Friday, October 21, 2011

Gaddafi is dead

This year witnesses the deaths of two leaders, who are notorious for their evil deeds. One is of course Osama bin Laden and the other is Muammar Gaddafi.

Similarities? They were both killed, instead of being captured alive and put on trial. With their passing, many people cheered and celebrated. But I think: "Is that even closure, really?"

If I were to have loved ones who suffer at the hands of these two men, would I simply be satisfied with their deaths? Would I have found enough closure by looking at newspaper reports and photos of their bloodied corpses?

I don't think I can do that; folding up the newspaper and move on. To me, they would still haunt my waking hours and silent dreams.

"The boogeyman is still alive, in our minds."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just when I thought I can go back home earlier this year...

Gadoh: a movie review

When a movie is banned by the authorities, you know it is a must-watch.

Gadoh is a Malaysian movie that seeks to examine the racial tensions in our country. A Malay gang fights with a Chinese one in an urban school and that incident makes it to the papers. In order to placate the public and most importantly, the Ministry, the headmaster accepts the proposal of one Cikgu Ann to set up a theatre club to 'correct' the 'troubled kids'. Cikgu Ann ropes in her friend, Azman, who is a theatre activist.

Even with the few surprises, the plot is quite predictable. You can already expect a somewhat happy ending. But what makes the movie stand out is the fact it is a Malaysian movie and that racial slurs are constantly thrown about when the kids fight each other. Ah, bingo! No wonder the movie was banned!

I love the way the school is being used as an allegory to our country. When the kids fight along racial lines, there are suggestions to keep them apart - Malays with Malays and Chinese with Chinese. Someone said: "The problem is not the kids; it's the system." It's all too familiar. It is a system that keeps us apart, when we are trying to say, "Hey, we can work this out." It is a system that is too quick to judge and too eager to find a quick, but temporary solution.

Because at the end of the day, the kids manage to work together to put up a show, for the sole purpose of placating the authorities and media. I love the fact that even though it is not the most ideal situation, they make a statement through theatre and make the authorities squirm uneasily in their seats.

Ministry official to Headmaster: "How can you allow those kids to make a fool out of us all? I want you at my office. You have to be responsible for this."

That is one feel-good ending. Even so, I have a few criticisms. The fight between the gangs starts very early in the movie and resolves just as quickly. The movie oversimplifies things. As I was watching, I kept thinking if the situations were realistic enough.

Having said all that, the movie has achieved what it was meant to do. In my book, it is a good movie.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fragile Life, Precious Time

Just one night before, he complained of chest discomfort. The next morning, he's gone.

That is my Pek Pek - my dad's elder brother. He's only 60 years old. I was shocked by this news yesterday because the last time I saw him he was still smiling and ferrying his wife around on errands. He was overweight many years ago but he made the effort to lose weight. I never thought his life would be cut short so soon, especially when my cousins are still young, with the oldest just started university and the youngest in secondary school.

RIP Pek Pek. We would do our best to look after your family.

As I have always said, funerals are for the living. Because without that ritual and ceremony, the living will go on pining for the dead; keep looking around and calling out the names of their loved ones. Having said that, because I never attended my Popo's funeral, I sometimes think that she's still living in her KL home with Pek Pek's family. Now that I missed out on Pek Pek's funeral too, there's another name to add to the list...

I feel so sorry for my three cousins. They had less than 20 years with their dad. I guess I am by far, more fortunate because I still have my parents to go home to.

Let us thank God for the many years behind us, and may God grant us many more years together.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When a greeting is not just a greeting

'How are you?"

It's a standard Australian greeting, just like our Malaysian's "Have you eaten?" It seems simple enough for everyone to answer. But I find it so difficult to mouth a simple "Fine, thank you. How's your day?".

Because more often than not, I feel like I'm in the dumps. As much as I want to say that I'm doing great, I can't. I feel like I'm betraying myself by doing that. Yet, I don't want to unload all my worries onto a stranger who apparently by a twist of fate, is manning the cash register at Coles.

Uni Laughs #1: Contraception

Ms TC in Pharmacotherapy's Contraception lecture: "You would think that talking about sex first thing in the morning is a big draw. 20 people, I counted. This is the worst turnout ever."

Man, I love the Canadian woman!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Poem: Addicted to You

You leave me cold
with a bitter aftertaste
Yet, I cannot forget
the passionate nights we shared
No, I cannot forget
Your inviting warmth
Your intoxicating fragrance
Your enticing kiss

So, coffee
Can we begin once again?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. 
-Brian Littrell-

Sir, I have given up on aiming that high. Because falling hurts like hell. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some things never change #2: you've got the wrong person

I was studying together with Syazana and Aymen in the lobby when our lecturer, Dr V approached us. He went on asking us about the possibility of organising extra lessons to help us deal with Pharmaceutics. So, we ended up talking for a bit. And then, Dr. V asked me: "Are you Khoo Chee Shin?"

"No." And I told him my name. It just struck me that with my glasses and my hair tied up, I really looked like her. But seriously, getting mistaken for another person (even here in Perth) really gets on my nerves.

Because, having two sisters studying before me in the same school means I have to respond to THREE different names - two out of which are not mine. Frankly I am sick of this. But I don't have the luxury of not replying.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


264 friends in the list.

But how many of them do I actually consider as friends?

So many and still so lonely.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

Sittin' in the morning sun
I'll be sittin' when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco Bay
Cuz I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothing's gonna come my way

So, I'm just gon' sit on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

Looks like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, listen

Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone, listen
Two thousand miles I roam
Just to make this dock my home, now

I'm just gon' sit at the dock of a bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooh
Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

[Ends in harmonic whistling] 

I am sometimes amazed with myself at how I can fall in love with almost any type of music. Lately, I am into old-school soul and R&B. I can connect with this song, even though it was first written and sung in the 60's. At first listen, it seemed nearly boring. But the words speak to me: of being lonely and helpless. The person in this song seems relaxed to the outsider, but he sings of a quiet discontentment with the life he's living. I am just like him. The difference is, I am sitting in front of my computer each day, and not on the dock.

The fundamentals don't change.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

On Writing: Outside looking in

If I don't put this down in words, I risk becoming an insomniac tonight. 

"The Help" is one of my favourite novels. But it is criticised for portraying a white woman as a hero who saves all the other black maids. Huh? Is this the only thing people see when they read the book or watch the movie? What about liberation from societal expectations or the fact that we are essentially human, no matter what our skin colour is? 

Just because Kathryn Stockett is white, she is accused of exploiting the African-American story of discrimination and slavery. Must she confine herself to only write stories about white people? Must all writers write what they know? Where is the challenge in that? Is that even fiction-writing?

Some of us write because we want to find closure; we want answers. Some of us seek to understand what it is like being on the other side of the fence. The only way we can do it is by re-imagining ourselves and trying to write from another person's point-of-view. Now, that is challenging. That is fiction-writing. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Death of a Person

blinded by things you see,
deafened by the voices of others,
the flame inside dies
and your inner voice silent.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Base Camp or The Peak?

It was odd. Shelly gave a motivational-ish lecture this morning, when I thought she's going to grill us on more pharmacy law stuff.

"If you stop moving, you stay."

"After you've finished your degree, you will be just at base camp. To get to the peak of Mt. Everest, you need to study more."

Those are some of the things she said. Well, I had initially thought I would be someone who chills out at base camp, with a cup of coffee in hand and make myself comfortable by the fireplace. After the hospital visit, something in me changed. I saw clinical pharmacists at work in Fremantle Hospital. Their work is more in-depth than the average pharmacists; they get to chat with the patients and be involved in organising an appropriate drug regimen. It is more hardcore and challenging. And to be like them, I have to study Masters - at the very least. But I am not big on the idea of writing a thesis and research work.

So, the enjoy life at base camp or enjoy the view from the top of Mt. Everest? I haven't got a clue. Tentatively, it is base camp for me. Maybe after downing too much caffeine, I would head to the peak.

Nothing is set in stone at this point. But this is definitely something worth thinking about.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Placement coordinator: We are not a travel agency

Excitement fills the air. Her speech is halted occasionally by eager hands rising up in the air.

"Can we go interstate?"

"Eastern states?"


I'm talking about pharmacy placements here. It is interesting that Curtin is quite flexible in giving us options - provided it is feasible for them to make such an arrangement with the other party. And it is during times like this when I feel the pressure coming on. Placement is going to happen in about 6 months' time from now. I am going to enter society as a working adult in less than 18 months.

It is scary. It is overwhelming. As much as I abhor working part-time (I am a lazy pig), I am looking forward to placements with mixed feelings. My recent hospital visit is so enlightening. To be able to see the stuff we learnt in uni being put into practice, it makes learning all the more worthwhile. (That said, I am still reluctant to consistently review lecture materials.)

I guess I will still be afraid of what's ahead, but I will venture forward at my own pace.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

*Sigh* *Sigh*

I really don't feel like doing any work. But alas! The deadlines (yes, it's plural) are drawing near. 

Sorry, need to rant a little bit since I overuse Facebook for this purpose. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crazy Little Thing Called Love: a review

Thanks to Xianni for recommending this Thai movie. It is excellent!

This movie is about a teenage girl, Nam, who is in love with her senior, Chon. Chon is handsome, popular, athletic and artistic, while Nam is quite the opposite. The story is basically told from her point of view - of how she transforms herself from a dorky-looking girl to a beauty and tries her very best to attract his attention.

It has all the elements of first love - a good-looking crush, an equally good-looking rival and a few loyal friends who support our protagonist. I find myself cheering Nam on, laughing at her misadventures and cry with her when things didn't really work out.

Frankly, I wish something like that happened to me back in secondary school. Too bad that our school is an all-girl institution! *damn!* Well, for someone like me, watching this movie is as good as it gets.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kitchen Princess

Okay. Spent the entire night reading 47 chapters worth of manga, when I am supposed to be doing outline for the review article. Someone please shoot me!!

Here's the link to the manga:

Plot is just so-so. I could guess who is the protagonist's prince from the very first chapter. But for what it's worth, it is quite entertaining and it does deliver some shocking twists.

Jia Mun and Lee Kuan, you guys are the only two friends who actually cook desserts. So if you are reading this, please take note. This manga is actually a cookbook in disguise! xD Every chapter is accompanied by recipes for things such as cocktail, carrot cake, apple cake, scones and hard-to-pronounce-its-name French desserts.

So who says you can't learn anything from manga, huh?

Friday, July 15, 2011

If reincarnation exists, I must be something other than human in my previous life. Because I don't know how to act like a normal person. I feel like running as fast as I could to somewhere far, far away or fly as high as I could. I want to escape. But from what? I don't know.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another dream.

I was cycling and got attacked. A friend of mine saved me. I sat there, crying while he tended to me and even tied my shoelaces. He held my hands tightly. I felt so safe. I long knew he harboured feelings for me, but I was adamant not to reciprocate. What should I do, now that he's protecting me like this?

The dream was so sweet. Too bad I had to sit for Medicinal Chemistry at 8.30am! GRRR!! Finals, must you ruin even my make-believe love life?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Can't wait for exams to end so that I can shop for more books.

On wishlist:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Post-SPM exams = Hell

Way back in SPM (seems like ages ago), I had enough time to churn out my own facts and rewrite history just to fill up the white spaces in the question paper.


100 marks in 120 minutes or 120 marks in 120 minutes. It's insane! I never have time to think what's the right answer. Whatever that comes to the mind (correct or not), that is what I write down. Seriously, is this what exam is all about? Are you really testing our knowledge or our ability to withstand stress? I barely have enough time to THINK, what more WRITE down the answers for 120-mark questions in 120 minutes.

I hate exams!! GRRR!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I really would like to write short stories now because I have so many ideas swirling around in my mind. But I can't.


Final exam! SCREW YOU, FINALS!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lady in the Garden

I was dressed in fine, ancient clothes. I came to this beautiful two-story mansion. I remember its beautiful wooden floorboards that I had so much fun running on. What imprinted on my mind most was the house's immaculate gardens that sprawled all around, almost like a maze. Decorations like bamboo gates were abound and the flower bushes were very tall. 

I was about to marry the young master of that household. I had lots of fun visiting his home and paying respects to his family - consisting of many relatives living under the same roof. During one of my walks around the estate, I met a wonderful old lady, seemingly senile. She gave me a flower as a token of our first meeting. No one seemed to know her. 

What happened later on, I couldn't remember it too well. But I recall running on that wooden floorboards, all the way down to the stairs and bypassing the hallway. I ran into the garden, opening one bamboo gate after another, bypassing my fiance's relatives. Then, finally I met her again. I uncovered the cruel truth behind the family's fortune. As a young lady, she traveled far from her homeland with her husband. She fell sick and soon was diagnosed as being crazy. But it was her family's wealth that enabled her husband to live prosperously. So her disease was kept secret from her faraway family, and she was virtually trapped inside the garden - her existence was unknown to the public. 

And then I woke up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Only Reason

My grandmother once said: "Our future generation has to live better than their predecessors."

And I truly believe that it is this saying that drives the waves of migration out of China. Were my ancestors treacherous for leaving their homeland? No. All they wanted was to seek a better life elsewhere for the sake of their family. But it is this legacy of theirs that makes me grappling for a place to hold on to. Just because my grandfather, my great-grandparents were immigrants, am I merely a visitor in this land I call home? While their legacy is my history, it shall remain as that. I will not forgive anyone who call them 'traitors'. I will not allow anyone to call me 'pendatang'.

Maybe I don't have what it takes to succeed elsewhere nor the courage to start anew again. This place is home to me forever - and that is the only reason I need to stay.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Malaysia That Could Have Been

The late Dato Onn Jaafar once proposed to open up UMNO's membership to all Malayans, regardless of ethnicity. His idea was rejected terribly by his fellow members and that marked the beginning of the end of his political career. 

He was indeed a forward-thinking man. Had his vision come true then, what would become of Malaysia now?

One could only dream.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Keep On

yes, keep on crying your worthless tears when everyone is ahead of you. 
yes, keep on running away when even your shadow is larger than you. 
yes, keep on looking back when you can't even walk a straight road ahead. 
yes, keep on dreaming your dreams when it is a cruel reality you are living in.

-by jacys-

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beck: Movie Review

I cannot contain my excitement now. The atmosphere, the crowd and their expression, the lighting and most of all the music… totally overwhelmed me. ‘Beck’ the movie is amazing. Sure there are shortcomings here and there, like the rushed feeling of the movie or the awkward choice of actors for minor roles. But ‘Beck’ the movie hit several spots right – with the right main actors. 

The roles of Taira, Ryuusuke, Saku and Maho were well cast. Their acting was pretty decent. I am amazed by the resemblance between the manga/anime Koyuki and Takeru Satoh, the actor who played him. The eyes and facial expression were almost alike, except maybe Takeru Satoh was a little too skinny. In my opinion, the star who truly shined was Kiritani Kenta who played Chiba. Having watched the anime and read the manga, Chiba wasn’t really my favourite character. But in the movie, Kiritani Kenta totally became Chiba and he brought out Chiba’s boundless energy.

The music shines. As usual, Beck’s songs are really good – which is hard to compose, I bet. But composing Belle Ame’s nauseatingly horrible music? That is definitely harder to do! Anyways, the music – both the distasteful and the awesome – is done well. Lastly, I was a tad disappointed when Koyuki’s voice was muted out in the actual movie. WHY? But having finally watched their Greatful Sound performance, I appreciated the fact that their music was beautiful enough even without vocals. That, maybe the viewers are supposed to imagine Koyuki’s voice in their heads to bring out the ultimate movie experience, is what the director has in mind? And how right I was when I heard the actual version of the song, in which Koyuki’s voice is not muted. Takeru Satoh’s voice falls short of expectation. In a hindsight, I should have resisted wanting to listen to ‘Koyuki’s voice’ because I feel so disappointed right now.

All in all, I rate this movie 8 out of 10. It has been an enjoyable ride for me, because this adaptation stays true to the manga.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

the webs of lies you weave
entangle me
and yet,
they are the net
that cushions my fall

-by jacys-


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Initially, when I heard the news, I thought: "This is good! The man who orchestrated Sept 11 attack is dead!"

But as more reports came out of how he was killed and then 'buried at sea' (a.k.a. dumping his body into the ocean), I felt a bit bad for him.

Nonetheless, no matter who he was or what he did in his life, he ought to be given a proper burial - an acknowledgment that he was too, human. If he didn't live as a Muslim, he should as least be buried as one.

Am I weird for thinking this way?

No one has the right to take another person's life. That is what I believe.

Allow me to further expand on this thought. His death should really mean nothing to terrorists out there, for he was just one among many. This is an issue that can hardly be resolved by violence alone.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

We, Malaysians, are too fearful.
 When a man walks past us in a lonely street, we automatically think that he is out to rob or rape us.
We install grills on our doors and windows and build 6-feet tall walls around our house.

We, Malaysians, are too cynical.
We think every policeman out there receives bribes.
We believe the government is out to get us.

What can go so wrong in a country?  
How can we no longer feel safe in our own homes? 
How can we become so distrustful?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wanting and Not Wanting

I am specifically referring to books, but this can apply to other things in life as well.

I borrowed two books from Curtin Library a month ago - 'The Good Mayor' by Andrew Nicoll and 'The Complete Short Stories' by Guy de Maupassant. I read up to a quarter of the first, and completely forgotten about the second. I have so many books at my disposal, and yet I am trawling the net for more titles to be added to my wishlist.

I am insane, I know.

I have no idea why this is the case. Anyhow, I am going to return them next Monday. At the very least, they will collect dust in the library, and not in my room.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In an election, we can't choose 'the best'. we can only choose 'the lesser evil'.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

Girls always have a knack for reading between the lines - no matter if something is there or not.

I remember a few years ago when we were all young 17 year-olds, reading a particular cerpen in Mr. Mano's tuition class. Oh! How we devoured the story! An intergalactic story set in the near-future! Plus there's romance to boot! Or so we thought...

... because Mr. Mano insisted that it was all in our heads and we set out to prove him wrong. But weirdly, we couldn't find any evidence of a budding love between the two main characters the second time we read the story. It was very ego-bruising for us - at least it was for me.

Well, at least we had a good laugh that day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Only One Life

I have only one life to live.
That's why choices need to be made and choices let go.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Memorable Scenes

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - The Danse Macabre
  • Moribito: Guardian of Darkness by Nahoko Uehashi - The second Spear Dance between Balsa and the hyohlu

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sarah Kay's "Love Letter from the Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire"

This poem is unbelievably real, despite having inanimate objects as the main characters. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


"I need someone to take care of me." That was what she said.

As for me, I just want someone to understand and accept me as I am. We will be the best of friends, hopefully. I want a companion, not a carer.

Her mindset is a bit shocking, because I have always thought her as a very independent person. Maybe it's her age creating cracks in her armor.

It is amazing how different we can be, despite being sisters.

I am not Thomas Alva Edison

I'm not like him, tirelessly pursuing his goal even though he had failed 99 times before.

There's a Cantonese saying: "Won't you be afraid of the dark if you've seen a ghost before?"

It's exactly that. It's natural for me to be afraid over every little thing once I have a bad experience with it. But how do I overcome fear?

I'm still trying to learn to deal with that part of me every day.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Today, I can't help but think
Of the men and women 
Who came before me. 

How difficult and strange 
Their lives must have been 
To a young woman in the 21st century. 

That they were able to survive 
and create families
Is a miracle indeed. 

The thread of blood 
that extends 
now flows in me. 

I thank thee
My ancestors. 
Rest in peace. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Roam free,
and you are lost.

Stay still,
and you shall be safe.


Do not disturb
the dust of memories
it settles like snow
covers like mist
clouds our vision

Do not disturb
the dust of memories
for it is the ultimate illusion

Friday, April 1, 2011

Honours Program: to apply or not apply?

Received an email from the school. Apparently, I am qualified to apply for Honours program. The key word here is 'apply'. Students will have to sit for a written test and a round of interview before being whittled down to a select few. Although I once boldly said I would not apply for it, I am actually two-minds about it.


The notion of being 'special', of course. Honours students are probably the cream of the crop. They have access to more school facilities, work closely with their supervisors and write a thesis which hopefully will end up in well-established journals for academics to read. They are treated specially compared to the majority of their peers who spend the rest of the fourth year doing rotation.

But I have to ask myself again and again, so that I won't make another mistake that I will regret. (Typing in my thoughts is one way to reaffirm my own thinking.) Will I be happy doing it? Is research really my strength? Is this what I really want? A lot of times I confuse 'fear' with 'dislike'. Because of that, I shun away from opportunities. Because of a lack of courage, I give up things that I like to do.

Honestly, I am afraid of doing research, afraid of screwing up. But I also think being out there in the real world would help me so much more. Maybe rotation will help me build up my confidence. And I am looking forward (albeit with a bit of apprehension mixed in) to different places for fourth year placements - hospital, community pharmacy, specialised health centres etc. I am not sure what choices are there for practical training but I think I want to diversify my experiences.

I don't want to play along with choices anymore. I want to make informed decisions that are in line with my desires. This is what I aim to do in my life from now on. No more 'let's see how it goes' or 'if I get the offer, I'll just do it'. Sometimes, small decisions can really make or break your life. And how do I know this? Because I have been there, done that and now living it.

Dear friends, I won't apply for honours. Thank you for reading this. =)


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Fragmented Dream

Had another awesome dream last night. Unfortunately, I can't remember it in a coherent manner.

A family of four - father, mother and their two young sons - went on a trip. The weather turned bad. They were supposed to head home. But their ship/boat was caught in the eye of the storm and sank in the river/sea. The boys survived but their parents perished. They were sent to their grandfather's place. Fast forward a few years. Somehow, the boys weren't staying with their grandfather anymore. They ran away from him and he didn't look for them. Fast forward a few scenes. A girl (presumably the older brother's friend) persuaded him to forgive his grandfather (why? I am not sure). They reunited with their grandfather. And they lived happily ever after. The end.

I know this story seems really pointless. But somehow I am intrigued by the amount of detail in it. The traditional Malay kite, Wau, also played an important part . It was mentioned in my dream that the family stayed at sea for months, watching the movement of the wau. And apparently, it is a fact that ancient coastal Malays used waus to help them catch fish. And in my dream, the setting was in a fishing village.

Maybe unconsciously, I had used the bits of info that I knew about the wau and transformed them into a beautiful but fragmented dream. Too bad I can't remember it that well. =)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Still Me

No matter where I am, I am still known as a 'walking dictionary'. "Hey, what's the meaning of this?" or "Can you help me check my assignment?"

I am still the person to approach when someone needs to borrow something. "Can I borrow your pen?" or "Did you bring SUSMP?"

It is not a bad thing to be needed by someone, even for small matters like this. Some things just don't change. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A gift to myself: Uehashi-sensei's works!

After days of deliberating silently in my mind, I made a bold decision to order books from The Book Depository. The deal-breaker is really my bad month here, ever since I return to Curtin. Nothing is particularly terrible, but I feel terrible. I need retail therapy!

So, the books are:
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Darkness
  • Dragon Sword and Wind Child

The first two books are written by Uehashi-sensei. Although I had watched the anime adaptation before, I'd love to read the real deal. The last book in that list is another famous work by another Japanese writer. It is also in the same vein as Moribito. I can't wait to read them! Please arrive safely! *desperately praying*

Moribito: Guardian of the Darkness - second novel in Moribito series
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit - the first novel in the Moribito series

Dragon Sword and Wind Child - the first book in the Jade Trilogy
Anyway, in a somewhat related topic, I realised that all the Moribito and Jade Trilogy series are not completely translated into English. And that is bad! Now that would be a good motivation to learn Japanese!

Come on, Mr Brain! Think!!

Trust me to screw up a compounding lab even when we are only supposed to be mixing stuff up. Pretty easy for everyone - but not me! Wrong bottle size, wrong aliquot statement, making up to the wrong volume (just tipped it out and pretended everything's fine), being a slowpoke as always...

My mind is always wandering off somewhere in its perfect little world and leaves me clueless in this hell-hole. Come back or else I will make more mistakes! Sobs.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Note to Self #1

In the event I may want to be married and have a child (god forbid!), if it is a girl, I should not call her "Stemi". STEMI means 'ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction'. In laymen terms, it is called a 'heart attack'.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011


A small boy of about 10 years of age cycles around town - freely, happily - when his mother manages to catch him. With a stern voice, she hauls him back to the house. He pouts and runs around the house. He blames his mother for stifling his freedom. He blames his mother for constantly nagging him.

With a click, the door opens and his father enters. His mother orders the boy to take his shower and he politely obliges. He goes down to the lower floor, where the bathroom is. An argument soon ensues between his parents. The father possibly has another woman in his life. He wants a divorce. But the mother refuses to leave.

The focus shifts to a little shadow on the wall near the staircase. He hears the whole thing even though he doesn't mean to. 

Who is the demon now?

This was a dream I had this morning. It felt like a movie based on that boy's life - which is very odd, because I often dream of people I know.   

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inevitabilities of Self

I am not alone, in thinking that my choice of a career is a wrong one. There we were, three of us, waiting for compounding lab to start when we started this particular conversation. We talked about what we really wanted to study, what led us down this path.

I sounded like I was blaming my parents at some point. No, the choice was made by me alone. I remembered telling my father that I would try to apply for a scholarship. A part of me wanted to relieve his burdens. A part of me also wanted to prove that I could amount to something, just because I heard a similar promise from my eldest sister when she was my age. She never did fulfill her promise and in a way, I was trying to be like her.

But being an Asian kid, there are unwritten rules to follow. The invisible threads of familial expectations slowly trap you in their web. I know I couldn't apply for art stream or something frivolous as creative writing or ambiguous like language studies. I know my parents would be worried and forbid me, because I know they would. It is that simple.

A huge part of me wanted people to take notice of me. Being ordinary in appearance, it is easy for people to overlook me. And by accepting the scholarship offer changed the way I was treated. I was treated specially, and my extended family thinks I am really smart. The dinners and the angpows were all the perks that came along with the notion of 'studying abroad'. Yes, it is also because of the eyes of so many people watching me, I can't back out easily now.

I too wanted to leave my hometown. It was an unhappy place, I thought. Living there my whole life, I only remember the bad things. I wanted to run away from myself and my mistakes, reinvent myself somewhere else. All too soon, I realise I am wrong. The flaw lies not in the place, but in me. I may run, with the wind blowing all my troubles away, but as soon as I stop, they all come back to haunt me.

I admit that I regret my decision. If I could turn back time, I would choose another path instead. Because this isn't what I really wanted. I wished for it, but it doesn't satisfy me. In a way, you can say I am a greedy and ungrateful person. But most of all, I regret not having confidence in myself. I am chiding myself for not being brave enough to see through to my heart's innermost intentions. I am afraid - always afraid - of what people think when they look at me. Their condescending eyes would criticise me. Their whispering voices would mock me. I wasn't and isn't brave enough to break through all the barriers that boxed me in. I simply am not courageous enough to be true to myself.

I am who I am and what I am because of the person I was, the person I am and the decisions that I made. Where and who will I be in the future? Only time will tell. What's certain is, my future self is already in the making and it cannot be stopped.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Six Steps to Happiness

I came across an article in an old edition of Reader's Digest, which dates back to almost 30 years ago. It tells the story of a woman who stumbled upon her late great-aunt's diary in her attic. At one time, her great-aunt was feeling down and depressed. One day, she ultimately designed a set of simple rules to help her be happy.

These are the six steps:

1) Do something for yourself.

2) Do something for another person.

3) Do something that needs to be done (even if you hate it).

4) Do a physical activity (for example, brisk walking).

5) Do a mental activity (reading, anyone?).

6) Pray for someone sincerely.

I find these rules to be really simple and easy to remember. The activities don't have to be time-consuming, as long as it is meaningful. I guess these rules work for both women because they do not allow them to brood on the past nor the future. Maybe by focusing on the tasks keep them busy from thinking depressing thoughts.

I haven't tried them at all, but I just thought they are awesome enough to share them with other people. If you find these rules to be really useful, just drop me a line. :-)

A founding member of The Depressed Sisterhood

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Friends who make you feel at ease with their easy-going and happy-go-lucky personalities are true gems.

If you are one, you rock my world. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Definitely, life seems a little less bad if we have something to do to occupy our depressed minds.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Attended a family reunion (father's side) lunch in Pudu. It was quite fun, not boring as I expected it to be. Probably because there was a karaoke set in the dining room my great-aunt booked. While the adults dined and talked, we kids (or should I say teens and young adults) fiddled with the song selections and sang a few numbers. I surprised myself by singing the first few verses of 'A Whole New World'. I had no idea what my relatives thought of my 'performance' but I hope they were not annoyed by it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Love needs effort

I've just finished watching a Japanese movie called 'Christmas on July 24th Avenue". This is what I learnt from it:

"What flowers will grow, although I didn't sow any seeds? Will I pass the test, although I didn't take it? Will I get a fortune, although I didn't buy a lottery ticket?"