8/31/2004 05:02:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Most people call it Malaysia's 47th birthday. Some use it as a great excuse to catch up on their favourite TV shows and programs. Others muse on it, ruminate on the past and well...talk about the things that have come and gone in the past year and plan for the future. I have no idea where the idea to do a SWOT on Malaysia came from - I only reckoned it would good since a SWOT was always about positive post-whatever evaluation. *Note: These are just my opinions and feel free to disagree with me...politely of course. ^_^ Strengths Malaysians are educated, intelligent and willing to learn (at least from where I stand). They are ambitious, idealistic and they have good ethical principles. Young people such as a few of my students and Leonard Lee or even Brian Nickson (our very own Olympic driver at 14) show us older bunch what it means to be young in a developing country that soon will be theirs. And they HAVE the potential and the ability to be more than what they are now. We are a creative and vocal bunch of people. We have talent and we have the skills to produce world-class art, literature, music and films. I mean, I came from a graphic design school which specializes in design and multimedia. Look at Linus Chang and those independent directors out there who have so much creative and skill that they are winning awards for what they do best - be creative. So what went wrong? Weaknesses Malaysians are also the most 'tolerant' bunch of people I have seen around. We use the word 'tolerant' loosely as if describing some racially-discriminatory-ran-amok-slasher or some horrific racial catastrophe. Sure, there was May 13th 1969 which most of us older ones would remember but today, the word to use is not tolerant anymore. It is apathy. Being tolerant of someone's differences is all good but we have grown apathatic - meaning we don't care anymore. We don't care if our children grow up in a dirty and polluted world filled with streets that are spittoons for some men/women, we don't care if our loved ones constantly live in fear of being run over by that loony behind the wheel (even if we are crossing at a pedestrian crossing), we don't care if we ourselves will one day contract cancer from breathing too much Malaysian city air...we just do not fucking care anymore! I remember a while back walking behind a mother and her child. She had brought ice cream for her kiddie earlier and he/she was unwrapping it. A flick of the child's wrist and the wrapper was on the floor. The mother turned and I was expecting her to pick it up and trash it. Instead mother just pat the child on the head and continued walking. When I reprimanded them, she gave me the "Do you think I care?" look and walked off. I worry for her child. What sort of example are we showing other people and more importantly YOUNGER people? That happened when I was in secondary school. Fast forward many years later. A week after coming back from Australia and after dinner one night, we returned to our car - covered in rubbish. Someone casually threw out their rubbish of the day out the window. We were the lucky ones. It was disgusting. I was disgusted. And since then I have never stopped being disgusted. Our apathy has lead us to throw rubbish anywhere and everywhere - in class, in the car, on the highway - our apathy has lead us to turn the blind eye when someone in front of you gets harassed, mugged (I chose to make the difference because I CANNOT and WILL NOT be apathatic). Our toilets are well-known worldwide not because they are clean but because they are dirty - like those toilets you go to when you visit...lets see...Sri Lanka? HELL, my parents don't go to public toilets in those countries. Why? Because THEY ARE FLITHY! Just like the people...sad to say, Malaysians are like that too. We are all talk and no action. Opportunities Globalisation had lead to many open doors for most of us out there. We are where we are today due to some branch of globalisation be it overseas education, working with a multinational company or even the ability to travel around the world and take pictures. In turn, there are opportunities for us to prove ourselves wrong and better ourselves. The opportunities are ceasely and endless. The next time you get on the LRT and see a person desperately needing a seat, get up and offer that person your seat. It never fails to bring a smile. And for all you know, it may be the one thing that could and will brighten up a person's day. That person may have had a horrid day at work, shitty personal life but just being considerate can do so much more than money or anything else. The next time you are inclined to quit thinking about others, think about the effect that will have on yourself and people around you. Things snowball from one to another. If you stop caring about where your rubbish goes and just trash it into the drain, bear this in mind: it HAS to go somewhere and it could end up in one of those rivers that lead to your water supply...and indirectly lead back to you. Not everything has to be about what we want but what the world needs. We need more caring, EMPATHATIC people. You know, we are a lucky bunch of people. We have stability, peace and prosperity. Others in the world are not so lucky. Those of us who have jobs out there which pay you well, think of the millions living below the poverty mark. Think of the millions of children who are unable to obtain a decent primary education because they have to work to support their poor families. And here we are thinking that education ends once you get a degree and life is about work and work and work. That education is something we take for granted. Those of us who have TV, the Internet and books...think of the millions out there living in war-torn lands. They have nothing but the shirt on their backs and probably useless cash lying around. Iraqis sell off their TV sets to get medicine for treating their children with unique cancers. One man was interviewed as he was selling off the last of his fourteen pet pigeons. The cage was going to go next, he said. Why can't we use our technology for educating other people about these things instead of just languishing and enjoying it blindly? Those of us who love food and eat as if there is no tomorrow...fruits in Iraq are considered a luxury and every day, one in five of the world's population go hungry. Why? Not because we cannot produce enough of food, but because food distribution is unequal and we waste it. So the next time you go for that buffet, how about taking what you CAN eat instead of what you feel like eating. The next time you go for a Chinese dinner, ask yourself where the food comes from and how it has been obtained...especially the shark's fin soup. Four fins from a shark and they throw the poor creature - still alive and fin-less - into the ocean to die...mind you, sharks not breed like normal fish. They breed like humans. Endless opportunities from the simplest of opportunities like a smile and a seat or assisting a blind man to cross the seat to the most complex of thoughts... Threats Our innate fear of the unknown/change, our persistence to remain ignorant and our xenocentric ideals. We fear the unknown and we fear change - it is only natural to do so but we have to realize that the unknown and change will not always be negative...and that sometimes negative change brings about the things we desperately need to better this country. Question this: If Hitler had never came into power, would we feel this strongly about racial discrimination and genocide? Would we have learnt to appreciate world peace and humanity for what it is? On a side note, the torch bearing and rings from the Olympics came from the Berlin Olympics and it was a Nazi invention. It was never used in the Olympic games before - then to the Nazis, it meant something else. It was a spectacle of Aryan supremacy. Today, it carries a different meaning for us people. Do you see what I mean? It could have been perceived as a negative change but today, that change has lead and meant something good for all of us when we look at the Olympics. Likewise today. Going on, education is a lifelong process. We need to understand that and we need to appreciate 'education' more. It is not about being in the classroom. It is not about listening to someone tell you how to live your life. But it is about learning more about the world through observation, knowledge, exposure and application of that knowledge. To those of us out there with degrees, I tell you this: Despite your shortcomings while studying, you are the priviledged few part of this still illiterate world. You with your knowledge and your exposure. Do not ever think that education stops after you graduate. In fact, it doesn't. The journey towards a lifelong education begins and it never ends until you die. Use your gift, your brain - it doesn't matter if you do not have the skills or ability to vocalize those thoughts - do the best you can. Change your perception. Life is not just about you alone but about what you know...others have sacrificed so that you may be where you are today - teachers, parents, learned scholars before you...what about you? Will you want to live to the end of your days and tell your children that you watched the world go by or tell them that you did something during your hey-day? It is easier to be ignorant than to be knowledgeable but at the end of the day, it is more rewarding to be knowledgeable and use that knowledge to forward the world and society. Not only do we need to be knowledgeable, we also need to rid ourselves of prejudice and discrimination. We discriminate against our own. Do not lie to yourself. We discriminate against our own every time we say "Buy foreign..." or "Get that foreign graduate..." or "Try to get those Malaysians abroad back..." - we are a xenocentric society - where anything that is not Malaysia is better and bigger and stronger. This is how we kill our creative industries - our films, our books, our music and our culture is in the shits because we keep on telling ourselves that foreign is better. We would rather fork out cash to support overseas Malaysians than give the local ones the support that they desperately need. Wouldn't you be pissed if your parents favoured one sibling over you because he/she was born overseas or graduated overseas or grew up in a different country than you? I know I would be. Our creative industries ARE great - I studied, I partook in those industries and I have seen the work. For crying out loud, our directors, musicians and writers are all recognized in overseas festivals and events...but why not here? Can we then blame them for wanting to leave for greener pastures? I mean if your parent doesn't appreciate you for your talents and skills, you would leave after a while....I would - once I had enough. ... Try. Try to make some form of difference today. Why wait for tomorrow to come when we are not even sure IF tomorrow *will* come? At least the next time someone asks you what you have really done for Malaysia, you have something to say...something WORTH holding your head up high and saying... And when you have, frankly, that is when I say that you are a true blue-blooded patriot of this country. Because you have translated your love in action. Know what? At least I can tell people that I have tried. Happy 47th Birthday, Malaysia and pray for me and my efforts. May I never fail you when you need me the most. And may the year that is to come see new and better things for you. Further reading: Happy Birthday, Malaysia? - Part I |W|P|109394295312617194|W|P|Happy Birthday, Malaysia? - Part II|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com11/27/2005 08:32:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous graduate business programs miami|W|P|I was searching the web and found your entry this post I really like your site and found it worth while reading through the posts. I am looking to publish a comprehensive site reviewing many different graduate programs. All those interested in this area will find this article of interest as it is written from many perspective. Please feel free to take a look at my blog at graduate programs health and add anything you want.8/29/2004 06:51:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|*Note: This is written as a prelude to the real Merdeka post (in two days that is!) Current song: Blame It On A Summer Night by Deborah Gibson After going through a couple of readings about Merdeka and with the prospects of it coming closer and closer, I thought of my own feelings (and perhaps gripes) about the country that I was born in, grew up in and will most probably die in if my emigration plans do not materialize. Like most around my age, I grew up loving this country of mine. My childhood memories of Merdeka revolved mostly around the flag, the fireworks, the partying and the numerous gatherings where children spend most of their time running about and adults chatting ceasely. Having spent most of my educated life in public schools whereby children are often endoctrined with the benefits of being patrotic and never questioning authority - as is the case in most education systems around the world - I grew up a lover of this country. I grew up never questioning many things - the politics, the philosophy, the things I knew best...all of them I never questioned. Hell, I never questioned the reasons behind the four term stay of the former premier. I, like many others, took it for granted that stability and security was all that mattered at the end of the day. Until I knew more. Until I knew better. Till this day, I wondered how I might have been as an individual if I had not chosen the path that I did. Funny how it was just seven years ago that I was a young, ignorant robot trained and enculturated to think like the patriotic un-questioning Malaysian. I was ignorant to the truths of the world outside. I was ignorant to the power struggles and realities of being a Malaysian. And I was ignorant of the many problems. Are we really all that independent? Since our foreparents' days eons ago, can we really tell ourselves that we are independent with the makings of a successful nation? Can we really say that we are a civilised developed society? I am sorry to say that the answer is no. I am sorry to say that since that fateful decision seven years ago, I have been ashamed to be Malaysian. I chose recently to face this emotion of mine instead of burying it in denial. Two years ago, I went overseas to further my education - it was my inheritence (parents sold off the apartment I was to inherit to fund my studies) - and instead of rueing it, I looked forward to every moment of it. People were and are still right when they said that going overseas, and leaving the country exposes you to many different things. And my exposure came just like any other - from university, from working there, from living there... I remember in one of my classes, my professor asked this of us:
"What is patrioism? When you consider all things and look beyond the symbols, the concept of a nation-state is not bound by geography but more by man-made lines of power, and sadly, propaganda. Is patrioism in the flag? In loving your country? In living and dying mostly in your country? In singing the anthem proudly?"
And we could not answer him. I suppose we were challenged to think about what exactly we were sworing our allegiance to. If not all twenty-plus of us, than perhaps just me. I remember spending the fifteen minute walk home preoccupied with answering his question and I remember distinctly feeling very upset over the conclusion. Although I was fully aware of all the good things, all that Malaysia had to go through to get to where it was, I was disheartened and upset at the way things are today. One of the main problems plaguing this country is that we have this attitude of looking and lingering in the past without ever considering the future. We constantly compare things superficially, inaccurately...and we manipulate these conclusions to fit our illusion of grandeur and realism. The worst is yet to come. When we do realize our mistakes, we grow apathatic and worse, we close both our eyes to our faults. I spent that night crying my eyes out for a country which I had grown to love and adore blindly...and it was through those tears that my vision was cleared up completely. Lets face the facts: As we chant "Malaysia Boleh" at almost every event, we are not it. As a fellow Malaysian, it hurts to say that after nearly fifty years, we are still not where we ought to be. Sure, we have progressed in leaps and bounds but at the heart of where it really counts, we have gone backwards. Beneath the skyline and the Twin Towers that aim for the sky, the one things that count the most in a nation-state are the people...and our society isn't anything to scream for. We are a lazy, inconsiderate, ignorant, arrogant society. We see it all the time - in the burly man who spits, in the rude driver, in the obnoxious woman who jumps queues, in the rude child, in the throngs and throngs of people who ignore the pregnant, the disabled and the old just to have a comfy seat on the LRT/bus/etc, in the people who run our transportation system (drivers and all) to the people who run our country (politicians and representatives)... At first, I grew more and more disgusted at everything that reminded me remotely of this insufferable country. I called this my version of hell - THE hellhole of hellholes. A few months later, I decided that perhaps it was best if I learnt to make the best of the situation. I spoke to Stephen, the same guy (or rather professor) who challenged us to reconsider what we defined patriotism as.
"You are one of the lucky few to have come this far. There are millions out there who can't read let alone think the way you do or have the opportunity to be exposed to the world as you have been. Instead of looking at it negatively, why not change your perception and learn to see the world in a different light?"
That was when I changed my mind about staying immediately. That was when I decided to go into teaching and while I was back at home gathering a few years working experience for future emigration, I'd be imparting knowledge to people who need it most. My own fellow Malaysians. I foresaw then that it would be a grim and hard task ahead but I wanted to take things in a different light. Nevertheless, it did not stop me from feeling all down and out as the day of reckoning (me leaving for home) drew nearer. In an attempt to garner SOME support from the people that I was coming home to help, I wrote about my misgivings and my depression. Needlessly to say, the remarks were not very pleasant. Some were polite, others were snide but most were caustic.
"You are a traitor." "The illegal Indons are better off with your passport. Why don't you give it to them instead of hogging it, you ungrateful bitch?" "You ooze with hypocrisy." "If you want to stay in Australia so much, why the fucking hell are you coming back? I'll tell you why. Because they don't want you and frankly WE DON'T WANT YOU EITHER, hypocrite."
It wasn't easy reading words like this. It wasn't easy looking for support in words like this. And it wasn't easy trying to convince a disillusioned one like myself that Malaysians were worth the effort. That night, I cried more than I ever had before. I asked why I was born into a world that I could not fit in. I asked why I was given this choice to make when I don't even want to make it. And the next morning, I made a pledge and a wish for myself and for this country. I swore to make a change. I swore to use the knowledge, exposure and skills that I have to better this country. And for what it was worth, I wished for the best for this nation-state of mind. I promised myself that when every Merdeka day comes, I will spend it not celebrating its past achievements but analysing what needs to be changed and how to go about it. I will spend it not celebrating its independence...because for me, independence - true independence - comes from the character of its people and not its crowning achievements. It has been a good ten months since then. And in two days, I'll probably start the first of many SWOT analysis on Malaysia. So should I wish Malaysia Happy Birthday? I leave that up to you to decide. Further reading: Happy Birthday, Malaysia? - Part II |W|P|109375395716459191|W|P|Happy Birthday, Malaysia? - Part I|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/29/2004 09:40:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Yes, I am arranging a blogger meet-up...at least I'm announcing that I would like to meet the wacky people responsible for some of the blogs I read. I'll be free in a couple of weeks time, so am scheduling the meet for second week of September. Here are the details:
  • Date: September 11th, 2004 (I know, I know...not a very auspicious day...)
  • Venue: Coffee Bean, Bangsar
  • Time: 1:30pm - 2pm
I suggested this place because it's nearest to my office - since I'll be working that morning (and I happen to like Coffee Bean more than Starbucks!). ^_^ Anyway, those of you who are interested in coming, please drop a comment k? Or suggestions, if you like. I'll continue to update you guys on the changes (if there are any). I do hope people *will* show. *excitement excitement* |W|P|109374403152117214|W|P|ANNOUNCEMENT: Blogger meet-up!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/28/2004 07:10:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|So here I am at bloody 7am in the morning, sitting in front of my office pc and wondering why did I bother coming in earlier than everyone else. It's the graduation ceremony here and thus being one of those on the committee, I have to be around earlier than most people (but not this fucking early, I'd say!) and today will probably be a busy day. Couple with the fact that I have a graduation ball to attend (all lecturers are 'encouraged' to go...unless of course IF you have a last-minute wedding invitation - blame the postman - or a sick parent to attend to - blame the quack doctor - and all sorts of excuses not to go....)... It is also the calm before the storm. Driving into the college compound/parking (I have the luxury of parking on campus on the weekends...not on weekdays unfortunately. ;_;), I happen to notice the flurry of anxious and excited parents. Ohno. It's coming. THEY are coming. That chicken sandwich I bought downstairs is staring at me - or so I think out of the corner of my eye - going "EAT ME DAMN YOU...lest you lose the opportunity to do so and I rot in hell...oh wait...grow mould I mean." And my tummy's incessent rumbling doesn't help either. Blech. And while there is still time...my brain is busy at thought. Thinking about the past. Thinking about the present. Come to think of it, I thought this would all end when I graduated from unversity last year. The donning of robes, the mortar board, the everything, you know...I thought it would all end. Never in a million years would I foresee myself standing in shoes that were once filled by my teachers and lecturers. Listening and watching MY former students marching in and receiving their scrolls. Feeling the way I do now. Coming to realize what I do now...I feel more than just a teacher. I feel nearly like a parent. But going back to the thought, I never thought I would see teaching as something FOR me. I always wanted more than this - more than this life and I am beginning to find joy and comfort in the seemingly easiest of jobs (not really actually - whoever thinks teaching is an easy job...chances are you've never spoken to REAL teachers) yet the lowest paid of professions. Part of me still yearns for that opportunity to write - I don't think post-production or film studies is for me UNLESS it talks about sociology and culture too - but I like this job and I foresee a future for myself in this line of work. Funny how circumstances and plans have a way of evolving into something. Funny how the Man Upstairs knows your skills and abilities and carves a lifepath so suitable for you that the thought makes you tickle with amusement. Funny how most of us never seem to know what we want or what we love until it's too late. Oh...the calm is going over and I have still half a sandwich to finish. ARGH! I'll come back and see if I can post some picture but right now, I have to go fill the shoes of the second parent - shit, one of the student's shoe strap broke.... >< ...ok ok...gotta go. Enough of nice pleasantries. DAMNIT and my sandwich is still there. |W|P|109364957471693419|W|P|The calm before the storm.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/26/2004 10:16:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Initially... I was going to blog about all the shitty and embarassing things that happened at work today. I was going to blog about the inconsiderate 'people' at work who make my life a living hell. I was going to blog about the stupid, annoying fuckwit drivers who make my daily commute to and fro work a nightmare. I was going to blog about many horrible things. Instead... I find myself blogging about a phone call which got me all excited like a woman who shed five inches off her waist and could easily fit into that gorgeous S-size evening gown she saw at Phenomenal. I find myself blogging about a job interview at a post-production house which I visited (the first and last time) while I was a degree student. Okay okay...details goes like this: I got this contact from one of my recently graduated student who didn't want to apply for the said job (producer in a post-production house which deals in 3D and 2D animation plus regular work - commercials, etc). So I emailed the guy and started a friendly chatting session...of course via the Internet. I mentioned how I was interested and asked for more details. He mentioned something along the lines of expecting my resume and I attached it together with my next email. That was a few weeks ago. Just now...or rather around 8ish, I got a call from the post-production house and they asked if I had received an email from them. Nope. Nada. Funny, they said, coz it was to ask me to come for an interview. Anyway...to cut things short, they want to see me tomorrow at noon. So here I am feeling rather excited, looking forward to the experience again and seeing what new opportunities there may be for me out there. I won't lie and say that the thought of leaving hasn't crossed my mind - it has but there are the intangible stuff to take note off (like my students and etc). Honestly, I never thought they would call. I suppose that is the problem with me. I am always second-guessing myself and attributing it to 'modesty'. One of the perks of being like this, though, is that I never cease to surprise myself and the world never ceases to surprise me. Funny how when things are going downhill, the Man Upstairs decides to throw in a perk-me-up-thing. This - come to think of it - beats any book-and-DVD fairy (I still want a book-and-DVD fairy... T_T - that would truly be a sign that someone loves me!) or hell, even Milo. I guess I must have done something right today to deserve this...either that or the Man Upstairs really likes me. O'well... *goes back to being excited* [UPDATE] Went for the interview....didn't quite like it (there were a lot of down points) - PLUS I think I found my passion already. ^_^ So yup...I'm sticking to teaching. |W|P|109353000714178837|W|P|Excitement excitement!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/25/2004 05:30:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I GOT A GMAIL INVITE!!!! ^__________________________^ Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Sashi! ^__________________________^ So now, my new email address is this and no longer the one with yahoo. Please update your web contacts, k? YAY! *skips around happily* |W|P|109342633544387988|W|P|YAY for Gmail!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/25/2004 10:39:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|After going through yesterday's bulk of comments and this post, I decided to blog on this matter from a different perspective - or according to how I see it, anyway. The topic this time is "Women and Sex" (and I foresee it going into parts but never mind!) and somehow, it is always either one of the following: *Note: The following are based on observations and thoughts that have been growing and growing in my head. No insult intended to certain groups/organizations/peoples.
  1. Women and sexual assault
  2. Women and premarital sex
One thing is sure, being away for two years has only served to heightened my disgust for the very obvious lack of consideration, empathy and wisdom towards matters revolving around women back here. Whether we want to admit it or not, Malaysia is still a country which holds women back from what really matters - true independence. Yes, compared to our sisters in Africa who still have to undergo FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and in other parts of the world who do not have jobs and what-not, we Malaysian females are lucky. But that is a perception that promotes a culture of comfort, a culture of non-change, non-investigative, non-discovery...and culture that doesn't promote critical thinking. Why do I say all these things? It is not because I hate men. On the contrary, I *love* the male species (not all of them though)...but it is because we need to appreciate and learn how to protect the part of the species which completes our lives here on Earth. Everyone of us here has a female figure in their lives at one point in time - be it the girlfriend, the mother, the grandmother, the sister, the best friend, the wife, the muse, the colleague, the boss...need I go on? I know it is not necessarily easier for our male counterparts. They have their issues with the world as well but then again, this post isn't about them and more often than not, almost all known societies in this planet are patriachal. The odds happen to be in their favour. And the culture/norm revolving in our society doesn't help things at all. I remember reading a while back about how a politican casually remarked that if a woman were to be raped, she might as well "lie back and enjoy it". Later he apologized but accused the press of taking his remarks in the wrong context. What context is there for us to take it alternatively? Sex has been designed in such a way that women are the ones who are penetrated and men the aggressor - hence the design of our biological parts are internal unlike the male of our species. For a woman to lie on her back and allow a man to penetrate is a sign of intimacy and more importantly, trust. She is at her weakest and most vulnerable point in life. And when rape happens - when the woman's trust is broken and when her body violated - it is extremely traumatic. Rape victims spent a lifetime going through the trauma of feeling unclean, feeling guilty, feeling victimised and here, this politican's remark was bordering on callous. Our leaders are suppose to be the voice of the people - female or otherwise - and for a man to say such things makes him - in my opinion - a prick of an arse who probably hasn't been getting any (and probably has a small dick!). Now before I left, there was a huge debate as to whether attire provoked rape. And one reader remarked that if attire did provoke rape, as suggested by some political group(s) [the suggestion was that women invite rape when they wear short skirts and revealing low-cut blouses], why is it that young girls in their school uniforms were being ambushed and raped and sodomized? Shouldn't the emphasis be on WHY rape occurs rather than how it occurs? The political group later argued that prevention was better than cure and that all women should cover it. But observations have shown that clothing has little, or close to no effect on why men commit rape. Rape is always about revenge and power. Men rape because they want to feel power and they want to be in control. Observation has shown that men rape women in certain positions where they are often on top OR in control - in other words, missionary and doggie-style are potential rape positions. In both, the man can have a firm grasp of the legs and wrist and it is harder for a woman to buck a man off. Besides, it's easier for the man to just strangle her or suffocate her with a pillow or anything handy around when he's on top. Being on top allows for the man to look at the fear in the woman's eyes - it is all about power. Clothing has very little to do with the process - because it either stays on in its ripped state or all of it comes off. Being on top for a woman never happens because it makes the man vulnerable to attacks on his body and it's easier for a woman to just run off. Also consider this: physically women and children are no match for the brute strength of a man. And that makes it even more emotionally painful for a woman - "I couldn't fight him off, I'm such a weakling, if I could have fought him off this wouldn't happen..." and it goes on and on. Do men see that? Can other women understand that? So far I have been speaking about rape in a general manner - you would assume here that the women I speak of are probably single and the men are probably strangers. Wrong. Statistics have shown that rapes are committed by people women trust - which is why it hurts even more. It is already painful when we are hurt by our boyfriends or lovers (men - girlfriends/wifes), so can you imagine the pain of having to deal with betrayal and most of the, the abuse of trust that was freely given to that person? Before you go onto to excuse it to "she should have known better than to pick someone like that", statistics have also shown that people often will never suspect that such a person is a rapist or a serial killer or etc. They look like any other regular Mat, Samy, Beng. They don't wear signs on their foreheads neither do they tattoo it on their arms. Rape is often - I use the word often because I have read otherwise - a spontaneous crime that develops from peeping and voyeurism. Sometimes it happens in the heat of anger, drunkenness or etc...but it is rarely a planned crime. You never tell yourself "I think I'll go rape someone tonight". It is like a subconscious festering thought that hits you at the right moment...or at least that is how I see it. Besides, love often blinds you...or at least allows you to live in another reality of your own creation. What happens if the rapist is your husband? Chances are you are no better than the physically abused wife. We live in a society where married women are still seen by their partners as a sex slave and property - where it has become a matter of duty and not a matter of love/respect/intimacy. Sex for many married couples have become just like that. And I wonder if it is because we are taught though religion and societal pressure that sex is a bad thing. That if a married/single woman enjoys sex, she is a whore. Can someone care to tell me about this phenomenon? A married person has every right to say no. No one says no just for the sake of saying no - and more often than not, there is a reason as to why both women and men turn down sex. For the police and the government to acknowledge rape for single women and otherwise for married women portrays the reality and real meaning of double standards. Yes, married women are commanded to submit and provide for their husband sexually but did anyone ever go through what a man was suppose to provide for his wife in the EMOTIONAL and PHYSICAL sense and not monetarily? A husband is suppose to love, care and cherish his wife as if she is part of him - at least that is what Christian couples are taught. How is forcing your wife to have sex with you even when she doesn't want to a sign of love, care and cherishing your other half? Did anyone ever talked about situations where the MAN is the one who isn't providing for his wife's sexual needs adequately? NOOOOO...because it is assumed that women cannot have higher sexual libido than men, because it is assumed that only hookers and whores love having sex and that women are incapable of sexual/lustful thoughts. *scoffs* Sometimes I wonder how men can rape the women they profess to love and stare into the very same eyes - which are now filled with hurt, betrayal and mistrust - and carry on with their lives as if it never happened. Sometimes I wonder how did the most intellectual of species on the planet turn so animalistic - worse than the animals themselves. Coming up: Women and Sex - Part II: Does premarital sex cheapen a woman/lowers her 'value'? |W|P|109340168836561593|W|P|Women and sex - Part I|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/24/2004 10:15:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I had an extremely good night yesterday - the best since my parents packed up to leave for Angkor Wat on Saturday - despite the fact that I didn't get any work done (coz I wanted to bash the computer screen inside out in view of what happened over the weekend - I am note telling!) or despite the fact that I was alone essentially in this rather big old suburban house. I cherish being home alone at times like this. Used to hate being alone in the past (when I was much younger) because I never have stuff to do. These days, I have my knitting, my books, housechores, my doggies, cooking, yoga & gym, blogging and my DVDs. More often than not, I love the silence and I love the peace. It is hard to get any peace around when Dad likes to watch CNN on full blast and Mum likes to chatter chatter chatter...geh. I often wish that the peace would never end but you know how things are - "all good things must come to an end"... I had a glass of wine, curled up in front of the TV and knitted this blue-ish patchwork-looking throw. My dogs were outside, lying spread eagled on the tile floors which I washed down after a very hot afternoon - just for their sake because it is cooling as the water dries. Towards the middle of the night, the FWB dropped by and he was introduced to my room for the first time - "WOW! It's so clean!" ("Urm, dude, I don't think so...this is considered messy by my dad's standards," I recalled telling him). I had some candles lit, the air-conditioning turned on and as I finished off my glass of wine, he tinkered around on my computer, marvelling on the Samsung flatscreen monitor and speakers that came together with my desktop when I bought it months ago. We cuddled up on my "supersize single bed" (as he calls it) and chatted for a bit before...*cough*...moving on to other things... ^_~ Quite some time later... I ended up spending a better part of post-coital action in tears - more like in frustration and rage over the events that transpired over the weekend. And as I cuddled my bolster, the FWB hurridly put on his pants to cuddle up next to me. I don't remember how the tears started, but I just remember him holding me and letting me go all manja-manja on him after I dried my face. It was not really how I wanted to remember last night (in tears after coitus and all) BUT at least his words, his advice and his hugs comforted me. Oddly enough, he felt like my gay best friend. *lol* I like the fact that I can trust him and the fact that I am comfortable being myself around him - all faults and everything. I found that since returning from Australia, I have begun to open up to more people than I had before...good sign nonetheless. And it honestly feels good to be able to trust someone again AND open up completely without worries. We shared some laughs over my patchwork knitting project - "that seriously freaks me out but I would like to have it if you don't mind!" - share more hugs, played around with my cowboy-lookalike suede/leather Barmah hat - "hey, I might need to borrow this sometime!" - and finally ended the night with him skirting my dogs and leaving me with a smile on my face. Great end considering that I was in tears not long before... At least I found myself again and I discovered who I was again...and that sometimes being alone isn't really a bad thing. *thinks* Yes, it was a good end to a quiet (well, not really quiet - *winks* - but you know what I meant) and rather enlightening night. On the side note: I FINALLY managed to catch some action on the gymnastics floor - there were a few upsets, some surprises and a whole lot of great looking naturally buff men! *drools* Really, why do you think I watch events like gymnastics, diving and swimming? ^_~ On the double side note: I have a date with a nice Egyptian-Brit dude who works with Williams (yes, F1 people) on Thursday. He wants to watch me knit. *rolls on the floor laughing*|W|P|109331393840384954|W|P|The good night.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/22/2004 09:21:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|

Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep A Secret? RM34.90 at Kinokuniya (KLCC) It all started with the meeting of a lifetime in Glasgow with some very big BIGwips of this corporation. Emma Corrigan was sent with the responsibility of impressing these bigwips and hopefully sealing the fate of The Panther Corporation (her sports-drink-manufacturing company) in a positive manner, that is. She never counted on spraying the bigwip with the cranberry flavoured sports drink (thus sealing the fate of the meeting and ultimately her doom - later on in London). Neither did she counted on getting herself so tipsy that she didn't notice the three undone buttons of her blouse and her "Pink-Blobby-Bra" open in full view to the general public of the Glasgow Airport. She never expected to be upgraded from economy class to buiness class (thankgawd for the kind-hearted souls who work as air stewardesses) . Neither did she expected on blabbing out a lifetime of secrets to a total stranger - as a result of flying nerves. Fast forward to some hours later and she gets the total shock of her life. The total complete stranger on board the flight was known other than the founder of The Panther Corporation, who was down from the US for a visit. As Jack Harper weaves his way into Emma's life at the office and personal life, he shatters her composure, causing her embarassment in some circumstances. All hell breaks loose as Emma recalls of certain lies...such as...
  • How she hates Artemis and thus have been watering her colleague's spider plant with orange juice.
  • How the coffee at the office taste so foul that it must be poison.
  • How the picture of a naked bum with a g-string happened to be hers (she sat on the photocopier after a few rounds of drinks at the Christmas party).
  • How she faked her orgasms after getting tired of her boyfriend's theories on finding the G-spot.
  • How she once applied for a job WITHOUT PAY for her successful-real estate business-owner cousin and got a 'no' flat-out.
  • How she plays hookey at Starbucks during work.
  • How she was a size twelve and not an eight.
The lies - or should I call them secrets? - go on and on - and before Emma knows it, the secret is out. EVERYONE knows her most intimate of thoughts or the fact that she has a Barbie bedspread or the fact that she lied about liking jazz or kicboxing or crocheted stuff. Work becomes a living hell on Earth and Jack Harper becomes the biggest prick on the face of the planet and even the cosmos. Moral of the story? Don't blab out your secrets to anyone. I mean that is what secrets are! But wait...that's not the end. There is a surprising twist but I'll leave it for you folks to discover. Sophie Kinsella is her usual witty self as with the Shopaholic series, althought I must say that this book is rather refreshing compared to her previous books. I suppose I was getting a bit tad tired reading about a shopaholic who was trying to gain control of her life - besides I couldn't really identify myself as a shopaholic, compulsive buyer sort of thing. I would safely confess that I outgrew the compulsive buying while being in Australia. This book held my interest mainly because of the underlying matter at hand - secrets. We all have secrets - including me, not that I am going to blab it here. ^_~ But the point is this: I could identify with Emma. I could identify with the stress she underwent trying to outperform her cousin, trying to fit in, trying so hard to make something of herself and finding that the only way she could do so was to lie about it. And when the secrets and lies come unravelling, it gets painful, it gets hurtful, it gets embarassing and it gets difficult - back to square one again. I cried at some points of the book - it reminded me of myself - not so much the lies...but more about who Emma was really trying to be. Bits of it reminded me of my past and ultimately, my previous relationships - and my thoughts of future ones. Sophie addresses one important aftermath of the lies/secrets in relationships - the man/woman lied to begins to doubt their future partners based on their past experience with the said lier/secret holder. Our experiences colour our perceptions and this one I could easily empathasize with. As Connor (the boyfriend) weaved his way through discovering a new relationship, I find peace in the fact that what I currently face - the doubts and question - was something that many other people out there experienced in the past or at present. I was not alone. As I was reading this book, I wondered to myself. Is it healthy to keep secrets? Is it alright to tell a white lie? How do we know when and who to fully trust with our secrets? With our heart? At the end of the day, everything is subjective and a risk. Everything becomes a matter of risk and whether it is worth that risk. For Emma, it was a risk that she never anticipated on taking. She never quite learnt from the lessons of the past - so to speak - at the end of the book...and neither do some people. But for others like myself, sometimes the first flicker of risk is all it takes to scare us away from thoughts of trust and commitments. When I first read the book, the ending was sweet and oh-so-right. Now when I think about it, it is so typical...so...perfect. But nothing in life *IS* truly perfect. We - for one - can never truly have what we want. And for the record, perfection - although is the ultimate aim - is bound to perception and subjectivity. Suggestion? If you're in the mood for a chick-book laced with humour, if you don't mind thumbing through the embarassing moments, if you don't mind having some laughs (and tears) about yourself, this book is a good read. Just don't expect much for intellectual thought OR realistic expectations. the scarfer gives this 3.5 out of 5 balls of fluffy yarn. |W|P|109318086686023673|W|P|Book review: Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep A Secret?|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/22/2004 02:12:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|There is something relaxing and calming about being at home alone. Well, I could mention lazy as well but then again, that's not a very nice portrayal of me per say. ^_~ Yes, today's lunch was something of a weird combination of Chinese and Italian/French styles. And while eating it, I sort of mentally agreed with the ex's comment about how I always have the right nose and right mind for experimenting with food so much so that they always turn out looking utterly delicious and tasting so as well. May I present to you today's lunch...

Stir-fry elbows (pasta) with meat drenched in sweet red wine and Mozarella cheese 2 handfuls of pasta (cooked in boiling water with a pinch of salt and a dash of oil) A slab of meat of your choice (pork/chicken/lamb/mutton) A generous sprinkle of Mozarella cheese (low-fat is better!) Half a cup of sweet red wine A pinch of fresh garlic Some oil for stir-frying The sauce: A tablespoon of soy sauce A heavy sprinkle of pepper A dash of oyster sauce A dash of Lee & Perrins sauce A pinch of fresh garlic Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta till al dante - firm. Drain and leave aside.
  2. Mix ingredients for the sauce together with the meat.
  3. Heat oil in a wok on medium flame and toss in some fresh garlic. Toss in the marinated meat and stir fry until fragrant or at least until the meat browns.
  4. Pour in the cup of sweet red wine and continue to allow meat to stew on a low flame.
  5. Toss in drained pasta and stir fry until the sauce thickens or at least until the sauce dries up.
  6. Dish on a plate and sprinkle Mozarella cheese generously on the surface.
  7. Pop into the microwave over, heat until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
*Note, if the sauce is too salt, add a little bit of water to it. If it is too sweet, add salt. ^_^ ENJOY!

|W|P|109315512932283271|W|P|Alcohol in my food!!!!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/21/2004 03:10:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Never mind that I just blew RM138 on four books (can you spot it below?) and about RM80 bucks on those lovely dangly babies (can you see it below too?)...but I thought I would recapture my book and quilt cover moments again with a fresh set of batteries in the digicam! So here goes nothing... In there: Love, Obsession, Secrets & Lies by a group of Aussie women writers, Amy Tan's The Opposite of Fate, Anais Nin's Delta of Venus, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, Jane Austen's The Complete Works of Jane Austen, Sophie Kinsell's Can You Keep A Secret?, Nisha Minhas's Sari & Sins together with Chapatti or Chips? and more! If you look closely, you will be able to notice that I have yet to remove the plastic wrap from the books I bought today. *kekekeke* The others in there which I didn't care to mention are books that I'm looking forward to re-reading again. And yes, my quilt cover is kinda loopy and squiggly...I like it. It's comfy and oh-so-warm - excellent when you don't have a man handy. ^_____^ Looks like tonight will be stay at home night with a great book, nice music and a bottle of red sweet wine! ^_____________^ |W|P|109307220124048721|W|P|Of books - Part II|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/21/2004 10:22:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I thought I'd make an entry on some songs which I enjoy listening to and without following any particularly genre. Your Song Elton John It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside I'm not one of those, who can easily hide I don't have much money, but boy if I did I'd buy a big house where we both could live If I was a sculptor, but then again no, Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do My gift is my song and this one's for you And you can tell everybody, this is your song It may be quite simple but now that it's done I hope you don't mind, I hope don't you mind That I put down in words How wonderful life is while you're in the world I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss Well a few of the verses, well thy've got me quite cross But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song, It's for people like you, that keep it turned on. So excuse me forgetting, but these things I do You see I've forgotten, if they're green or they're blue Anyway the things, what I really mean Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen. *This song never fails to bring a smile to my face. I think it has something to do with the humour (at least I see a bit of it anyway) and there is this wonderful simply poignant love tied to it as well. Candle in the Wind Elton John Goodbye Norma Jean Though I never knew you at all You had the grace to hold yourself While those around you crawled They crawled out of the woodwork And they whispered into your brain They set you on the treadmill And they made you change your name And it seems to me you lived your life Like a candle in the wind Never knowing who to cling to When the rain set in And I would have liked to have known you But I was just a kid Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did Loneliness was tough The toughest role you ever played Hollywood created a superstar And pain was the price you paid Even when you died Oh the press still hounded you All the papers had to say Was that Marilyn was found in the nude Goodbye Norma Jean From the young man in the 22nd row Who sees you as something as more than sexual More than just our Marilyn Monroe *If only Norma Jean was alive...then again, no one would write a song for her. I wonder if anyone will ever write a song specially for me and about me... AFTER ALL (Love Theme From Chances Are) Duet between Cher and Peter Cetera (Him) Well, here we are again I guess it must be fate We've tried it on our own But deep inside we've known We'd be back to set things straight (Her) I still remember when Your kiss was so brand new Every memory repeats Every step I take retreats (Them) Every journey always brings me back to you (Them) After all the stops and starts We keep coming back to these two hearts Two angels who've been rescued from the fall And after all that we've been through (Her) It all comes down to me and you (Him) I guess it's meant to be Forever you and me After all (Her) When love is truly right (Him) This time it's truly right (Her) It lives from year to year (Them) It changes as it grows (Her) And oh the way it grows (Them) But it never disappears (Them) After all the stops and starts We keep coming back to these two hearts Two angels who've been rescued from the fall And after all that we've been through (Her) It all comes down to me and you (Him) I guess it's meant to be Forever you and me After all (Him) Always just beyond my tough Though I needed you so much (Her) After all what else is living for (Them) Whoa (Them) After all the stops and starts We keep coming back to these two hearts Two angels who've been rescued from the fall And after all that we've been through (Her) It all comes down to me and you (Him) I guess it's meant to be Forever you and me (Them) After all the stops and starts We keep coming back to these two hearts Two angels who've been rescued from the fall And after all that we've been through (Her) It all comes down to me and you (Him) I guess it's meant to be Forever you and me After all *I'm a sucker for sappy love songs. Heaven (candlelight Mix) Dj Sammy Oh, thinking about all our younger years There was only you and me We were young and wild and free Now nothing can take you away from me We've been down that road before But that's over now You keep me coming back for more Baby, you're all that I want When you're lying here in my arms, I'm finding it hard to believe We're in heaven And love is all that I need, And I found it there in your heart It isn't too hard to see We're in heaven Oh, once in your life you find someone Who will turn your world around Pick you up when your feeling down Now nothing could change what you mean to me There's a lot that I could say But just hold me now Cause our love will light the way Baby you're all that I want When you're lying here in my arms, I'm finding it hard to believe We're in heaven And love is all that I need, And I found it there in your heart It isn't too hard to see We're in heaven I've been waiting for so long For something to arrive For love to come along Now our dreams are coming true Through the good times and the bad I'll be standing there by you Baby you're all that I want When you're lying here in my arms Im finding it hard to believe We're in heaven And love is all that I need, And I found it there in your heart It isn't too hard to see We're in heaven Oh, Oh Oh, Oh We're in heaven *So far, this has been one of my favourite songs. I can't seem to know why but I reckon it has something to do with the obvious sappiness in them. LOL. Hmmm...I should make my own OST and mood CDs. ^_^ Yes, that would be excellent! *idea idea* Now, off to shopping for books (yaay!) and paying bills (boo!)... |W|P|109305598541332154|W|P|Just another song...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/20/2004 08:41:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Inspired by this post, I thought I'd make my own list - although the books in there are not really that recent. I bought some of them while I was in Australia but never got around to reading it until the ex sent them back by airmail barely a month ago. Clockwise: Phyllis Chesler's Woman's Inhumanity To Woman, Love, Obsession, Secrets & Lies by a group of Aussie women writers, Amy Tan's The Opposite of Fate, Anais Nin's Delta of Venus, The Cultural Creatives by another bunch of writers (^_~), and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. Other books which I recently bought or bought a long time ago (but have not had the chance to read) are Jean Kilbourne's Can't Buy My Love (it's a book on the perils of advertising), a four-book collection of The Essential X-Men, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and The Art of Rhetoric by Aristotle. Books to come include:
  • John Pilger's Reporting The World (it's coming in two weeks time *waits excitedly*)
  • Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Sophie Kinsell's The Shopaholic (all four books of it, mind you!)
On the side, I gotten myself busy with the prospects of new knitting projects! I swear I go nutty over yarn and my salary is hardly enough to sustain my yarn craving desires...must have been born a kitten in my past life. ^___^ Anyway, I managed to get a friend of mine (my second ex actually! :p ) to buy me 28 balls of yarn (I hope he will be able to get it - I made him promise me!!!) to make the following: Brown fluffy throw - it looks somewhat like a blanket and made with 20 balls of yarn (each ball costs about AUS1.99! O_O!) Blue fluffy-mix scarf made with four different balls of yarn (each ball of yarn is of a different shade/colour) Red 'diva' scarf - I am particularly drawn to the bright colours and the fringing! I have my heart set on making the brown throw because most of my bedlinen are in hues of brown and black. Speaking of bedlinen, I'll have to make a trip to IKEA soon to check out the prices of quilt covers and what-not - or at least before the sale is over. *goes back to relaxing...for now anyway and before the diploma semester starts...T_T* |W|P|109300721699109827|W|P|Of books and fluffy balls of yarn...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/19/2004 09:53:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I feel good and oddly hyper today despite having a rather tiring day. And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I had a drink with two different rums, peach liqour and vodka in it (or at least I think it's vodka). Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I finally got to meet the ex after waiting to do so for eight months. I owed him some money, you see...and since he is always busy (dunno doing what coz he is still unemployed), I decided to drop by his house and give him the money I owed him. Hell, I even forgot his address. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I got some satisfaction by looking at him and going "OHMYGAWD...what the hell did you do to yourself?". While I was with my ex, he had a soft, cute and gentlemanly persona to him...today when I saw him, I got the shock of my life. Gone was that which I once new. Now he is tanned like those Mr Universes, his hair looks so rambutan-ish and he looked old...haggard in a way. I remember gushing to my companion about it. "OHMYGAWD...HE LOOKS SO DIFFERENT...BAD different!" Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he sort of expected a hug and I wasn't prepared to give it to him. The meeting still felt ackward - what did you expect? I was only protecting myself by putting a barrier between me and him. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he yelled that I still looked great while I was walking away to the car. I smiled to myself and thanked him for the compliment. *beams* I am so vain! My companion mentions that the ex will always see me as great looking because part of him is still tied emotionally to me. Funny how I don't see him as cute anymore (read above). Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I no longer am not bonded to him. That I paid my dues. My word - as my honour - has finally been fulfilled. Oddly enough, I feel like crying. I think it's tears of happiness and relief though. I am a person of principle and honour. I did promise to pay him back - despite the fact that I really wanted closure and nothing more. After going through what I went through with him, I think today proves to the world and myself who I really am - to still see him face to face and not launch into a violent fit of rage about how he mistreated me and abused me. To face my past and fears with courage and pull throught it (just like Catherine in CSI when she decided to ID her attacker) - "if I don't do it now, I will always live in fear and distrust" - to know that the entire incident was not fully my fault, to know that part of him realizes that he lost something which might have been great for him, to know that I can now finally move on with peace and the calm assurance of my worth as a woman... It all brings tears to my eyes. Come to think of it, this time, it was me walking away from him first. He stood by the door...and I was the one walking away. IT FEELS GOOD. I will always wish him well; I will always want the best for him...but that is all. Closure never felt this good. ^__________________^ |W|P|109292398816667027|W|P|Closure never felt this good.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/18/2004 07:21:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Dear Mr Minister of Works, I have been slowly monitoring the progress of that Kepong Highway issue and just as I suspected, it has turned for the worse. There are conflicting reports and statements. What started out as repairs to cracks in the columns lead to investigations which lead to conflicting results. As a concerned taxpayer, I would like to know what your ministry is doing and the only way I get to know all that is through the media. Which is why you can say that I am very miffed to hear this:
"You should only take what comes from my mouth."
I can understand that you have immediate worries on your hand. Perhaps your wife and children are giving you issues and you don't want the public to know. Maybe you have a mistress hidden somewhere and you don't want to risk mixing your personal life with work. But don't you think that the millions of motorists who commute to and fro using that stretch of word deserve some honest-to-God truth (well, I doubt you believe in God since you used to constantly blame Him for every single problem your Ministry faced in the past...)? Also, don't you think it is strange that one paper reported on your gag order thing and another didn't? I mean I am no editor or journalist, just a regular taxpayer trying to make a living understanding why is it you do the things you do and how that affects the media and people around me...but don't you think it is weird at all? I mean since when was it deemed appropriate for a Minister to assume that his word is the law, that the media is and should only listen to him? What if such a Minister was withholding information? Or even lying? Not that I am accusing you or anything but you know things are these days. We should be careful and thus question everything we read about in the papers. This is why journalists go around getting reliable and varied sources for a report. By the way, where are your public relations officers? Are they properly trained? Because I did remember reading somewhere about how a gag order like this can be very damaging to a company's image and even counter-productive when it comes to damage control. Now that you've reminded me, people are beginning to wonder if you issued the gag order to control the spread of grapevine OR cover up your shitty mistakes. Which is it, aye? Okay, lets not waste any more of my precious taxpayers' time (which goes into you reading this) and get a move on with other things on my mind. How about I make a list? It'll be easier for you to read since you're getting really old and the mind has been known to play a few tricks at your age. As a good Malaysian taxpayer, I would like to know the following:
  1. Sukmim-Bumihiway-KKM are the people who built this flyover. How much were they paid? What was the actual cost of construction? Who was the engineer who oversaw the construction and purchasing of materials? Where are they now? Will we, regular people, ever have the opportunity to see the accounts IN PUBLIC, published on paper?
  2. Hairline cracks in THIRTY pillars. It is not one, not three, not ten but THIRTY pillars...that, Mr Minister of Works, is a longggg stretch of road. Don't you, being a Minister and all (I assume you are highly qualified and educated since you ARE a bigshot... < /sarcasm >) know the meaning of quality control? Don't you have officers in charge of ensuring quality control? We are talking about the lives of the motorists who commute to and fro; we are talking about the lives of children who travel on those roads (urm...before you start saying anything about how kiddies don't drive, they do travel with their parents/relatives/friends, you know...). What if the cracks were never detected and the situation continues to deteriorate? Would you, Minister of Works, pay the families of those who will suffer should the entire stretch of road COLLAPSE? And if you did, it wouldn't be enough. No price is worth a life.
  3. Repairs will cost RM20million. Urm...may I ask who is going to pay for this amount? Is it going to come out of my pocket AGAIN? I am not earning thousands like you are, Mr Minister. My salary is barely enough to sustain me through the months of teaching - I have a housing loan to pay off and a family to take care of not to mention myself. Is it possible to even consider getting the people responsible to pay for the repairs? You know...people like yourself. No, I am not joking. I mean, you SHOULD pay because you are the one who oversaw the construction of this place. Being the head honcho, you should bear the brunt of the problem - not your poor hard-working officers (assuming that they *ARE* hardworking). Being the head honcho, you should be the prime example of leadership - getting off your fat butt would be a great start to motivating your employees to do the same. But wait... if you are going to bear the cost, I suppose that would mean less money for flashy cars, flashy clothes, flashy makan (food), flashy everything lah. Aiyo...poor you.
Anyway, I cannot chat for long - have work to attend to (yes, us regular Joes have to work like dogs to make it through here - maybe you can talk to Minister of Labour about it, you know...pull some favours like how you bigwips all do for your buddies and relatives!). Just wrote to tell you what the average taxpayer out there is probably thinking. Hope you won't mind and not throw me into jail for calling you out on your shit. I am just an honest person. Cheers, the scarfer ps: By the by, don't you think it's time that you get off that 'throne' of yours and get someone else who is younger, sane and more efficient as Minister of Works? We could all do with a little bit of change around. I mean look at how well the country adapted to Pak Lah. It is a sign. Change *IS* good after all, you know. Think about it. |W|P|109282966195496710|W|P|A letter to the Minister of Works...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/17/2004 11:46:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I decided that it was high time to REALLY let go of my past and so last night, I begun the steps of removing that box up on my cupboard - the one which contains things that Raymond gave me while we were still together - and reminiscing on what to do with some of the items. What are the things? Emails, letters, cards, soft toys (and heaps of them), a huge jar of lucky stars (which I think I'll give back to him), pictures - I couldn't believe that I found pictures of me and him lying in places that I never thought I'd look at again - and even that dried rose which he gave to me on our first date. Essentially, that box has all my memories of him in it. Anyway, I found this journal - believe it or not, I used to keep handwritten journals and I even bought books meant for journalling (it would seem to be a fad in Australia) (have this purply-looking book and one made with faux cow leather and recycled paper - very Bridget Jones diary thing). Ok ok...to go on, I found a very inspirational quote that has much relevancy to my life today and right now:
Dwell not in the past.
Use it to illustrate a point,
then leave it behind.
nothing
really
matters
except what you do now
in this instant of time.
From this moment onward
you can be an entirely different person,
filled with love and understanding,
ready with an outstretched hand,
uplifted and positive
in every thought and deed.
- by Eileen Caddy
How inspiring...and true. And know something? I think I'm going to go back to doing some short fiction writing and perhaps submit them to mags under a pseudonym for publishing. In the mean time, I'm going to save up for a manual typewriter. ^_^ Wish me luck! ps: Anyone want soft toys? Please leave a comment if you like one OR have a suggestion for me on what to do with them. I have one forever friends (holding a rose), a cocker spaniel RUSS toy, a white mashimaro holding a heart (I think) and a three footer teddy... |W|P|109271627462190039|W|P|Inspiration.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/16/2004 09:04:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|The boss is leaving - so on Friday, we got her some flowers (well, one bunch) and during the Annual General Meeting (in front of the entire college), we dropped them off to her. The Principal's Office got her flowers too - since she has been there for nearly 20 years. Funny how time flies by and that the two bunches of flowers came from the same florist (so they kind of looked the same). She started off as a lecturer and worked her way up to become Dean of the school and now she's leaving for better pastures to a sister school. *sighs* Note: Click on piccie for bigger pic! ^_^ From L-R: BA/Dip coordinator (Rekha), English program coordinator (Siew Lan), ze bozz, me, BA lecturer (Mark), admin assistant (Shirley), English teacher (Hsin Yi) Side note: The picture looks great and so do the flowers. Anyway, someone got trigger happy and I got into some other pictures - it didn't help that Friday was the Mass Comm club's orientation day and I got my face painted in some creepy manner - I had a spider occupy half of my face. Geh. But as you will notice, I happen to be one of the more older people in my department. We have a young bunch, this School of Comm - which is awesome. Makes us great lecturers but I reckon the rest of the colleague hate us. -.- From L to R: English lecturer (Nick), me, Dip in Mass Comm lecturer and all-time bitch & queen diva (Sue) - she crowns herself with that title - HONEST! By the way, that is Nick's workstation in the foreground, and see that noticeboard right above my head? That's my seat and my noticeboard! And here are pictures from the Orientation on that day...the committee and I spent about nearly a month preparing for this and I'm glad to see that things turned out great. The students had fun and for a moment, so did I. ^_^ They actually come all dressed up! The theme was Friday the 13th, by the way... Hmmm...I know you can't see shit anything but that was how dark the room was - we covered the lights with candy paper (the thin coloured ones) and well...turn off the rest of the 'proper' lights... My nutty students... The clowns and...pretty girls?!?!?! Hmmm...the barbie getting a scare from ugly 'witch'? Of a clown, witches, ugly woman...and a few more scary figures. Ooooo...ugly woman's hair on coordinator and a not-quite-stunned queen diva (my colleagues la). The hell?!?!?! Are they murdering someone??? Kinda reminds me of CSI... A group picture... And another group picture... And another...(gawd, will it ever end?) My students - the committee that is - and me. The zany bunch I have to work with. See that spider on my face? GEEEEEHHhhhhhhh! Me and the ugly witch...plus a closer look at the spider on my face... I reckon that's all for now. *takes a bow and rides off on her broomstick* |W|P|109261919090573049|W|P|Just an update on Friday's happenings.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/15/2004 08:29:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I went shopping today for a dress for the graduation dinner which is in less than three weeks. The theme is "Funky and Flamboyant". I couldn't leave it up till the last minute and I had spent the past one month looking around for something nice AND affordable. So I ventured to this place down in Sungai Besi and found myself surrounded by prom dresses. Tried on like a couple and I ended up with two choices - a blood red dress topped with a white feather boa and a black/red dress with a black net shawl/scarf. I decided that the black/red dress was a better pick - with the embroidery and all - it *IS* within my budget (around RM189 - which is excellent considering that I have tried on dresses which cost anywhere between RM250 to RM1,000. O_O!). Here are some pictures... The top of my new dinner dress... Posted by Hello The entire dress from the bottom-up view... Posted by Hello Details, details... Posted by Hello Now I need to figure out what to do with the hair and accessories... ~_~ I think I'll go for hair down with blood red earrings and a netted black shawl. Any suggestions? I'm on a budget, btw...so I don't want anything too expensive... |W|P|109257296545821927|W|P|Dinner dress woes...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/15/2004 07:50:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|
I thought I would do some cooking today. So I rummaged through the fridge and did the best I could with what little meat, flour, eggs and grapes. I like to have pancakes with a little bit of sweetness in them - so I threw in the grapes, fresh as they come.

The recipe is as follows: Thin slices of pork/beef/chicken (up to you really) Two eggs Two soup spoonfuls of wheat flour Salt and pepper to taste Oil for frying 1. Mix flour and eggs into a batter. Try as much as possible to get rid of lumps. Batter has to be smooth and consistent. 2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally throw in the meat and mix everything well. 3. Heat up some oil in the frying pan/wok and scoop a spoonful of the mix into the wok/frying pan. Fry as if making pancakes. To ensure that pancakes are really cooked, fry till dark golden brown on both sides and thinly sliced meat before cooking. 4. Remove from oil and dry using papertowels - to soak up excess oil. 5. Serve hot with chilli/ketchup and fresh salad/fruits. |W|P|109257065332121366|W|P|Savoury Meat Pancakes|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/14/2004 11:28:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Currently playing: After All (from the movie Chances Are) by Cher and Peter Cetera Current mood: Melancholic and sombre I lit some candles today. The warm flame(s) never ceases to bring some sense of peace and calmness to me. It has been quite some time since I last lit any candles in my room. Before I left for Australia, I did it all the time - read with the subtle wiff of apple/strawberry/lilac/vanilla permeating the room and the warm gentle glow of a flicker. It got to the point where I even took my candle habits to Australia - I had watermelon scented candles...pineapple scent candles and a lovely relaxing blue scented candle which I bought from this store there. So as the shadow of the flame(s) dance against my purply-pink walls, as the music of love songs (I know I shouldn't be listening to sappy love songs but it is really one of the few things that soothes me) whispers to me...I contemplate on the things that have passed, that are to come and that are but memories now. I will not deny the fact that I feel lonely. I have never felt this lonely until now. Or perhaps it was so long ago since the last I felt like this that it feels like I have never been this way. Is it confusing? Perhaps so. I don't recall ever feeling this down in my entire life...except for this one time just right before meeting my ex. I had been totally into this friend of mine and for me to hear him turn me down was a blow. A blow which I didn't take quite well. I was depressed and I cried for days. Then, I wondered if my life was ever going to be anything I had wanted it to be...or at least how I had imagined it to be. I wondered if I was ever going to be someone's lover, someone's wife, someone's mother...if I was ever going to belong to anyone. If I would ever be in someone's thoughts all the time. If I was ever going to be the one that man talks about all the time. If I was ever going to be the one with that boyfriend/husband/man loves so much that he surprises her with flowers all the time. I wondered if I was ever going to be the number one priority of another person. And then I met my ex. I suspect now that at first, I stayed with him because I was lonely. But after a while, I fell in love with him and he become the number one priority in my life - or at least he shared the place with my studies and work. Everything I wanted to be in another person's life, I did it too - for him. He became my lover, I thought of him all the time, I spoke of him often enough, I considered him (and his opinions) in major decisions, I surprised him with gifts...I treated him as how I myself wanted to be treated. I gave my all, I love the hardest I could and yet he left me. While I wanted to try, he wanted to let go. While I wanted to go on loving, he wanted to stop. It didn't help that after one and half years, I got tired of being on the sidelines. I got tired of giving my everything and getting nothing I wanted in return. Sure, he cared about me. Sure, he loved me. When I was sick, he was there. When I was coming home late, he was there. But there were also these little signs - like snide remarks about my behaviour/attitude, snide remarks about my 'requests'...and the fights. The fights where I was blamed fully for things which I didn't even start or continued. So I stopped trying...and the love stopped showing. We split up because I realized that I was never going to be his number one priority. That went to his best friend and sister. I was tired of being his punching bag, of being on the sidelines, of treating him like he was my husband and he treated me like I was the maid - or something to that effect. I did the next best thing I could after crying my eyeballs out for the entirety of two days - I tried to move on. At first I thought it would be different from the rest - I wanted to do things the 'adult' way - that is to stay as friends and carry on with our separate lives. Bollocks. There is no such thing as the 'adult' way when it comes to break-ups. I tried everything - I vented, I got drunk, I got anger, I got depressed, I got upset...I even got pitiful. I found comfort in my work, albeit it a temporary comfort. I never thought of a relationship then. How could I when I was trying to get over him? I kept everything to myself - my best of friends have no idea how to react to my depression and sadnesses. I don't blame them. The culmination of two years of being alone with my ex have somewhat left my friendships at the point where I had packed and left for Australia - not growing. Couple with the fact that I am picky about confiding in people. I have spent all my life being the one whom people turn to for that shoulder to cry on. My ex was my best friend. He was the only one I turned to with all my problems, quirks, complaints, weaknesses... So now when I need a best friend, he isn't around and essentially, there is no one else. Is it any wonder why I feel alone? For the past eight months, I have been keeping everything to myself - work, parental issues, work issues, career decisions, love life, men, friendships... I have lost more friends in the past eight months than I care to - the ones whom I gained are still in the infantal stage and I don't intend to intrude on them with my problems. Contrary to popular belief, I have my fair share of problems, worries and stresses. I have no one around me. My work is great and when I'm in public, I do good; I do fine; I feel okay. Just that sometimes when I come home to my room, my single bed, my books, my DVDs, my dogs and my computer...the four walls are overwhelmingly unfriendly - and after two years of living with a best friend, lover, nearly husband (but not quite), it feels...empty and so does the heart. So at the end of the week, I found myself coming home from work to face another daily routine and I broke down. Two months before I left for Australia, I left as a student who was someone's girlfriend; I belonged to myself and another person; I had someone and he had me. Two months after coming back (I spent two years there), I was now a lecturer who was someone's ex-girlfriend; I belonged to me alone; I had no one and he doesn't even want me. I look at the bed - once I saw two people sharing a laugh, sharing a kiss, sharing a love...today it is just a fleeting memory. I see the computer and I saw two people sharing a hug and giggles, watching an anime together...today it is just a lonely soul trying to kill time by blogging and surfing the net. Forgive me while I shed a tear or two. Forgive me while I amble through this moment feeling rather lonely for myself because honestly, I am lonely. I never asked for anything much in my life. I never asked to be rich. I never asked to be beautiful. I never asked for anything MORE than I have and had. Every single aspect of my life now is what I have always wanted - a good job, great friends, independence, parental love - everything except for one. I just want to be loved by a good man. Is that really too much to ask? I know the drill - I don't need anyone to be happy, I don't need a man, if I am happy, nothing else matter... BUT honestly, I would like to have someone whom I could share my life with - the happiness, the bad news...I am so tired of keeping things to myself, so tired of looking to share something with someone and that person isn't there. I would like to have a man in my life - a nice big warm hand to hold mine and guide me...I am so tired of being surrounded by so many females (at work, in class, at the gym, in church, etc) that sometimes a male presence brings me comfort. I am happy but this is the one of the few things in life that matters to me. Sometimes I wonder to myself if the problem is with me. Am I too educated? Am I too ugly? Too cute? Too fat? Too short? Too vocal? Too passionate? Too bookwormy? Too old? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Please don't tell me that things like the problem is that I'm expecting the world, or that I just need a bit more time, or that I should be happy instead of whining. I don't want solutions, I just want to understand...I just want to understand why I am feeling this way, why is it that I fear loneliness and rejection, why is it I cannot stop thinking about where my life is to lead me... Is this really what life has to offer me? Coming home to dogs and a bloody computer plus books instead of a warm cheery smile and a kiss from the man I love? Is this really it for me? I don't expect people to understand what this feels like...but if you do, you're welcome to share a piece of it with me. *sighs* Forgive me now while I end this aimless entry here, so that I can go cry into my pillow. G'nite...and goodbye - for now anyway.|W|P|109249765809088910|W|P|Loneliness.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/14/2004 11:11:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|The scarfer is taking a break from being online. She doesn't know when she'll be back. All she knows is that she needs some time out to sort things out. She feels lonely and unhappy. She wants to know why and she wants to know why ALONE...or at least without any other unnecessary worries on her mind. She'll be back to explain why or how but in the mean time, pray for her and wish her the very best... |W|P|109245320051125680|W|P|Sabbatical calls.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/13/2004 07:23:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|This week has definitely not been good. Here are several reasons why:
  1. Lectures and tutorials back-to-back: Sociology was on Monday, Writing for the Media on Tuesday, Culture and Everyday Life on Wednesday and finally tutorials on Thursday and Friday. All lectures are two hours long and tutorials are anywhere between three to two hours. What makes it tiring is the fact that night after night, I come home and do work - preparing for the next day's tutorials. Speaking of work, I have to work on a pop quiz for Sociology soon. -.-
  2. Gym: I have been going to gym every three to four days a week. The drill is this: I get home, have a quick shower, change and drive to the gym where I go on the bike for half an hour to fifteen minutes, then go for either step/flexible strength/yoga/aerobics. By the time I reach home after class, it is nearly 830pm. I take about another fifteen minutes to cool down and after that, shower and do work.
  3. Meetings & Functions: Since the new semester for the degree students started, I have been immersed with a lot of meetings and functions/talks/seminars. This week alone saw me sitting for three meetings - all in the afternoon and immediately after my lectures - and two functions - one on Monday and another today. It is tiring because most of the time I have to make sure that these meetings/functions go on smoothly. The one today - I felt - was a success, but I have leftover work from there.
  4. Migraines and the flu bug: My migraines are occuring more frequently and I am sick - been so for the past one or two days already. Gym has helped drag the problem into several days instead of it exploding on one day (in the past). But my body tires easily and I actually feel the stress. My nerves are on an edge and sometimes I just feel like dropping everything and taking a break. Also, I think I have yelled at a few people these past few days over the smallest of things. I am sorry for that.
  5. Restructuring at work: Today was the penicle of this week's happenings. The school is restructuring (we no longer have seven schools but three and I'll be under School of Social Science) and thus, with such changes comes the changes that affects me on the staff level. More responsibilities and more decision-making discussions between me and a rather inefficient person - as a matter of fact, a few of us don't quite like the idea. Not only that, I will also be moving from my favourite spot - next to the library - to another office (two floors down) and frankly away from the library. *sighs* I somehow get the feeling that things are going to be very different and that my position now is shaky. Coupled with the fact that the boss *IS* leaving for a sister school (her last day is sometime in Sept)...I just feel quite...stressed out.
  6. Home: Parents have started bugging me again about work and changing jobs. And frankly, I'm beginning to consider it. With everything that is going on, I am considering switching to another college or university (*keeps fingers crossed*) OR going back into the industry. I am eyeing a position as an assistant producer OR a consultant/planner with a PR/advertising/event management company. I have hopes of going back into the film industry since my first degree is in journalism and film & TV studies. So from today onwards, I'll be watching out for opportunities. I am still keen on teaching - that will always be my first choice. What I have not thought of is WHEN I will be leaving. That will depend very much on circumstances.
Now do you see why this week has been particularly rough on me? Excuse me now while I go take some Panadols and get some rest. Plastic bills will be paid either on Sunday or next week. Yoga classes will have to wait until this 'bug' is gone FULLY. ps: Whoever emailed me about a fellow blogger and his extramarital activities, I just have this to say - LEAVE ME OUT OF YOUR MARITAL SPATS. People who read my blogs are not necessarily in relationships (of any kind) with me. Besides, I have not been in a relationship in many months now. I suggest talking to the person to sort out your problems instead of telling me - a total complete stranger.|W|P|109239753971968676|W|P|Bad week.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/13/2004 12:52:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|It's certified. I am down with the flu bug...or at least something similar. The scratchy feeling at the back of my throat has turned into sore throat and finally a dry cough. Last night I developed a temperature and went to sleep feeling quite cold despite just using a fan and burrowing up to my nose under an IKEA quilt. Today, I have been popping lozenges and suddenly I feel all lethargic and COLD. Too cold for comfort. Initially I was thinking of going for that yoga class today at 745pm but if I continue to feel like this, I'll probably have to miss today's class as well. It isn't good. I have been missing classes too often for comfort (I know I make up for it by going for more than one class a day...but still!) - Wednesday was to recuperate from a streneous step class, Thursday was a movie outing and today? To get better from flu? Aiks. I know I still have Saturdays and Sundays (for yoga) but with helping my mum to cook for Sundays and crossing over to town to pay my plastic (credit card) bill, it is going to be tight. I either hope to be back by 3pm for the afternoon class or go in the morning at around 10ish...and drive all the way to Citibank in KL just to pay my hefty plastic bill. Esh. I hate getting sick. Puts a damper to all my plans. So it's either this:
  • Yoga today, home tomorrow and plastic bill on Sunday.
  • Yoga tomorrow, plastic bill tomorrow and home on Sunday.
  • Plastic bill next week (before the 24th), yoga and home tomorrow and yoga on Sunday.
I must say one thing though...the first and third option sounds good. O'well...we'll see how it goes... On a side note: Graduation dinner is coming and it looks like I'm going alone. The theme is funky and flamboyant. Any ideas for what to wear? Oh, I'm on a budget too. -.- |W|P|109237344317809699|W|P|*cough cough*|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com8/12/2004 08:59:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|The scarfer had a very miserable night. All this bawling isn't very good for her eyes or composure at work today. But the matter that brought about all this crying is something that is not very unusual to her. ... The scarfer's parents think she should seek better pastures somewhere else and not be tied down to this country. The scarfer thinks it is easier said than done. She feels pressured to leave a job that she likes and perhaps a possible future for herself. The scarfer's parents think she should be better paid and that young people should be working because of money FIRST and not passion. The scarfer disagrees - it should not be just about the money FIRST. She feels utterly disgusted. The scarfer's parents say that they are just reminding her not to get too comfortable with what life have to offer her. The scarfer ISN'T and is tired of being constantly reminded. She feels doubted by everyone including her parents, that people don't trust her maturity or judgement. The scarfer's parents say that if she wants to go back to the industry and feels that she is overqualified, don't mention the MA. The scarfer thinks that is just as good as not getting an MA in the first place. She feels that is just silly/stupid and doesn't make sense "I mean, how do I explain my teaching experience?" ... The scarfer likes the idea of being able to work overseas, living overseas and raise a family overseas. But she is also aware that sometimes not everything is great overseas - it comes with a price and depends on what you want first of all. Even if she wanted to leave, not everything depends on her. While the scarfer was in Australia, she wanted to stay there. So for ten months up till the day her working visa died, she applied for jobs and attended interviews. She wasn't picky - the jobs ranged from writing to research to marketing to working in hotels. But the response she got was always the same old thing - "we don't have any vacant positions" "you are overqualified" "you are not what we are looking for" - the scarfer knows the harsh realities of "you should go overseas to work". So the scarfer came back even though at first she didn't want to. She learnt to adapt to a new job and she is still learning to adapt to living in Malaysia. The scarfer likes her current job even though it doesn't pay her much. Nevertheless, she has steeled herself for any possible changes and is considering going back to the industry to work - maybe as a producer or something. She just can't understand why her parents cannot accept the fact that maybe the scarfer wants to stay in Malaysia for the time being. That maybe the scarfer is only thinking of leaving later on. That maybe the scarfer intends on slogging here. No. The scarfer's parents feel that she should slogging for a higher pay and a whiter boss (not to mention white colleagues). Shit. Everything is about money. The scarfer hates it. And here they tell her that it's her life. No wonder she feels pressured and miserable.|W|P|109227323926497521|W|P|Miserable night.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com