9/30/2004 04:50:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Petrol prices have gone up 5 cents. Bah. I know I should be thankful that I don't drive to work on a regular basis but this is bad... -.- I am swamped with research proposals and resubmitted assignments for Culture & Everday Life, not to mention appointments and discussions with students on how food reflects class, gender or ethnic struggles (as an example, that is). I have yet to start work on my little writing project - still haven't titled it - I hate myself sometimes for being unable to adhere to my writing plans. The student club that I am managing are getting lazy without me around to poke them into action - I have been roped into committees for some Halloween thingie-party, Sports Day event and a campus magazine thingie too. Other stuff on my calender is to start preparing the materials for next semester's modules - TV and Popular Culture, Media Industries and Intro to Cultural Studies - will be considering handling Principles of Journalism if they don't hire someone by then. -.- Need to start work on preparing exam questions (it's open book, btw) for Intro to Sociology - especially for the finals and upcoming pop quizes. I am so swamped. On the side...this morning, Dad told Mum to give me a pep talk on safe sex since I'm going to be alone with NG this weekend. O_O! And yes, I am imperfect and human (constantly striving to better myself and try to make as much sense of the world as possible) - as if that is news anyway (just for the benefit of new readers). Will be back to update this when and if I do get a breather. |W|P|109653467406321012|W|P|Little bits of news...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/28/2004 05:10:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|I never like it when someone plagiarizes unintentionally. I never like telling students to redo papers. And I never like seeing plagiarized material because I, for one, value true effort and work that has been put into producing a research paper. I think back to the months I spent writing my work and the amount of sheer hard work I put in...and if I knew that it would be plagiarized by someone, I would be extremely pissed. But when a student plagiarized INTENTIONALLY and the ENTIRE paper (not just one bloody paragraph) and pour in effort into making it seem like it is their work, I get pissed. I get mad. I feel insulted. I am a smart person. I didn't get my masters by lazing around and copying some other person's work. I didn't get my masters by not attending classes and handing in my assignments way pass the deadline. Most of all, I respected my professors enough not to assume that they are dumb people who can't see pass a plagiarised paper. I have students coming up telling lecturers that they plagiarise papers not because they don't know how to write the bloody paper but because they think we wouldn't check up on it (my colleague got that). I have students excusing their lazy methods to "I didn't have enough of time" or "I don't know what to write" - to which I firmly put down "If that is the case, why didn't you come to see me for an extension or ideas?" Silence all round. Hurrah for the lecturer. Boo for the student. It does not help when I am towards the final three assignments to read, looking forward to finally finishing a thick stack of assignments and I open up the first page only to read a very suspiciously beautiful crafted PhD-styled paragraph - written by a second year student who can't even string a grammatically correct sentence in English (while talking to me that is). I am not dumb. I get on the net, type in the author's name (the one she 'quoted' *ahem*) and the topic and I found it. Five results down and there it was, staring at me in the face. I open the article and I went red. Twenty eight pages of e-reading and eleven pages of bibliography. She even put in effort to fit in some citations here and there. I got really red. Bloody hell. If you have the fucking time to go through 28 pages of hard-core stuff and 11 pages of bibliography to churn out a ten page report, why the hell can't you just get off that lazy arse of yours and write me an original paper? I mean, everyone else did that. So what is your excuse? By the way, do I look like an idiot to you? Or even close to being mentally retarded? Pfft. I will not and do not mince words when it comes to this. Plagiarism makes me pissed. People who plagiarise disgust me. They are no better than the common good-for-nothing thief.|W|P|109636334483490524|W|P|What utter disgust!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/27/2004 01:20:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|They are fun people. They are caring people. But sometimes they really get on my nerves. I just want to kill them strangle them. Well...just her, actually. Mum is loaning me the company apartment for the weekend - that was agreed upon last week. Then suddenly this morning, she announces that she might consider dropping by the apartment this weekend since she hasn't seen the place in over a year. O_O! WHAT?!?? Mum, does the very thought of your daughter wanting to spend some time alone with her beau mean anything to you? Nevertheless, this daughter keeps her tongue in check and stays utterly silent. A few minutes later... "Mum, how are you guys going to go up? Me and NG are taking the bus, you know." "Aiya...I didn't say I was going. It is just a thought. Let me check with your dad first and see what he says. Even if we do go, we won't stay the night." But it is not fun, Mum. It is so not fun when your daughter and the beau has just started dating and you are scaring him away. It is so not fun when your daughter and the beau wants to be together and lovey dovey and all, AND you are there watching her every move. It is so not fun when parents decide to be lampposts thinking it is all cute. You don't see your daughter doing the same when you want to get away with your hubby, my father. It didn't help that NG and I nearly got into a fight over a stupid small matter like this. -.- I hate MSN. I can't tell if NG was kidding or if he was upset just by reading the words. Bah. Must strive to ensure that parents don't even hazard the thought of showing up without telling me. Must have a long drill chat with them tonight. Pray for me. |W|P|109626279394141892|W|P|If only...gah...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/25/2004 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|It was over a plate of steamed chicken and fried tong fun (glass noodles) that I casually announced to my mother that I was dating NG. It didn't help that I riled her up earlier into curiousity by saying that I had something to tell her - told her when I got into the car immediately - and refusing to do so until dinner. Dad wasn't around - so I broke the news to her alone. She guessed as much. She is pleased. And she would like to meet him - not that it's a problem. NG had already seen it coming and he is perfectly okay with it "If it would make things easier, I am okay with it." Now the thing you have to understand about my relationship with my parents is that we are close; while considering that, I have a lot of respect and courtesy for them. I chose to tell them about NG because I see them as an important and integral part of my life - and NG will soon be one of them, as time progresses. The last thing I want is to have him as part of my life and suddenly, my parents don't approve of him - that would be shitty. Some commented in the previous post that it sounds as if my parents are treating me like a teen (or I make it sound that way). No. It is not that at all. This is an important thing to me - I don't know if it is the norm with other people out there...telling their parents that they are seeing someone...but since sooner or later, my parents are going to know, I might as well be upfront about it. Besides, it is not as if I'm sneaking off to do drugs or that NG is married - as mum remarked "This is something 'nice' and not something that you would hide, so you don't have to be afraid of our reaction. Besides, we appreciate you telling us." It turned out later over dinner that Mum had noticed my 'radiant' glows since returning from my island getaway and that Dad had guessed what was going on - the old man even gave his blessings. Well not outrightly anyway. My parents always do these things in their own special sneaky little way. ^____________^ So yes, my parents think it is a good thing. NG is meeting them when he comes in from Singapore on his train ride - Mum suggested that he shower at our place and join us for breakfast before leaving for our highland trip. NG is bringing a bottle of wine and I have some surprises up my sleeve (including his present(s)!). Now if only next weekend will come tomorrow! ps: I miss him a lot (he's away with some of his friends for the weekend) but to distract myself, I have been busy trying to finish his present(s) just in time when he gets here next week. Hope he likes them. |W|P|109611880136677359|W|P|So they know...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/23/2004 08:41:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|It would appear that academics like Ash (and a few more out there) are not the only ones having to bear the brunt of paperwork topping a whole list of other priorities like that research paper or perhaps a research grant(?). Sad to say, it's now my turn as well. Now there is never such a thing as research grants in the private sector - over here in the supposed land of milk and honey, emphasis is given more on teaching and bulking up the enrolment numbers than it is on actually obtaining and refining the knowledge that will be used to teach these students. Never mind the fact that if and when the class gets to 100 plus students, the lecturer faints because he/she has to lecture AND give the bloody tutorials as well. Well the 100 over students have yet to happen to me, but other shitty, non-academic stuff have. While I am comfortable with teaching three subjects these semester, they also failed to add into my contract that other forms of 'work' would include being part of the convocation committee, being teacher advisor for a student club, being roped in for the sports day (which ironically I am not going for...hopefully!), being in the loop about the transactions between partner universities and this department (which I don't really mind) and so forth. This morning, I walked into the office, feeling rather chirpy because I received good news about NG's upcoming visit next week. More about that later. But yes, I turned on my email and there was this one sent by some dude from student services (lets call him G for Goon) reading along the lines of "all campus magazines into one...Ms.Mabelle representing MCC...two student editors..." Wait. Who the hell is Ms.Mabelle? As far as I know it, there is only one Mabel in this entire college (on staff level that is) and it's me. I look at the email recipient list and heh. He meant me. -.- Yo, dude, the least you could do is spell my name correct...especially when you are ORDERING ME AROUND to do a favour for you. Pfft. Best part about this entire thing is that I don't even know anything about it. The teleconversation was between the head of A&P - I call them Ass and Pricks for many reasons - and G. Suddenly I'm being greeted in the morning with an email stating my presence (not question as to whether I can attend it in the first place) at a meeting which I don't even know jack-shit about. -__________- And I get paid a nominal peanuts!!! *rage* Not good. And I was so hoping to get in touch with this professor from NUS about my plans to start on my PhD in Singapore as well as start on my research papers soon. Bah. Whoever said that the life of an academic was going to be peachy whereby you roll around in tonnes of cash and have loads of free time evidently was either never a teacher or a teacher who couldn't care less. Heh. [UPDATE] My aunt is here and she is really making my life a pain. One paracetemol and it still is bloody fuckingly painful. Bah. Luckily no classes today...just marking papers. Geh.|W|P|109590381888958441|W|P|Academic shit for you.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/21/2004 07:30:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Just some pictures...or at least pictures taken while we were at the beach. ^_^ *wiggling my toes* Amazingly the sand felt good once more. Been ages since I last visited a beach. My footprints in the sand, courtesy of NG Worshipping the sun by NG And as I was admiring the view, NG snapped this little shot of me. My turn now as I observed him along the shoreline. I call it Contemplation. Sunset at Teluk Nipah, Pangkor by Mei |W|P|109576652435272658|W|P|The weekend: Pictures|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/16/2004 05:53:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|As most of you have read, I'm planning to come up with a piece for NaNoWriMo.org - or at least attempt to finish within a year (^_~). Since I am leaning towards philosophy and what-not, this was what I came up with. Funnily enough, it smells of science fiction. *giggles* So much for not wanting to writing anything sci-fi. Note: I kinda like the storyline and what-not. Just need a few tweaks here and there and I reckon I'll be able to start on it soon. What do you guys think? By the way, haven't figured out a title yet...and do take note of the names of the places. They are in Latin. ^_~ *Setting:
    - Earth is no longer habitable. - Mass exodus to other planets - Creation of man-made colonies - The human population evolves creating Immortals (100,000:1)
- The Immortals [the administrative team who live on Caelestis (latin for ‘a place of heaven’)] are 'humans' assigned with a unique set of gifts, charged to watch over humankind and the safekeeping of Home Grounds
    - They live forever, and are unfortunately sterile - Are somewhat cold and extremely rational. - Gifts ranging from intelligence to talent in science and math/philosophy - The ones deemed appropriate for breeding are later 'modified' through a series of genetic engineering and drugs. - 'Flawed' mortals from prevented from procreating and are culled.
The Immortal receives an assignment which takes her to Ancile - the place of the fallen. *Introduction of main character - the youngest of the Immortals (female)
    - Character - psychologist/anthropologist? - Gift of science rationality and logic - Idealistic, naive, very-to-the book
*Brief outline on Ancile (latin) [a sacred shield , supposed to have fallen from heaven]
    - The home of the fallen - Where immortals who have seceded are hidden away - they have become nearly human, able to feel and die (but gradually) BUT are still sterile - Self sufficient through brilliant scientific research
The assignment: To halt the development of a new drug developed by the people of Ancile to reverse sterilization Speculation on the reasons as to why the drug must be stopped *Introduction of new character - the Mentor
    - Character - elder of the Immortal Council - Gift of manipulation and rationality - Old-schooled, charismatic, almost cynical and bitter
Brief musing on the progress of human society and evolution - who we have become and why Immortal enters Ancile under disguise and is immediately confused and thrown aback by the wide variety of human/mortal emotions *More observations on Ancile
    - Fallen immortals are governed by emotions more than logic - Is a far cry from the crime-free, rational, 'clean' world of Caelestis - Society on Ancile is not equal but based on hierachal rank that is established from 'emotion' ceremonies - The males and females have the privilege of breeding should the development of the drug progresses without problems.
*Introduction of new character – the Alpha Male
    - The leader of Ancile - Gift of love and wisdom - Philosophical, liberal, and endearing
The Immortal is taken under his wing and given new perspectives on situations Conflict arises within the Immortal and her relationship with the Mentor is strained. Nevertheless, she still remains true to the leaders of Caelestis who push for faster results. The Immortal ‘logically’ choose to destroy the drug. CLIMAX: The Alpha Male, having known that the Immortal is an impostor all along, challenges her. *Alpha Male explains:
    - Man must learn to question the obvious and the inherent - the hallmark of wisdom - Life is not about logic alone but emotions - the hallmark of a human - Life must carry on despite all efforts to stop it from so - the hallmark of nature - Everything is relative and subjective; open to differing perceptions - the hallmark of a society
Flashback to the discussion between the Mentor and the Immortal on the purpose and function of the administrative team The Immortal is challenged to feel, to question, to think. *Revelation for the Immortal
    - Her role (and those of her Caelestis peers) on Ancile is almost akin to playing God. Was it ethical? - Choice: to conform or to stand out - The power of revelation - Survival of the fittest
Application for the Immortal. The Mentor arrives to receive (hopefully positive) news from the Immortal and to take her back to Caelestis. The Immortal questions the Mentor and chooses to stay behind in Ancile. Musing of main character as she watches the Mentor leave. |W|P|109532854105558750|W|P|New story idea!!!!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/15/2004 10:25:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|This is irritating frustrating. All these lower tummy cramps and my monthly aunty visit still has not arriving. It doesn't help that I'm exhibiting all the usual signs of her coming - the pimples, the cramps, the boob soreness, the 'spotting', the crankiness (I don't normally get cranky, just weepy - but since I've been very happy of lately, that hasn't been happening...)...I'll just kill myself if she comes during my weekend island getaway trip. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! *throws a tantrum* *cough* Anyway, no...this post isn't about her. It is about my plans for the next few months. I am going to have to try harder to stick to these personal goals since it affects work as well, not to mention my private life. ^_~ Up first on my list is my research paper. I'm contemplating between writing a paper on the Internet and how it affects identities OR a paper revolving around emigration and nationalism (got the idea from this conference in Singapore next year - they are looking for papers on seventeen different topics and I'm planning to write one on the 'brain drain' issue...). Problem is this: While I have done the research for the Internet/identities, I am kind of gravitating towards the issue of 'brain drain' because it's more recent and contemporary...not to mention relevant to M'sian society. No point publishing a paper about the Australia when I ain't Australia or living in Australia. The research for 'brain drain'? Have to start from scratch and need assistance from my sis-in-law or contacts with newspapers. How the hell did I end up doing this for a living??? Next on my list is my bank account. While I'm not dead-broke, my bank account could be A LOT healthier than it is at the moment. So I have mentally made a list to watch my spending for the next few months. Most of my expenditure comes from my plastic (credit card) bill - no surprise there - and so I have plans to curb excessive, UNNECESSARY spending on my plastic. I started earlier this month and so far, I've made only three transactions - for petrol. Intend to cut my bill by half. Another reason why my bank account has to be healthier is because I am thinking of doing my PhD (Sociology) with National University of Singapore. The fees per year is about S$4,200 and well, I don't think my bank account is thattttt healthy YET. Besides, I'm planning a trip down to Singapore for my birthday and I can't go there on an empty purse. -.- The trip down would probably set me back by another RM400 so much saving here and there is needed. So yes...no more unnecessary planning, no more online yarn shopping and if I can help it, BORROW books (or buy them at Pay Less Books). It's sad but you know what they say...no pain, no gain... Third on my list is NaNoWriMo.org - it's basically National Novel Writing Month which starts every November. The aim is to writing a novel of 50,000 words. I signed up last year in hopes of finishing a good work (I did about three chapters) but I realized that squeezing 50,000 words into one month does not necessarily mean that the work is good for publication or is for the quality which I expect it to be. Anyway, while I won't be signing up for NaNoWriMo this year, I hope to get started with a novel soon - been out of the writing scene for far too long - and need to be more motivated to finish it. Problem is this: I have no idea what to write about. I can't do mushy romances, neither can I write science fiction or fantasy. -.- I'm such a pain. Further down on my list is finishing some stuff for NG - I am making some stuff for him as a surprise (won't say it because he reads this blog!). It doesn't have to be for a special event or anything like that. Just something to show that I am thinking of him and what-not. It *will* take some time because I am the kind of person who doesn't like buying gifts that are meaningless or commercialized. I like to make my gifts by hand and preferably oozing with effort. In the past, I have baked cookies for housewarming, made jars and jars of lucky stars, scarves, cards, photoframes (I paint and decorate photoframes) and cook...yes...cooking is a great present if it's for someone you love. ^_~ But cooking for NG would be a problem since he lives in Singapore and I only get to see him during weekends when he comes up to visit. Maybe when I go down...we'll see... Hm...now that this list is done, I'm going to go back to wishing my aunt would come visit A.S.A.P!!!!! Now would be good, damnit!!!! |W|P|109525834109501023|W|P|Plans...and the visit that never comes on time!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/14/2004 10:14:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Current music: Heaven Knows by Rick Price It has been nearly eleven ten months since I left Raymond. The reasons as to why I left are complicated...but I suspect easy to describe - my needs weren't being fulfilled and I was not very happy with the way things were going. Nevertheless, since my breakup, I have been concentrating on so many other things that I never reconsidered getting involved again. The first few months were quite rough; the effort it took to get over a jilted broken heart and the awakening to the fact that I had been emotionally abused by someone who professed to love me...all that made me extremely cautious of opening up to prospects of a new relationship. I poured everything I had into my work, and my students. It didn't help that I had this idea that ex-s should remain as friends...needless to say, I found out the hard way. That idea only works if AND when both people are matured enough to put the past behind them. While I was, Raymond wasn't - so we kept getting into arguments about the past, and it was a cyclic effect - on and on again. It was as if I never left him in the first place. My past kept coming back to haunt me and frankly it made me extremely suspicious of the men who were beginning to appear in my single life. Any word, any gesture, anything that reminded me of Raymond brought up old insecurities, old wounds and old anger - things which I never needed in this lifetime or the next. Slowly, with a little patience and support from the people who mattered most in my life, I begun to toughen myself and I begin to cut him (and people around him) loose from my life. I can proudly say that it has been nearly two three months since I last spoke to him and two months since I last cried over anything of the past. It doesn't mean that the wounds are not there. They are still there...but are slowly and surely healing. I am happier. I have come to the point in my life where I can really tell myself that I don't care what people think about me anymore - or at least the people who don't affect my life in any way (big or small); that I am who I am - good and bad. I am more confident and sure of myself, my worth and my actions. And I know I do not deserve any less than a REAL man. The thing is this - am I ready for a relationship? It has been so long since I got into the whole dating thing and while I am beginning to make great changes, there is still part of me that is wondering if the next move I am making is the right one, if it is truly the step I should take, if it is selfish of me in the first place. I suppose you could say that I am like a young woman who is taking her first gingerly step into the unknown - or at least that is how I see things from my perspective. Sometimes I wonder if it is best knowing what to do and hesistating OR not knowing what to do but experimenting safely. Sometimes I wonder if it is best remaining who I am, doing what I have always done OR trying something new and perhaps having a little fun from it. But then again, these days I tend to NOT wonder too much and just do stuff - well, not everything but things which I know are safe OR good for me. So far, I wouldn't considered the negative choices I have made as bad ones - since I learn that every experience in life - good or bad - has a lesson in it. I have never tried drugs (nor will I ever start), I don't engage in one-night stands (or anything out of the ordinary - like gangbangs, porno or etc - you get my drift), I don't indulge in criminal activity...and I like to think that I lead a respectable life of a career woman. It is just...that sometimes once in a while, when I am lying down on my bed with no worries floating around in my head, I think of where I want to be in my life and who will I be with...now that is an interesting thought. I have never be able to see myself single, alone and saddled with kittens or puppies (or maybe a cute furry guinea pig) in the future. Somehow, I have always pictured myself as someone else's life partner, mother, daughter-in-law...that sort of thing. And after my break-up with Raymond, I started telling myself that just because I can't see it doesn't mean it won't happen. Then last weekend happened. The Man Upstairs (TMU) decided to throw me right into a whirlwind of a weekend (NG - my friend from Singapore came up to visit) and managed to present me with new prospectives of a relationship looming ahead. And here I am, wondering if this new person will like the new me...if my actions are right...if he is going to be another Raymond...if my heart is going to break...OHMIGAWD...I think I'm going to hyperventilate if I don't distract myself. Ohkay, ohkay, Mei...get a grip of yourself. *takes a breather* Anyway, while the rational, new part of me was busy strangling the old me to death (*kekeke*), NG managed to up the stakes by asking me if I wanted to go for an island trip with him. O_O! Now, things in my house - I had alway assumed - are like typical traditional 1960s houses where unmarried women don't go on holidays with men unchaperoned. But after thinking about it and deciding that it was best that I take up his offer, since I *do* like the guy and I *would* like to know him better, I politely and maturedly broach the subject of this weekend's island trip to my parents. Twenty-four hours later, I find myself staring at the bus ticket which will take me to the jetty where I am to meet NG and two of his friends (he promised to take them along - so it wouldn't be nice to tell them to go away now that he has "better things to do"!). It didn't matter that I would probably have to wait for them to arrive from Singapore for like three wee hours in the morning (probably need to stock up on coffee when I'm there). It didn't matter that I went on a rainy last minute shopping spree for wrap-around pants, beach shorts and nice beach slippers...not to mention testing my hot pink string bikini to see if I look good in it (^_~) and thinking of getting The Body Shop's Banana Shampoo and Conditioner (about time too since I'm running out of both). And just in case you didn't catch it, my parents are okay with the entire thing - "You are an adult now and you should know what you're doing. You don't need us to tell you anything. You decide, okay?" Add that with a smile and you could tell right away that my parents were glad that I asked them what they thought about it anyway. It's called maturity and consideration. ^________^ I am definitely looking forward to this weekend's island retreat for reasons other than the pleasure from anticipating a good time with NG. This is a long awaited breather (been nearly a year since I 'ran away' from KL...) for me. So I'm definitely going to have fun!!!! And to answer my question? Hm...I'll answer it when I'm ready to. *giggles* ps: I am now officially using Firefox at home so there shouldn't be any problems with the display for some of you guys, k? ^_~|W|P|109514420741863223|W|P|Am I ready?|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/14/2004 10:13:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|While in the thick of marking assignments, one should never aim for too high a mark, lest to be only greeted with disappointment staring back at you in the face. At least that is what I would say for my Sociology assignments. Have yet to start on the ones for Culture and Everyday Life. Here are some of the examples that I have to deal with read and then grade. Watch out for sentence construction, grammar, referencing and punctuation plus capitalization when you are reading these examples. If you like, observe how the sentence was written and whether it was clear/precise, neutral and critical. Other than that, someone stab me with a knitting needle please! Topic One: "The importance of language in determining culture and identity." PAPER A - written by a student who professes to be good in editing and writing. An example of this pointed out by, Mchael S & Stadler J, 2002, would be the Australians, the Australians use "thongs" which is a form of footwear associated with their laid back lifestyle, however some one else from another culture who does not adopt this laid back life style might not have even heard of the word 'thong' and would not see the relation between 'thong' and a laid back lifestyle. PAPER B - written by a student who is repeating this module. While browsing through the internet for resources of information I came across this website, which states "The possession of language...to tranform language into ability to locate itself in time and space" This was understood and clearly seen in a book by Giddens, Duneier, Appelbaum Introduction to Sociology 4th ed. Chap. 3 Culture and Society. PAPER C - good paper but this mistake made me laugh! This would mean that if a language uses feminine, masculine or neuter genders, chances are the people who speak that particular language will start to see the world in that manner. Topic Two: "The functionality of war." PAPER A - written by a student who is more longwinded than me. Generally, war allows a quick remedy to this population crisis in the world. It is the best answer to the problem where no one dares to tackle. World leaders may be at war in order to achieve power or spread ideologies but also unconsciously aiding the world growth situation. Without knowing it, the possible bad intentions of one can be of good outomes for the world. And he goes on... Colonization as a whole may not exactly constitute a war but returning to the definition of war, where it is seen as a conflict between polities communities, the Malaysians have always been in armed conflicts with the British from the start of the colonization till the very end of it. The British too, were in armed conflicts with every country they colonized so colonization could be considered a war in some ways. PAPER B - good paper but need a bit more fine-tuning. For the main reason why wars are good and have been waged over the years, it has all be done for power. For whoever has the most power controls everything, the economy most importantly. I got better papers for the topic on suicide in relations to Durkheim's theory and thus, have no complaints about that... But do you see what I mean?|W|P|109513012413080831|W|P|The kind of work I grade...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/13/2004 01:40:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|So it rained that afternoon - or rather it drizzled. I was also very sleepy and tired out from half a day's work at the office (just the thought of marking my assignment makes me wanna cry tears of frustration). BUT I still managed to make my way to Coffee Bean, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar at about 12:45pm...I still got IMs in the morning about what time people were going to show up and was rather worried that I was going to have to ditch my friend at Pasar Seni LRT for a bit. Just for those in the dark, my weekend was packed with the emergence of a friend who decided to make a trip down from Singapore (or should I say up? *wonders*) and I was to meet him at Pasar Seni LRT at around 4-ish in the afternoon. So after hearing that some people was going to show around 3pm...I got a bit worried that I wasn't going to have a good time at the gathering with impending thoughts of ditching my friend. I buzzed a few people who had confirmed their attendance (or so I thought) and made my way to Bangsar. I found out that it is often a bad idea to go to Bangsar for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. No parking. >_< But I think someone up there likes me simply because when I walked into the office that morning, I found myself staring at my box of yarns which finally come (will put pictures of it later) and I was still thinking about that book which I got PLUS my friend coming to visit...but what made my day was that just as I past McDonalds, this couple walked towards their car and OOOOO, THEY WERE LEAVING! YAY! Parking for me!!!!! I hurried over to Coffee Bean - even though it was drizzling and I was struggling with my bag filled with Sociology assignments (don't want to even think about it now) and my Olympus camera in its bulky bag - and somehow got it confused with Starbucks. I ordered a Strawberries & Cream Ice Blended (from Starbucks) at Coffee Bean. -.- Anyway, I settled down with lunch and my 'Coffee Bean' drink and was just about to get into the whole jive of marking my assignments when Silencer drops by...a few minutes later, Elena, Phoebe, and Patrick noisely sat down. Before I know it, Sashi, Albert, Irene, Dusty and Andreas all showed up. By this time, we were getting a bit too 'big' for tables at the entrance, so we moved in. Suresh, Bill, Jess, Nilesh, Keith, Ian and Redzuan trickled in as the afternoon continued to pass us. The topics discussed on ranged from (well at my corner of the gathering that is) work to politics (is it?) to blogging to gawd knows what else. The guys - as men always are - cracked jokes about how 'porno' my telephone lens looked (*grrrr*) and Redzuan asked about my flimsy top. Pfft. Women were...well, the girls were sitting next to Albert, Dusty and Silencer, so I have no idea what they were talking about. Main problems??? Parking and some people didn't quite like Coffee Bean. They prefered Starbucks or Burger King. Aiya...never mind me and my Fair Trade ideals...food is still food. Anyways, some left earlier - Keith and Jess - and towards 4pm, me and Andreas decided to make a move. He had to pick up his kiddo and me? I had to ensure that I was going to be at Pasar Seni around 4-ish. Got Dusty to forward the pictures but I see that he has pasted it up his blog. Go check it out if you will....but keep this page open so you can put the descriptions to the faces. Following the sequence on his blog...
  • Andreas is in the Hard Rock Cafe shirt, me in my 'flimsy' pink top and Albert's back facing the camera.
  • Nilesh (in blue) having a serious discussion with Sashi (or so I think!)
  • Me and Andreas again
  • Elena with Irene looking on in the corner
  • Me writing down something - I wasn't looking bored!!!!
  • Albert staring at someone with Sashi looking on in the corner
  • Redzuan's side profile
  • Andreas
  • Irene
  • Albert sleeping (?)
  • From left to right: Nilesh, his friend, Redzuan, Sashi
  • Albert, Phoebe (girl avoiding the camera) and a very fuzzy looking Silencer
  • Albert and Phoebe
  • Andreas, me and my camera, Albert
  • Albert (looking like he might smack someone soon), Phoebe and Irene
  • Group picture...and the only rose there is Jess.
  • The following pictures are of the group....and if you noticed this guy in brown (shirt that is!), that's Suresh. ^_^
Hm...I'll see if I'm in the mood to put some pictures of the stuff I got up here...if not, it's for another entry. I seriously had a very good time that afternoon and I must say that this should be a regular affair!!!!!!!!!!!! This time, someone else do the organizing PLEASE! ^_~ |W|P|109505411093478022|W|P|ANNOUNCEMENT: Blogger meet-up Part III (Review)|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/12/2004 06:38:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|My weekend has been full to the point where right now is the first time I have touched my PC since Friday night. I'm dead tired and frankly, in no mood to update about the events that had past over the weekend, including the blogger meeting (which went really good!). Will do it tomorrow anyway...sorry for the long wait. So yes...blogger meet-up review coming soon, folks!|W|P|109499669136290907|W|P|Blogger meet-up review SOON!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/10/2004 11:47:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Yesterday at work, an email popped into my account reading:
Dear Emily, Hi - sorry for the delay in getting back to you re: Tim's books. I'm posting 3 books attention to you. Tim has requested for two books to be presented to your colleagues, whom he met during his visit. I hope you don't mind passing the books to them. 1. For the (*college name*) Library - Keeping the Faith - The Polish Community in Britain 2. For Mei (lecturer) - Tying the Knot - Bradford weddings 3. For Su Lin (lecturer) - Bradford in Focus (I apologise if I've spelt their names wrongly!) Thank you for your assistance and please let me know once you have received the books. Warm regards, Patriana
Just in case you are wondering, Tim here is the British top freelance photographer by the name of Tim Smith - who came at the invitation of British Council to give a talk on photography to the Mass Communication students here. He brought some books of his work with him and we even checked out his portfolio/website (pity I can't remember the full address! -.-). He was down in Malaysia for a photography exhibition on Muslim communities worldwide which was at display at Balai Seni Negara (I think) in KL and another centre in Johor. Anyway, he is a very nice chap - married with a young baby - and is from Bradford and he goes around snapping pieces of very down-to-earth, mellowy things. Rustic would be the word. It does not the stylistic feel of photographers in the fashion industry but more of the...hmmm...everyday simplicity of life itself. He takes pictures of anything and everything that tickles his fancy - from an abandoned textile factory in Bradford to pictures of a doctor on rollerskates in a British hospital (which has incidently been on the cover of many medical journals out of the UK). While he was down here for the talk, I was admiring one of his work which was basically all about weddings of the Bradford community - which is made up of Indian, Muslim and many other races. I found the accompanying text amusing at some point and it gave the book a very nice, feel-good yet realistic expectations of why and how people were getting married in a multicultural community in the UK. I reckon he's an observant man because a few months after he left (he came here towards the end of the March semester - which finishes in July), in comes an email and my gift - this morning... What exactly did I get? An autographed copy of Tying The Knot: Bradford Weddings - the very same book I was admiring and hoping to get myself but somehow forgotten all about it. It's certified. Someone out there is praying and watching out for me. ^_____________^ ps: Will post a picture of the book and what-not later tonight! *beams* |W|P|109478806121704381|W|P|I got a present!!!!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/09/2004 10:50:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Just an update for those of you who just arrived at the threshold of this blog (^_^)...two weeks ago, I made an announcement about a blogger meet-up that I was organizing. And I thought I'd better remind people about it again.
  • Date: September 11th, 2004 (Saturday)
  • Venue: Coffee Bean, Bangsar (not to be confused with Starbucks in Bangsar Shopping Centre)
  • Time: From 1:30pm onwards
So far, the following people have confirmed their attendance or at least expressed their desire to come (this list will be updated as we reach closer to the date): Now before some of you panic...if our crowd gets too big for Coffee Bean, we'll just move elsewhere but fret not, I have had bigger meetings at Coffee Bean and it worked out just great (more business for them mah!) ^_^ If you want to show up, just leave a comment below... Note: I will be there marking some assignments, so watch out for the cikgu-lookalike in a very nice flimsy pink top and jeans on Saturday. ^_~ All else fails, email me for my contact number. |W|P|109469968050481511|W|P|ANNOUNCEMENT: Blogger meet-up Part II|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/08/2004 04:39:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|So far, it has been a good day. The morning started off with me spending an hour with the room guys to sort out some shit because a few of us got together and dished out the problems. In the end, I was the one who VOLUNTEERED to sort the rooms out and my two other colleagues who had classroom issues were finally pacified and purring like cute little kitties. ^_^ The lecture after that was good as well - on shopping and identities and class, followed by lunch out with some of my students. Ended up talking about my experiences in a rival college - bah - and that was where I found it! There is a Pay Less Books at the eatery that I was at and me (including another two students) got lost among shelves and shelves of the books. All this while we were discussing philosophy 'riddles'! I picked up two books - one of them was the exact copy I saw at Kino going for RM50-60 (I bought it for RM10 ONLY! *beams) and the other was a book on the war against women (which I paid RM8 for). The amusing thing was when I headed towards the counter and the guy manning the store wasn't there! He had left the following note next to the cashiers.
Has stepped out to the bank to get change for store. Be back shortly!
O_O! It was just me and my students in the store. One of my students remarked that it was easy for people to steal stuff and just walk out. Instead, I told her that the guy probably assumed that people who go to stores like this are educated and refined - definitely not shoplifting type. Although I suspect that that is debateable! ^_^ Now, I'm going to see someone a very nice little e-card! *beams somemore and winks cheekily* Overall, I must say I had a good day! ^______________^ |W|P|109463353088943816|W|P|Good day, ay? Yes.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/07/2004 09:17:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Now I don't make a habit of ranting and raving about work in my blog...or about anything else. I try to ignore it and well, hope that it will disappear into the oblivion. But if that doesn't work, I explode like a freaking volcano. For those of you who have just joined my blog and have not read the older posts, I teach mass communication degree subjects in a private college here in Malaysia. The university that I am affliated to is an overseas one and therefore, in the bigger picture, you could say that these bigwips are my BIG bosses. Nevertheless, I found myself doing cross-program teaching, meaning I don't just teach degree subjects but diploma ones as well - since no one wants to handle the statistical/research bit of the program, they shoved it to me. T_T This semester, I am teaching two subjects from the degree program (Socio and CEL - culture-related basically) and my regular subject from diploma, MRM (Media Research Methods). For the past one month, work has been mostly about adjusting to the fact that my department is without a boss - our boss got transfered to a sister school for kiddies where she will be principal (I suspect) - but yes, we are 'head-less' (that's the running joke in my college). Now you would assume that the new boss is concerned and helpful but nah, she is busy sorting shit from other departments and thus left us to our devices (apparently we are one of the departments in the entire college with the least problems!). Since then, SHE started coming in late, started going out for lunches, started skipping Saturday duties, started going on more emergency leaves and medical leaves. Not only that, SHE likes to spread herself out too thinly - in Cantonese (loosely translated), she hordes every fucking thing to herself. Now, the degree never gave me or any of the other lecturers much problems because our bigwip bosses are overseas and SHE can't pull her shitty stunts with the program. My other colleague, S, who has been there for years, handles the timetable on the account that SHE will screw up if SHE did it and worse, take forever to pull a problem-free timetable. Diploma is less lucky. Ever since we underwent the major overhaul, everyone has been very upset. Let me start from the beginning. SCENARIO ONE: The beginning of the semester When the new semester started, me and P were scheduled to conduct the shift from 8am to 9am while SHE and S were scheduled from 9am to 10am. So we sat and directed students to briefing rooms and what-not - mind you, we both had not had breakfast yet and were hoping to catch a quick bite after the shift was over. We stayed and 9am came and past. No sign of the people who were suppose to take over. In strolls SHE with her hair-do and notepad and what-not. SHE casually informs us that SHE has a briefing for the students at 9:30am. I asked where S was and SHE said she had no idea and quickly distracts herself with a newbie student. -.- In comes a call on my cellphone from colleague SL. It turns out that SHE screwed up by printing two different versions of the same fucking timetable and SL doesn't know which one to photocopy (mind you, the copies are nearly 150 each). I informed SL that I'll send SHE up when she was done with the student. I informed SHE about it and she said she would tend to it asap. Me and P went about with more students. Now when SHE was done, she asked "So anything else?" - she was about to approach this new student when I said "You are supposed to be upstairs, babe." SHE mumbles something and runs off, leaving me and a very hungry P (I worry about her sometimes coz she is prone to breakdowns and needs to eat soon when hungry). And P starts complaining about how disorganized SHE was by hording all the work and not spreading it out and etc. In the end, we left our shifts one hour later...extremely hungry and tired from the pissy-attitude. S came while we were leaving and would have had to do his shift alone if it hadn't been for our other colleague who decided to help out. -.- SCENARIO TWO: MRM's first class I have a class of 70 students for this subject and got myself assigned to Room E. I went there early, plonked myself and wow - there were a few students in there already. So while I was getting into the introductions, in strolls this guy who tells me that he needs Room E because he is having a function in there. O_O! A few minutes of polite exchange and I had to get my students out. We were told to go to Room 311...now I don't like this one bit. As a student, I got disgruntled when my former college did stuff like this to us...so I could emphatize with my students. Besides, this wasn't very good for PR. Anyway, my students went to 311 while I go check it out with SHE. Surprise surprise, she acts all shocked and proceeds to tell me to wait for a bit while she hammers it out with the room guys. She confirms the suggestion to be at 311 so in my three inch heels, I hurried there. I was already getting a bit miffed. It got worse. My students were standing outside...nearly all 70 of them. Why? 311 was BLOODY FUCKING LOCKED! -.- I decided to get all of them to come with me and when we entered the staffroom, we were like the fucking army of disgruntled people. SHE puts up an act again, getting all frustrated with the room guys and finally, she announces that someone was coming up to unlock the room. So all of us went back to 311...by then, a couple of them had gotten tired of the chaos and went home. Never mind, I got them settled in and just as we were starting, SHE walks in with the timetable, all apologetic...and she mentions, "OH, but I'm sure you guys are used to this." WHAT THE FUCK! You never never ever say things like that to students! Gee, for someone who used to work with one of the top PR companies in Malaysia, you would expect her to know a bit about PR, wouldn't you? Sheesh. Is it any wonder why they hate her? *grrr* SCENARIO THREE: Monday's blunder Last Thursday, I informed her that I wanted to have a 3 hour class the following Monday (meaning yesterday) from 10am-1pm and I needed her help in getting a classroom and stuff. SHE went "ok ok ok...use Room E". Good. On Saturday, I had a bad feeling about my Monday lecture and so I went to check with her. SHE went "YOU have to go check with the room guys to see if there are any rooms available. I told you, remember?" O_o! WHAT?!? Room guys weren't around on that day and I was frankly very pissed with her attitude. I told her sharply that she said nothing of the sort to me and if this was the case, the lecture will just be at 11am. SHE went "ok". On Monday, I got a call at 10am from one of my students. "WE ARE HERE ALREADY IN ROOM E!" Bah. Luckily my materials were all prepared already. So I hustled down...and they helped me staple some stuff and we were just about to start with the handout when...I hate Mondays now officially...some guy walks in and said that they have the class from 10am - 11am. *grrr* The students grumbled and some went "Not again!". I ushered them to 110 and ran down to room guys to check with them. They were pretty nice to me and gave me some alternative locations. First one they gave me didn't work. There was a class going on. So me, in my traditional Vietnamese dress and heels, hurrid down and got another class. My students were very tired from the move already...and refused to leave 110 which was cool and comfy. Okay...considering that no one was using that class, I ran through the lecture with them. At 11am, we decided to move back to Room E because that is suppose to be our class. Students were waiting outside AGAIN. "Someone is using it." *gah* Had a chat and it turns out that they were from another department and in the middle of a public speaking assessment. Went upstairs while my students waited in front of Room E and SHE was there...and I was pissed. "WHAT? But we are suppose to have the Room." While she fucking dials to check, I got tired and I went down to the room guys. According to room guys, SHE has yet to confirm with them the classrooms (which is her job, btw, b****!) and that's why they are having these problems. They gave me some options and I was very nice to them, so it wasn't that bad. I ended up pushing the students back to 110. I finished the lecture at 1245pm, went upstairs to the staffroom with some students who wanted to see her about their timetable issues but guess what? SHE went out for lunch. -.- It's bad considering how she told the students to look for her after my class. *grrr* Timetable issues? Lets just say that a number of my students cannot attend any of my tutorials because the time slots clash with their other classes. She slot my hours at 1230-2pm and another lecturer's tutorials at 1130-1pm and 1pm to 230pm. So my students have problems attending both my class and the other lecturer's class. *grrrr* SCENARIO FOUR: Today's mishaps R teaches radio and on the timetable handed to students, they have a workshop with him from 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm...and R was nowhere to be seen. Students kept coming in and asking me where he was and I had no idea. Tried looking for his number and that took me ten minutes. He didn't pick up his phone. -.- SHE was conveniently on emergency leave and when I tried calling her, she didn't pick up her phone. I left a message and she never bothered calling back. Students ended up wasting two hours for nothing. That's the problem with her. SHE hordes everything so much so that everything comes to a fucking standstill when she disappears. G teaching advertising and he has two lectures today because his class is huge. Two intakes (group A) goes in the morning and another two intakes (group B) goes in the afternoon - to avoid clashes with other subjects that they are taking (each intake has different subject combination). When SHE made adjustments to the timetable, she put Group B in the morning (when they have another class going on) and Group A in the afternoon (when they too have another class going on). Students came asking me about the problem and I told them to stick to timeslots which do not clash with their other classes. First thing they said "Must be HER fault. Sheesh." That is not G's problem today. SHE forgot to notify him and the students that they got themselves a different classrooom. So he went to 103 instead of Room E. No one was there. My other colleague SH went to 103 for her class, found it lock and the keys were missing from the staffroom. Turned out that G's student had one of the keys coz he made all the students go from Room E to 103. SH and G had a chat, and G moved his students back to Room E and SH moved her students into 103. Confusing huh? This happened again to my other colleague, M who teaching e-writing. He got 308 for his tutorials today and guess what when he walks to 308? S (remember him from the degree timetable draft thingie?) is in there giving the BA students a tutorial - 308 has always been used for only degree classes. Poor M had to go find an empty class and basically he was running around like a headless chicken for a good ten to fifteen minutes while his students sat fuming and lost all their mood to study. P (remember her hungry mood) got the same lab as my other colleague for her law lectures. -.- And she had to shuffle about looking for a class. ... Now if you think this is hilarious, it isn't. It is FUCKING exhausting and it is FUCKING irritating. The issue here is not about shortage of classrooms and whatever shit. Degree students don't have to put up with these stunts, so why is it happening to the diploma students? Coz the fucking bitch who is suppose to be doing these things THE PROPER WAY like finding out what classrooms are available at what time slots (instead of slotting people in whatever times and then searching high and low for classrooms) decided to do things her stupid way which gives us more work to do at the end of the day. Everyone is disgruntled because of her attitude. The admin staff, the lecturers...hell even the students hate the sight of her face. If people think teaching is a breeze in terms of easy life, well think again. Mine sure as hell isn't easy. *grrr* |W|P|109456308244639079|W|P|WARNING: Rant ahead.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/06/2004 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|It is bad enough that we are just about the only species that kills its own kind for power, for space, for food...for fun. It gets even worse when the tranquility of your quiet Monday night is interupted by visions of intense human suffering. It hurts the heart when the suffering is just around the corner, our next door neighbour, the Indonesians. Suddenly, the open-fires, the exodus, the glimpse of sadness in their eyes - it all makes sense. Open-fires are the cheapest and most effective method of clearing a field - everything else is too expensive. With nearly more than half of its population living below the poverty line, people would spent what little money they have getting food. Subsidies for education, electricity, water, petrol and food have all been reduced, if not disappeared. Someone once told me that money made all the difference; that if he was rich, he would use the money to help people. Instead I shot this back to him, "Why wait until you are a millionnaire? You can help people now - IF you wanted to. You do not need to be filthy rich." All I got was a "But loads of money makes REAL differences." Has it really? Multinationals like Ford Motors garner profits that exceed Denmark's GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Where is the difference? If loads of money makes real differences, how come nearly 200 corporations have control of the world market? How come in 24 nations, 10% of the population command 40% of all income? How come there are millions out there who earn less than USD1 a day? How come the Indonesian people are paying off nearly 50 billion (last figures I got from watching the video earlier) in debt to IMF when 10 billion is unaccounted for and the rest most wently to Suharto's cronies and relatives? How many of us, rich (or at least people who can afford to splurge once in a while) ever gave a damn about our own peers who have to wallow in poverty just so we can wear the branded shirts on our back? Perhaps it is just me. Perhaps only people like me feel the sting. Pehaps only people like me would cry for those whose tears have stopped flowing because others just do not give a fucking damn. Sometimes, I wish I was right in front of the IMF and WTO and UN...just so I can screw some fucking sense into their heads. Better still, I wish I was a genie of some sorts and put those fucking bigwips in the shoes of Indian farmers, Indonesian sweatshop workers so that they can feel what it is like to be like slaves. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibits slavery in countries of the members of the United Nations. It is said by some that slavery has ceased to exist. Actually, it still does. Slavery exists in the millions of forced labourers and workers - forced to work in horrid living conditions that are only fit for animals (like our chickens and pigs), forced to receive starvation wage (like wage that come in cents - do not laugh...there are people out there who earn only 1 fucking percent of YOUR wage), forced to live in poverty - why? So that a multinational company and rich people can continue reeping profits and sustaining their uber rich lifestyles. And you know what? They don't even realize that this form of profit and lifestyle is stained with blood. Suddenly, I am disgusted at humanity. If aliens were to exist and decide to take over this Earth, I will be the first to ask them to wipe us all bloody out because frankly, we are not worth saving. Heh. |W|P|109447758433621196|W|P|What has become of humanity?|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/06/2004 08:20:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Inspired by a fellow blogger, I have decided to come up with a OST of my own. I have a strange feeling that this OST is going to feature nothing but sappy songs. Hey! I don't just listen to stuff like that (Black Eyed Peas happen to be good...and Evanescence too...). It's just that the songs that do mean something to me, and the ones I normally end up singing to are sappy and romantic in nature. So sue me la! Right now, I don't have a very big list - in the middle of rounding up these songs...they are from all genres and time as well...don't be surprised if you see a classic in the list. ^_^ So here they are, in no apparent order:
      DJ Sammy - Heaven
      Elton John - Your Song
      Rick Price - Heaven Knows (Accoustic)
      Nicole Kidman - One Day I'll Fly Away
      Simply Red - If You Don't Know Me (By Now)
      Innuendo - Belaian Jiwa
      John Farnham - Don't Let It End
      Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram - Somewhere Out There
      Bread - If
      Debbie Gibson - Lost In Your Eyes
      Tina Arena - Burn
I hope to get a few more added to the list but this is it so far. Work is more important, mah! Speaking of which, I have a documentary by John Pilger entitled New Rulers of the World to check out - it's either I do it today or never...since I'm expecting a pile of 70 plus assignments to come in by the end of this week. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Such is the life of a lecturer. Excuse me, ya? ps: I'll be back to put in the answer to the riddle I put up earlier. ^_~ [UPDATE] Here is the answer to the riddle: The 'Hanging Judge' is a slightly different case of the 'All Cretans are Liars" type of paradox, which has kept philosophers from Aristotle to Zeno, and back agains to Aquinas, busy for countless years. The paradox originated with the ancient Greek philosopher, Epimendes, who is supposed to have claimed that people from Crete always told lies. This was not only somewhat racist, but somewhat inexplicable, as he himself was from Crete. If it was true, then what he himself was saying should have been a lie, but if it were a lie then... The truth of the claim affects the circumstances in which it is uttered which affects the truth of the claim, which...etc, etc, an infinite twisting and turning of the truth. Effectively, the statements are neither true or false, although they look like they ought to be. Unlike sentences such as, say, 'Hello, Vicar', which do not need to be given a 'truth value'. And what did the prisoner say? 'I will be killed by lethal injection tomorrow' (or something similar) will suffice to get him off. The Executioner cannot execute him then because, clearly, the relatives could then sue her for wrongful execution arguing that the Conman had been telling the truth when he said "I will be killed by lethal injection tomorrow." Likewise, if the Executioner accepted this problem and opted to send the Conman to prison, he might well be sent straight back, with the Governor lacking authority to admit him. For the Governor would see that the Conman has clearly lied to the court again and so the punishment should have been execution after all. ^____^ ps: Apologies for typos. I hate myself now. -.- |W|P|109447330533692176|W|P|An OST idea.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/06/2004 01:20:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Read carefully - this post is about 'sensitivity' but in some ways, it is about sensibility. I have been a lot of introspective thinking recently and it has lead me to several conclusions, admist the depressive feeling and all - which I know is kind of normal when one gets introspective TOO OFTEN. Conclusion One I have problems coming to terms that I have changed from who I used to be and the process which lead about that change is not a process which I am proud of. I am not proud of the fact that who I am today has stemed from abuse, doubt, dislike and other negative forms. All this while I have been hiding behind the fact (or rather excuse) that my past offered, specifically my past relationship but now it is time to move beyond that level. I know who I am and what I am worth. But knowing isn't enough. I need to realize it for myself...and the fact that sometimes the end is worth the means. I should be proud of who I am today not the process to which it took me here. Conclusion Two I have problems accepting the fact that sometimes it is not about me, that not everything is my fault or about me. In other words I'm an extremely sensitive person - in this case, it's a bad thing. Sometimes things are the way they are because it cannot be any different. Sometimes there is nothing more to understand than what it literally means. All this while I have been wallowing in self-pity or at least thinking that the problem lies with me wholely. I can't do that anymore because it is not the way to live. I need to understand that sometimes you need to just let things go for the sake of sanity and nothing more. I should be less sensitive to what people say about me because I know myself better. Conclusion Three I have problems learning to trust people wholely without questioning them. I need to stop judging before getting more evidence. In short, I need to start building my faith in people and perhaps even come to realize that if things don't work out great, it is not my loss. There are good and wonderful people out there. I shouldn't let a rotten apple colour my perspective of the entire barrel. Also, I need to understand that sometimes you need to experience the rotten in order to tell the good apart and most of all, cherish it. I should be less doubtful of people and more confidence in my abilities and value as a future partner of someone. People who do not matter in my life shouldn't have a say in it or at least shouldn't even be able to put a dent into my life. I am so tired of living this way and frankly, I decided not to last night. Today, I start afresh and instead of getting all hissy at someone (normally, I would have started thinking "he's pinning the blame on me and etc") for the way he worded his questions, I saw it as logically, care and concern for me. The world doesn't revolve around me all the time - that I need to realize - and along the way, I have come to understand that sometimes people do things differently and show their concern differently. If they cannot return my gestures in kind, well...why should it affect me to the point where I get all upset and cry my eyeballs out? As someone once put it "what they say and do doesn't affect the number of zeroes on my paycheque" and that is something that I have decided to listen to. I'll reserve my sensitivity for more deserving causes and definitely am looking forward to seeking a balance between being empathatic and cold. ^_^ |W|P|109444920683672765|W|P|Of sensitivity...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/04/2004 09:25:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Yes. I am giving away Gmail invites....all you need to do is read the following problem and solve it. ^__^ The first three people with the correct answer and a brief explanation as to how they reached that answer will get an invite each - don't forget to leave me your email address so I can send you the invite, k? There were many a swindler but none like The Conman who professes to be a learned man. Upon his capture and trial, the Judge decided to test his breath of knowledge by saying this: "You have been found guilty of being a crook and swindler, blah, blah. Justice has caught up with you now. You are to be executed by means of the lethal injection...but since I am a magnanimous person, I shall give you an opportunity to learn the value of truth. If you sign a statement, on that day, making one true declaration, the sentence will be commuted to ten years imprisonment. If, on the other hand, your statement is false, your sentence will be carried out immediately. I warn you...the Executioner is a PhD holder in philosophy so don't think you can try any tricks on her!" The day of the execution arrives and The Conman beaming, signs a declaration which is handed to the Executioner who reads it, bewildered. She then crumples it and orders The Conman to be released with no penalty incurred. What could the prisoner have said in the statement to save himself? |W|P|109426165544311625|W|P|I have 3 Gmail invites...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/03/2004 10:41:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|"Adinda bersumpah, jikalau kekanda tidak kembali...adinda akan meyusul kekanda, menyijap pada tanah yang sama, bernafas pada udara yang sama..." (I swear, if you do not return my love, I will follow you to where you are, step on the same land you step on and breath the same air you breath...) - loosely translated - told you my Malay isn't so good! After spending the day at work lecturing on crime and deviant behaviour, I had anticipated a GOOD movie session in the form of Collateral or perhaps (*grins*) Alien versus Predator. Instead, I ended up with some friends of a friend and watching a local production, which was recently released, entitled Puteri Gunung Ledang (isn't it nice that they have a great looking website as well? ^_~). I won't go into the storyline here because everything is in the website - go check it out, you lazy buggers! :p

Now my Malay isn't all that great and I was never really into Malay history/myth to begin with in the first place. Nevertheless, I found this movie a good watch despite reading otherwise about it. For a once-aspiring film graduate whose aspirations crashed because of the harsh realities of the film industry in Malaysia (and the fact that I prefer writing more than filming - hence the double major in journalism as well), I must applaud the efforts of the people involved in the production. It is not easy trying to make a film on a very tight budget, and it is especially not easy trying to sell the film to people who only appreciate Hollywood films and will have loads of bad stuff to say (without watching it first).

I saw nothing wrong with the film save for the pacing (it was slightly over two hours and by the end, some people were bored - so they left...I suspect they were expecting some adventure, over-the-top romance to occur between the two leading characters in the film. Pfft!). The execution, script and even costum-ing was suitable for a film of this genre. Bear in mind that PGL is not suppose to be another Hollywood flick. I reckon this is why it didn't sit well with some people. We, Malaysians, have this tendency to expect the our directors (and films) to be like Hollywood and when we do churn out movies that try so hard to be Hollywood, they get criticized heavily. I mean, what gives? Also while immersed in a heated discussion about PGL, I also wondered if it has anything to do with the fact that we expect everything to be so..."Hollywood"...because it is the only thing that we know and can 'appreciated'.

Watching PGL reminded me of a lot of French arty-farty movies who draw very little commercial attention but heaps of positive criticism from film critics; films that are rich, intellectual and thought-provoking...films that ARE NOT cliche. For crying out loud, PGL got themselves invited to the bloody Cainnes Film Festival - if that means anything to you movie buffs out there. Did you honestly think that those people on the film festival are blind? Nuh uh. I don't think so. I think PGL was invited because it showcased something good, something unique and something DIFFERENT from the rest of Malaysian films. It gave us an insight to some of the wonderful improvements happening and affecting our dying film industry. And frankly, it gives people like me and my friend great hope for future filmmakers and practitioners.

I reckon one of the reasons why I appreciate a GOOD film like this - especially more so if it is Malaysian - is because of my exposure to independent films which are not available to the general public. I can safely say that these filmmakers are not bad directors; their works are not bad...they are GOOD actually - very unique and full of style. Unfortunately, it is not something which you can sell in Malaysia because we are xenocentric and we happen to like mass-produced, commercialized stuff. I am so hoping that this movie makes it on DVD (if not here, then overseas...) - I WILL BUY IT if and when it does...because frankly, if we cannot support improvements in our film industry, it will collapse into nothing and it will not bring up the industry. By the by, I just realized something - we have great cinematographers in Malaysia. ^_^ the scarfer gives Puteri Gunung Ledang 3.8 balls of yarn with a special recommendation for the effort, great cinematography and the very fact that it is not another COMMERCIALIZED, over-dramaticized, cliche Malay love story. [UPDATE] I got a lot of flank from a few comments I left at another blog. It brought up some anger in me mainly because I once have been part of the film-making industry - I know and feel what some of these directors have to go through for the love of the industry. And here I get all these negative comments and constant comparisions to Hollywood films/method which have more money, more options, more locations, more everything...including the support. Why can't people be more supportive AND ENCOURAGING - at least give the movie a chance? And oh, here is an indepth article as to where the 15M went and what the filmmakers have to go through to get this film out. People assume that my past aspirations means me wanting to be a director - no...I wanted to be an editor, or producer - part of the post-production process at one point in time. I sometimes wonder what goes on in other people's head when someone else like me goes up and gives them a different opinion. I get called all sorts of names ranging from ones that describe me as a person who goes around bashing other people for thinking differently to a person who take things literally (and basically being an ignorant twat). I like the movie for the above reasons. And like one person said in another blog, perhaps our Malaysian audience isn't ready to appreciate films of this stature. I will not ruminate on 'why' - lest I go bonkers or worse, depressed. >_< |W|P|109422571204667713|W|P|REVIEW: Puteri Gunung Ledang.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/02/2004 04:14:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|*Had to change my opening because I offended a few people in town. My apologies. Short of joining the ranks of other blogs in town, I will not go through the usual posts of saying stuff revolving around "justice has been served!" and "it was good!". Especially not when I do not have much information from both sides to fully determine anything good/bad. But yes, Anwar was released...while I was busy going through some tutorials with my students this morning. Now if you'll excused me, I need to do some read-up on the incident that brought this about nearly seven years ago. Expect a more meaty blog on this matter later. **** Finally, I managed to squeeze in some time to read this book I bought while I was in Sydney doing my postgraduate studies. I took the opportunity and spent most of my time either in bookstores or libraries - since they were much more better stocked than ours anytime - and I chanced upon this book. Bought it immediately. Managed to read 'The Malay Dilemma' by Mahathir himself...and found some interesting things. I hope to give a fair view of both sides of the story and finally let you be the judge of what is right and wrong...ethically that is. ^_^ Anyway, I have decided to quote Ian Stewart in his book 'The Mahathir Legacy: A Nation Divided, A Region At Risk' - it was written in 2003, so some of the stuff is pretty up-to-date (^_^)...this is the introduction.
The demonisation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad by Western governments over the Anwar affair reflected more than outraged over what they perceived as unfair treatment of the former deputy prime minister. It hightly a widespread antipathy among foreign leaders and officials towards the Malaysian Prime Minister, arising from his sometimes abrasive personality and non-conformist policies. In the year before Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from government, Mahathir had railed against foreign stock market and currency speculators, and alienated the US administration and like-minded government with his criticism of Western democracy and his jaundiced view of human rights activism. As he increasingly championed Third Word, or South, causes and warned developing countries to be on guard against 'neo-colonialism' - read United States - his antagonists in Washington grew. Dr Mahathir is always courteous to foreign visitors but often appears detached - as if he were still a medical practitioner meeting a patient for the first time. His manner is friendly but he displays warmth to only close friends and family. Yet he is not an insensitive person. He can be overcome with emotion when speaking of matters about which he feels strongly, such as his desire to make Malays more goal-oriented and competitive. Nevertheless, he often comes across as aloof. Armani-suited Anwar, on the other hand, presented a congenial image to the West. Foreign leaders found him charming and personable. He was seen as the liberal face of the Malaysian government, who would bring change and a more Western brand of democracy to Malaysia. United States and European government heads chose to ignore the many contradictions in Anwar's personality and his radical Islamic background, which made it questionable whether he would steer the nation in a direction favourable to the West, far less prove to be a better leader than Dr Mahathir.
To go on, Stewart speaks of how Mahathir is easily dislike because he "does not pander to the interests of the West" instead choosing to look to self-dependancy or at least other more developed Asian countries. Remember his 'look East' policy? The sacking of Anwar was a climax of several events, starting from the recession that hit in 1997 with the forex going downhill, Anwar suggesting to go to the IMF for help (thankgawd he didn't!) and increasing interest rates (that would kill businesses), changing economic policies...basically the protege was rubbing shoulders comfortably with the powers that Mahathir so detest and for a good reason. People such as John Pilger and other investigative journalists have shown us time and time again that the IMF creates more debt than gets rid of them, that the reliance on a dominant power strips developing countries of their resources, their independence and even their people. The United States doesn't have a good track record when it comes to butting their noses into people's affairs - look at Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan (pre-Taliban takeover days), Indonesia...should I go on? Mahathir, being a young man who grew up during the Japanese occupation didn't want to see history happening again and he feared Anwar's continual turning to the West would undoubtly lead to Malaysia's doom. So he got rid of his protege. Now it is up to here that I have no problems with his reasons. I was disappointed that a man of his calibre got so fearful of his protege that he did the worst thing possible. He 'staged' the sodomy thing (I suspect) and he 'abused' his power. Effective, nonetheless but disappointing because according to Dad, people holding criminal records can never run for elections...unless that has changed as well. ~_~ Besides a lot of the older generation Chinese who grew up with these leaders know of Anwar's radical track record when it comes to ethnic/racial issues - they were worried. It is hardly surprising if Mahathir did buckle under the pressure of the Chinese community, the people who hold a good bulk of the Malaysia economy on their shoulders. Yes, justice was served today (but according to who? Sorry...couldn't resist putting that in...) but did it have to come to this in the first place? Yes, Anwar has been released. What now? Instead of rejoicing and chanting that justice has been met, why can't people sit down and think more about why this happened in the first place? And what is the REAL story behind doing this now? I suspect it is not for the sake of justice (if it was justice, he would have been released earlier not now...) but for the sake of politics. Pak Lah - since his appointment - has been trying to mend ties with the US, in the light of post-September 11th and the rise of terrorism. He has worked hard to convince many Western countries - who once were very negative of Malaysia - that it IS possible to have a moderate Muslim country whose people are peaceful and whose way of life is democratic. How else can you explain his actions towards the US, towards Anwar, and towards our own Malaysians who are of a different race? Observe the feedback from foreign countries and I dare you to tell me that I'm wrong. :p Know something? Still water runs deep. And I wouldn't jump to conclusions as to what these two men will be up to in the near future. What I want to see now is how the new administration is going to cope with the release of Anwar and his political actions (if he has plans for any).|W|P|109411335166109818|W|P|Anwar has been released.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com9/01/2004 11:43:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...and it was well worth the wait. Seeing it in my hands brought back memories of what it meant to be enlightened, of what it meant to feel, of what it meant to have the power to achieve and do something for someone else apart from me...flipping through the pages reminded me of what it feels like to NOT be the average Malaysian and to be etching/placing my mark alongside the people who have made a difference in this lifetime and the next.

And here is a leaflet obtained from the fateful day - from the fateful exhibition that featured this man and countless of other photographers whom he worked with...their photographs, his words and the videos. Never will any of my Malaysian students ever see this stuff unless we - the lecturers - get them from external sources.

A picture of Robert Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, on their flight into California. He was assasinated the very next day - after this photograph was taken. Shot by Curt Gunther in 1968.

Reporting The World: John Pilger's Great Eyewitness Photographers Plucked from the introduction to the book, here are John Pilger's words...read them and feel the way I do when I still read them now - two years after first encountering this brilliant journalist.
This collection of photographs, selected from the Barbican exhibition, Reporting The World, is the realisation of a fond dream of mine. Almost from the day I went on the road as a newspaper correspondent in the 1960s, I worked with photographers. We were a team, often assigned to places of upheavel, but also to peaceful streets, the sinews of people's lives, to ask ordinary people to tell their extraordinary stories in words and pictures. Time and curiousity were allowed then, and generous space on the page was devoted to worlds far removed from London's media village; and not because of the importance of the images in a current geo-political game. This was a new kind of reportage, pioneered in post-war Britain by Picture Post, following Life and Look magazine, whose essays allowed pictures and words to complement each other and the meaning of both to speak to the reader.

The Khmer Rouge Gestapo, known as 'S21', tortured to death more than 20,000 men, women and children at Tuol Sleng, a former school at Phnom Penh. People were mutilated on iron beds like this one, which was still surrounded by blood and tufts of hair when we found it. Shot by Eric Piper in 1979.

In the summer of 1979, Eric and I, with film director, David Munro, cameraman Gerry Pinches and sound recordist Steve Phillips, went to Cambodia in the wake of the Vietnamese overthrow of Pol Pot and the genocidal Khmer Rouge. In Phnom Penh we encountered a silence of the kind you never forget. It was as if the city had suffered a nuclear cataclysm that had spared on the buildings. Houses, flats, office blocks, schools and hotels stood empty and open, as they had been vacated four years earlier when the Khmer Rouge marched the occupants into the country side, many to their death. Personal possessions lay trampled on the front path, a tricycle crushed and rusted in the gutter, a pair of glasses on an open page. There was little electricity and no water safe to drink; bodies were still being found in wells. At the railway stations, trains stood empty at various stages of interrupted departure. Pieces of burned clothing fluttered on the platform. As they abandoned Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge had set fire to a carriage filled with wounded civilians.

Hearn Boung, a young man who stepped on a land mine, lies in Battambang Hospital in western Cambodia. The hospital lacked almost everything, including blood. He died soon afterwards. Shot by Nic Dunlop in 1991.

In our first hours there, neither Eric nor Gerry took a single frame. Such was our incredulity, or shock. We had no sense of people, of even the remmants of a population; the few human shapes we glimpsed seemed incoherent images, detached from the city itself. Only when we pursued several and watched them forage, did we realise that they were children. In a crumbling Esso petrol station, an old woman and three emaciated infants squatted around a pot containing a mixture of roots and leaves, which bubbled over a fire fuelled by paper money, hundreds of snapping, crackling brand new notes. Eric's pictures of this morbid irony followed an assignment of two months earlier, when he and I had followed Pope John Paul on his return to Poland, and had seen Auschwitz (Nazi death camps for Jews, for those of you who aren't familiar with the history of the Holocause - tens of thousands died there...) for the first time. Now, we saw it again in Souther East Asia: a scaled-down version called Tuol Sleng, where a Khmer Rouge gestapo, 'S21', had systematically murdered thousands. People were mutilated on iron beds and we found their blood and tufts of hair still on the floor. Eric's picture of one of the beds still chills me. We found eight survivors, including four children and a one-month old baby.
It doesn't just stop with Cambodia. John Pilger and his photographer-companions go on to travel around Asia and South America and even the USA where he write on politics in Indonesia, Phillippines, Vietnam, Nicaragua, South Africa...the list goes on.

In Nicaragua, two children rescued from a house destroyed by a 1000-pound bomb dropped by the Nicaraguan dictator Somoza on his own people during the Sandinista uprising. They died soon afterwards. Shot by Susan Meiselas in 1979.

The courage implicit in the working lives of great photographers is sometimes confused with the nihilistic bravado for which some of their war-chasing colleagues are famous for. You would never know from their almost diffident way that Phillip Jones Griffiths and Steve Cox had beckoned danger with their lens. This is also true of Susan Meiselas, like Phillip, a celebrated Magnum photographer, with whom I worked in Nicaragua. Susan documented the popular uprising, led by the Sandinistas, that overthew the Somoza tyranny in 1979. She photographed frequently under fire, yet in her pictures there is an understanding of the endurance of civilians, even gentleness in her images of violence. Her picture of two children lying dying, having been rescued from their bombed home, is grievous, yet you do not look away; you ask why?

Edith Ventner, a Johannesburg socialite, at her couturier's. Like many Souther African whites, she says she never supported apartheid. The necklace she is wearing is worth 100,000 pounds. In the 'new' South Africa, the white five per cent of the population still control more than eighty per cent of the nation's wealth. Shot by Keith Bernstein in 1997.

I think I should stop now. Somehow, while preparing this material - it took me a good one hour to type everything out - I have gone from being rather calm and neutral to extremely depressed and disheartened. Forgive my depressive babble but it is at times like this which I feel that it is best that I should either be dead or apathatic. |W|P|109402204110199005|W|P|Finally it is here...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com3/01/2006 09:50:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Johnsonshb@aol.com|W|P|If we only died of old age, we would be in a mess in only a few short years.Death and war is a tool of population controle,People have to die so others can live.Or would some people rather the world be like New York or China, standing room only? It is unfortunate that our planet isnt bigger and our people are not all saints.But who would be willing to share their home and money and clothes with 15 or 20 other people everyday and have 30 more living in their yard?
I wouldnt like it if it happened to me, but we cant live for ever, and we cant all live at the same time.Living with your heart on your sleeve will only make you a bitter person over time.