiple color space options
  • Direct printing capability with compatible printers plus Exif 2.2 and DPOF 1.1
  • Supports zoom playback, Video Out and PTP driverless downloads
  • Compatible with all EF Lenses and many EOS system accessories
I am certain the cost for this sweet baby is going to be phenomenal. I was looking at newspapers and most digicams go into the thousand dollar (or should I say ringgit?) range. SLRs? Last I checked, they were around RM3K and above.   Come to think of it, this camera is beginning to look really out of reach for someone with my kind of responsibilities and income. I even contemplated on switching jobs because I'm strapped for cash but I really love my current job and I AM good at what I do. I don't want to go against my own principles and work for money instead of passion and love for the job itself. That would make the next job like a chore and just so wrong. I mean money isn't everything...and I certainly don't want to start thinking that it is.   Sometimes I feel a twinge of envy when my peers are having a jolly good time with their salaries (which is nearly equal to what I'm earning and I AM A MA degree holder!) and with little responsibilities. Apart from my best friend (who pays for her car installments, parking and travelling and etc - she earns quite little for what she is doing) and one or two more people, no one else I know (around my age group) is having issues meeting ends meet. Most of them live with parents, have cars brought by parents and well...can afford to splurge all the time. I look at myself and I see a highly educated individual who is poorly appreciated in the labour market.   And then I start thinking about how happy I am with my job...with my boss...with my colleagues and I smile to myself. At times I feel like chucking it all and just get a fuckingly high-paying job to satisfy my material needs...but when I hear of all the horror stories from horrible backstabbing colleagues and the disatisfaction about "the money never being enough", I tell myself that sometimes being joyful and happy beats everything else.   The money - honestly - will never be enough. The grass will always be greener on the other side. And the moment it stops being about passion and start being about money, that is when the job becomes a chore.   I never want that for myself. ^_^   That aside, I hope some good samaritan WILL come along and buy this cam for me! |W|P|109005772815726172|W|P|Reality check for my digicam woes...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com