Saturday, May 28, 2011

Magic Three

So here we are. I felt so happy. I feel the freedom being able to do whatever I want (as long as it is legal, duh!) when school life ends. For now.
So whatever happened in three years? The hard truths that kept myself going.

Life has been bittersweet although I spent more than about a year in an odd and amazingly awkward situation. Being seen as this and that, some even thought I'm a bully, which I'm not and some thought I am smart except that I'm lazy. Being a victim of bias acts, defamed, dethroned from being 'cool' and ruling. If you get my drift, ever since the second half of my first year till about the end of of the second, it hasn't been a smooth sail for me.

Was it self-inflicted? Probably. But if it hadn't been about what happen back then, no one would have ever known my true colors.

So let's get back to the dawn of beginning. I didn't have a good start in campus because I had sore throat, and I lost my voice during orientation. Hence, my power was taken away and handicapped me in a way it's hard for me to socialize during orientation. Being the self-conscious and 'vainpot' I was, I didn't talk much which resulted in failing myself to assimilate. Only a few days before lesson started, one person knew I wasn't that quiet kind of guy - Joanne.

Then thing's went for a blur for a while, and I remember my first few lessons when Debbie and Huiting were the best of friends. They wanted me to be in their team for Construction group work - though there weren't many group work then. When I regained my vocal power, and started talking and start assimilating with my classmates already. Things went great.

Of course I remember being late for my 8am classes with Alvena - Events Experience and thank God it was just for a few lesson because after which most of the morning lecture will be compensated on-site. Amazingly, when I was late, I wasn't as a blur.

Then on things was a blur again, though I remember some of the lessons. Photoshop lessons where the entire class wasn't listening to the lecture at all - some were on Ugly Betty, some online fashion magazine (especially Sim Qide who even mentioned he's gonna do events for Chanel), then some were on their Hong Kong dramas (the likes of Qiu Yan and Ang Huiting), and one was on her America's Next Top Model (Nadiah, you're guilty for this) and of course, the few who were really listening were people like Lingfeng and gang. Then there was Contract Law lesson which I really, really dread that even pretending to like that lesson failed to keep me awake. The lecture was the quietest because many were falling asleep, not that they're listening and at that time, not many knew the term 'skipping classes'.

Construction was the best, especially prior to exam. Apparently the lecturer is retiring and leaving on the same time as us.

Lunches were like the stressful part of the day because we were like ranch because there were so many people during lunch hours and I was simply spoilt for choice. One of the many fun moments during lunch was hitching a ride on a pickup truck that Gary drove to the train station. For once, I felt like an immigrant worker. Cheap thrill!

During the first six months of year one was great. Probably because you get to know new people, adapting to new environment and knowing new things. You don't experience 24/7 air-conditioned classroom in primary or secondary school classroom so wearing a jacket at that time was like a freshman's posture.

They say you can't get too much of the good things.

We went to Singapore Science Centre (SSC) a lot because of our Event Experience module and that was my first time doing a 'report' and of course my first report was crap and brutally rejected because I know nuts about report writing. What's more we were not given like detailed guidelines - I had no idea we had to use our own instincts. I remembered then why I failed my first paper in Literature. My hands were full when I was a freshmen. Apart from school - and after school hours activities at SSC, I took up language classes and at the same time had five tutees in hand.

Being a tutor has never occurred in my mind really. After my 'O' Levels, I don't know what part time job should I take. I went for interviews, and try out different jobs but nothing suited me. I gave up working and chose to 'rot' at home instead. It was worth it not working then because there's no such thing as living up to my own expectations that time. Some had asked why I chose to be a tutor but I can't answer them fully except to say to earn extra money for myself.

Money was not the priority. After graduating from secondary school, I've always thought of making full use of what I've learnt, especially languages. Language is a powerful tool for communication. It says for all emotions, sometimes better than a picture does. So the question was, how am I going to continue practicing and embracing what I've learnt? Hence, I landed with this job in hoping it will do better good to me, which it did. It tests my patience, and of course, broaden my knowledge and language mastery. See, because of these reasons I'm actually charging not-so-high. That's why I don't tell people my rate(s) but that does not mean quality is compromised.

One day, something happened and it got into writing. It was personal and I thought fine, things were better off written should anything more happen, you've got it in black and white. Why wasn't I surprised... Ever since then, it's like I felt like I was a black sheep. It was like being judged guilty without trial because things that was supposed to be contained was made public behind my back and I don't know what else was said but I could  just feel it. It was hard to get into groups during group work, it was hard to be loud in class, it was hard to talk around in class, and it was hard getting attention. If anybody would have been in my position, they would be the one who changed class, and they would be the one who would have committed suicide. Big labels of defamation and ostracized was pasted right on my forehead whenever I entered the class.

I was even featured in a blog post. How infamous.

It was hard surviving, and I did a lot of thinking. Really, it wasn't pleasant. When people in the middle-east are stressed thinking if they could live for another day, when people in Africa are stressed thinking if they would be eaten by vultures, I was always stressed where the hell in lecture hall I want to sit because at that period of time, there was no one I could trust. With my stone-aged Nokia, the people who were communicable was Hafiz, Syaz, Nat. God knows how hard it was for me to win their hearts. I know it's not that everybody hated me but being associated with me then means risking of being hated too (it's only natural). I did get tired of all those, trust me. It was exhausting trying to suck up to a bunch of people whose mind I can't read. I was handicapped from being myself and I even got a karma threat. Should anybody wants to see my downfall, that was one hell of big great Humpty Dumpty fall.

In the end I gave up being nice and thickened my face for group work. It was awkward but desperate times call for desperate measures. I swear it's a lie if some didn't find my existence in their group awkward. Doing group work with them (Joanne's team) was a bliss because everybody gave smart contributions, Joanne was creative, and the rest was fast. They were efficient that if their bosses call me for recommendation(s), I'd fire the boss for not hiring the.

My team work with them despite being great didn't last long because towards the end of year two, my group work had been with Huiting and friends because she and Cassie were my Final Year Project (FYP) team members. So it is only wise to do other group work with them rather than being a nomad changing from one group to another, you'll just get confused on which team you belong to for which module. By that time, we had one less classmate - it's your story to tell.

A lecturer made a passing comment saying (we) were bullies.

And we had a class chalet before another term starts.

Planning the class chalet wasn't easy for me because I'm entrusted with my classmates money and organizing a party isn't cheap. Asking people for top-up was quite alright though some were reluctant and some probably didn't trust me and of course, thanks to Joanne and gang for standing up for me when it happened. Of course there were some instances harmless remarks were misunderstood.

When school reopened after that holiday, things started to pick up. Things were getting better. FYP with Rajes was a bliss though warning to all of you to record whatever she says/promises if you were to ever work with her because she tends to get very, very busy. Get my drift. She's funny. Comparable to Kumar, the stand up comedian. She even look like one from far don't you think?

Final year was another blur that went by so fast you can stop counting down like what you did for 'O' Levels. Especially when you learn new topic each week, as long as your notes get thinner at the back, it means the end is near. This is when you start worrying which university are you going for, what course to take, how many exemptions are you eligible for in a particular course, and whatnot. As for me, I'm born an Adam so the only thing that worries me now is National Service.

When the time comes we will know where and when I will I be enlisted. If you're eager to know, what's more the name bearer of the news.

SABE Dinner and Dance was awesome. Need I say more?

And now, in a blink of an eye, we're at the closing chapter of our tertiary life: graduation.

I would like to thank all the lecturers who has put in a lot of effort in our successes, all friends who gave company, fruitful opinions, wonderful memories and moral support, students and their parents who gave undivided understanding - I understand that changing in timings isn't not pleasant as it is but all my students are great. Not forgetting my parents who sent me to school and supporting what I do! This wouldn't have happened without them. Thanks with love!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Drop Shopping, Die Dining

This evening I went out with H, after ages of not meeting him. Let me guess, since mid-April until this afternoon, we only communicate remotely. Touche?

We dined in Ramen Ten for dinner and walk around to window shop. I had my guilt-free shopping a day ago and I got to draw a line at that for other 'maintenance'. We intended to catch a 'stand up comedy' show - go figure. We went all the way to Holland V. and since all seats were reserved, we decided to come on another day. We're grateful it brought us here because the shopping belt is such a mayhem - especially when there's about 5 million people now, with a healthy economic growth, people are spending.

Today's my first day wearing my yellow colored shoe that I bought in Jakarta (that I've kept for two months) to match with my polo. Despite looking like banana I'm liking it because there's no reason for any vehicle to hit me. Looking back, I realize how fast time flies! It's already May!

Next week starts my four-day showbiz with some primary school students. I am so grateful that this is happening because I've been having too much of a good time doing sweet nothings. This is so gonna bring my vocal range to another whole new level.

Then comes graduation, I have to go shopping again because some things are missing and unchecked. Probably one of the days... It has been so hot lately, and take care of thyself.

I'm so beat now. It's time to think for my personal major event now that H has brought it up. It really didn't occur to me until we talked about it on our way home in the limo. We ended the night eating shaker fries. I honestly think it's time to stop, or rather pause eating fast food for a while. Ta!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Kittens Annoy You

My mum and youngest brother love cats, so do I, except for my second brother and my dad who are always irked by cats for passing by without warning and the touchy effect it has on their skin. Whatever.

Nine weeks ago (supposedly six) I fostered a pair of the most annoying kittens ever. They are annoyingly cute. I had to ask my dad for the green light if I could foster them, who cares about my second brother who tends to lock himself in his room, and my mum was simply delighted to have them and sympathized by the fact that they might be terminally sedated if no one nurtures their growth into a fine adult kitten. My youngest brother didn't really care at first.

They were named Scrumptious and Snowflake. Now, meet Gucci and Prada. Hehe!

I was extremely roiled initially. Trying to be courteous to my dad and my younger brother, I put them in my room and on their first night, they pooped on the wrong spot - on my carpet and it stank my room badly. Especially when it's air-conditioned, you wouldn't want to imagine the gag I had on my throat being awoken by that smell. For the next few days the same thing happen, and they seem to be happy about it. How can I not be annoyed and get all angsty? I had to sleep late entertaining them, and wake up early being their secretary answering to their nature calls. Life was a turmoil then.

One day I cleared all the mess in my room and got a new configuration - thanks to them but being the paranoid person I am, I imprisoned them in the toilet, only to let them out when I'm in. My kittens were very lucky when I didn't put them out while I was in the shower. But I had this thought a hidden camera was put in the kittens eye or something!

They still had their diarrhea, and it was quite persistent until some time I realized their stool are much harder than the week before. Still, they were imprisoned for committing a crime - pooping at the wrong places and creating a mess out of it.

After some time, my parents asked me to let them out, which I intended to but not too soon because naturally, kittens are territorial animals so I'd like to be sure they would make our bathroom their bathroom as well. Miraculously, they did. I'm so proud of them.

Showering them was almost impossible. I had to withstand the scratches they made from showering them, give them food the first thing in the morning, and clear the tray after pouring their feast into their bowl. It was funny how they would fight for more food and make a mess out of it and ended up eating from the floor. This hygiene freak has zero tolerance for mess - which explains why I'm rarely in the living room. After eating they will drink up, and head to the tray to dismiss its missiles. It's a routine. Imagine this on a scale, then times two - because they come in pairs.

My kittens are the most sanitized kittens I swear. Their tray in tip-top condition otherwise I wouldn't even want to step into the toilet. And that's the first thing I'd do each morning when I woke up - clear their tray. Since they are nocturnal animals (in case you don't know) their happy hour really starts at Clark Quay's happy hour period. They were having such a good life running in and out of the study room, making noises like tap-dancers chasing each other.

Some of my friends and relatives had a good play with them which is a relief because for once I can catch up with them, and get this kitten to meet new people. Otherwise they will become shy - not my type of kittens. These kittens really like to hangout on designer items hence the name Gucci for the male and Prada for the female. Despite their name, they are pretty unglamorous at times.

Whenever I cook, or bring some hot food into my room, it's like a call for their in-room dining. They started climbing on my office chair, or my jeans (when they were really young) and try to steal my food. I had to resort closing the door and let them meow in front of my room. Playing the pity card, they will sit in front of my room until I opened the door.

Gucci had lice on him. I don't know how it came about but definitely from the dusty environment he had but somehow only he has lice and not his sister. That's just odd. He started scratching himself and after like a week we realize his hair was thinning. Who knew animals could worry you so much. I'm just worried that lice might just be on me instead actually.

Now that they're familiar with the house and their surroundings, god knows how impromptu their sleeping habits are. It started questioning if my kittens here are the real territorial cats and not some kind of non-cat breed? First, they slept on the wooden chair, then under the sofa bed a few days later, then at the ironing board (it's still a wonder how they got up there), then on my table. So if you were to ask me where did they sleep, I'd say everywhere. I gave up making up their sleeping basket because they no longer sleep there.

There was this one time, Prada really freaked me out when I saw her sitting by the window ledge like a Sphinx. I got so scared I had to think how not to scare her away in case she fell of from the ledge and dropped from the penthouse. That was like her near death moment.

They were always hungry and greedy when it comes to eating and because they eat and pooped a lot, I had to make more than a trip to SPCA to collect their food and sand. I had to cab back because the items were heavy and I got really nettled because it really went against my principle not to spend a single cent on and for the kittens because we have provided a roof, and a place to stay, it's only right that everything else comes conveniently and handily but I guess I couldn't rely on that.We did buy food for the kittens for the love of the kittens after all.

I even had to send them to the vet for the vaccination and why oh why SPCA has to be so far? Thank God my dad was able to send me and these two Blackie Chans for their vet appointment.

Who knew these kittens are musically inclined, probably they heard me sing every single day. I slept with them last night since it's the last night with them and they were busy running in and out, and around the sofa bed making noises. Rubbing their body against my face, and walked on top of me, pressed the remote control and switched on the TV. It was so bright I had to get up and turn it off. Then, seeking for a spot, they sat on me, and in between my legs on the comforter. I was so restrained, I had to push them aside.

What breaks my heart beyond capacity is letting them go. Returning them to their rightful place (SPCA), having to say goodbye to two silly creatures whom I kissed every single day I when I got home, teased them, played with them, and carried them where ever I go around the house like a puppy. Laughing at their funny antics like how Gucci jumped when its tail got caught in the fan - a repercussion for climbing hazardously, and how Prada would follow a string or even skipping rope, and how they would hug each other when they sleep is just so sweet.

Even my dad and second brother plays with them after some time.

It made me cry at heart to feel so annoyed having these two rascals around and the trouble they made me go through, but at the same time, taking care of them like they were my babies, not wanting them to die, tortured, or abandoned by their future owners.

Oh well, attachment towards them is inevitable and I know this day would come where I feel sobby. Of course this despair would fade away but they are my first land creatures I have as a pet. Even tonight when I got home, it felt awkward not to have them running to the door when you get home, and it feels a little odd now that I don't have them to carry around. I've lost my Gucci and Prada!

Thanks to the many who made life taking care of them less of a burden. I owe you. This blogskin will be a memorial of them. Thanks R. Wong for the two kittens!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kuala Lumpur, 2011

While most of you are busy reading the headlines about the upcoming GE, and while the Britons and the rest of the world are all hyped up over Prince William's wedding, Malaysia is bracing for the arrival of Prince Yours Truly. You can give me a virtual slap right this instant.

This trip is my first time being away without a chaperon, and finally had a great time with S since he's always busy with work, work, work. Such a workaholic.

I would say this trip is very laid back, and relaxing because we were there on weekdays and came back on weekend - which resulted us in being caught up in the traffic jam before hitting the highway. Since the bus played Freaky Friday, Mr. Bean and one of my favorite cartoons Tom and Jerry, I didn't mind.

We met early in the morning, and trained to our coach. Although flight would sound nice because you'll reach there earlier by about two hours, it is the most ridiculous thing to think of when it comes to backpacking. Such an adventurous trip!

Four hours in the bus reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips, listening to songs, watching movies and whatnot is so not easy, I swear. Most of the time I'd end up sleeping which is quite a good thing because I didn't sleep well the night before departure.

We reached safely. The weather was good. We checked in to our hotel. Piccolo Hotel, which sounded so wrong, but the room was alright. I would expect a ramp for my luggage when checking in. That explains why I'd say this is a backpacking trip. Heh!

Settled down and went for lunch at T.G.I.F on a Wednesday afternoon. Since it was the weekdays, all the malls were open for business - DUH! But the mall seems to be deserted, again - DUH! Wandered around The Pavilion and bought a pair of midnight movie: Source Code.

Source Code was good. It's like Vantage Point but I dare say better. Source Code was as good as my dress code. Pajamas, and hotel slippers are sure to give you comfort in the theater. It was so convenient that I throw myself on the bed right away when we came back.

The following day we intended to have breakfast at A&W but alas it was not opened until 11am then! We end up eating Macs. Pfft. So much for variety! Breakfast was sumptuous because we had Big Breakfast, Sausage McMuffin, and pancakes. They call it a family meal for about four person, but seems like two person can eat it all without leftovers. No wonder most Malaysians are so petite!

Berjaya Times Square, the home to Asia's largest indoor theme park. They have a mall which is like I-Don't-Know how many floors but I got tired on the third floor already. We didn't even complete our rounds. I had Baskin-Robbins and my God it is so delicious! BTS should really have a variety of tenant mix and a serious rearrangement of the shops. I miss riding the roller coaster at the indoor theme park! That is where my first roller coaster ride was!

We went back to get ready for the nights agenda. Dinner at Tony Roma's, followed by Thor at midnight. Since we had a lot of time in between, we sat at Starbucks for a drink and chit-chat. TMI, but nature called right before the movie started. So annoying.

Thor was a good wholesome fun. It was raining after the movie so going back from The Pavilion seems a little impossible by walking. Since our hotel is like 200m away but the rain was quite heavy, we had to wait somewhere in the middle. It takes a thick face to ask for an umbrella lift. So while waiting for the right umbrella and the right person to come, and since no one was walking in the rain, I did! Then I had to treat myself to a hot shower because I wouldn't want to get sick.

On our final day we had our free and easy - right, since when was it not free and easy? We fulfilled any last minute cravings of any food that's not available in Singapore.

Thanks to my parents for making this happen for me, and S for the bloody good times! See you around!