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.