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Saturday, December 20, 2014

My two cents

It actually still really amazes me when misogyny so often shines through so many aspects of society, even when feminism is gaining so much popularity all over the world.


Having said that, I'm no feminist, if you prefer to be completely politically correct. I agree that scantily clad women are one of the essential "strategies" in marketing. I believe that men should still be chivalrous - that they still should pay for a woman's basic expenses, open doors, and do other gentlemanly things. Even if I can't be labelled as an extreme feminist (degrading men is just as "misogynistic" as degrading women), I definitely would not be labelled a feminist.


From my perspective, marriage meant something like a barter trade back in the olden days. The women were not allowed to receive education, much less join the workforce dominated by men (though this has changed drastically).


Women needed only to tend to their own business within the house, and be sexually appealing to their husbands, while the men were to slave away for money to be spent for the woman to continue being happy. Failure of the woman to tend to the house or be sexually unappealing meant that she not only failed as a wife, but she also failed as a woman. Failure of the man to give enough money to their wives meant he has failed as a provider.


After years of civil evolution, we've come to a society where men and women work equally not only because they have to, but some of them want to. After all, not all women want to be locked up at home, and to only see daylight when they need to tend to household errands, or when their husbands decide to take them out.


Though women who engage in casual "liaisons" with men are still deemed immoral, it is also more widely accepted, and the word "whore" is used in a much looser context (though that is as detrimental as it is liberating).


In other words, women have been given more freedom to do those that men have done for centuries without being called a failure as a woman, though women are still expected to present themselves in a feminine way, with basic knowledge in fashion, make-up, and composure in different settings (something I'm still trying to get used to).


Personally, I'm a lazy person - when I was younger and was prompted for my plans for the future, I thought of a good life: good-earning husband with the generosity to give me regular luxuries, and all I had to do was look good and provide comfort for his raging testosterone.


As I grew older, I realized that I didn't really like asking people for things or money - having my own money to spend was more liberating than having to go through non-existent psychological guilt that came with asking people (regardless of their relationship with me) for money to be spent on non-survival items.


I didn't mind working, as most of the jobs I've taken on were not bad, given the normal day-to-day irritations that comes with work. In fact, I slowly became a person who didn't mind paying for my own meals on dates, or for paying for my own day-to-day expenses, for that matter.


Given that I would, of course, love to be pampered and not have to worry about how much I'm earning versus how much I spend; but I also believe that I could be an independent woman who doesn't need to completely rely on a man for survival.


Just my two cents. Having people tell me that my husband should be one who can take care of my survival is essential is like telling me I'm too weak to at least provide the basics for myself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Oyster




The oyster
An international delicacy
Only appreciated by men of expensive taste
Taken with a spritz of tang and refreshment


Each oyster is unique
In shape, color
And above all
Flavor and scent


Moist
Juicy
Succulent


Its magnificent folds
Accentuated by the moistness within the shell
The juicy plumpness of the flesh
All enveloped within a pearly interior
While protected by a shell far from alluring


And within each oyster
Is the precious pearl
Deemed a symbol of classic finesse and beauty
Round, luscious, and luminescent
Sitting above the delicate flesh of the oyster
As delicate as the tender oyster itself
But strong and resilient through the strong currents of the ocean



Some devour the flesh of the oyster in ecstasy
Devouring it in an almost orgasmic manner
Relishing in its unique flavor
Their taste buds tantalized even by a mere whiff of its expensive juices


Some declare it an acquired taste
Repulsive in every aspect of taste and texture
And condemn the men who enjoy it - distasteful


But only the strongest of men may pry open its shell
Only the noblest of men may taste its majesty
And only those with the truest of heart may finally obtain the jewel within

Friday, October 24, 2014

103 Coffee Workshop, Seri Petaling

The turnover of shops along Jalan Radin Bagus is quite high, and now that there are new shop lots opening around the area, more and more businesses are booming in, including a McDonald's and a boat noodle place.


But that's besides the point.


Coffee shop hopping isn't really my forte, but places that are mentioned on Instagram a lot, especially those near where I live, are on my to-try list, and that includes 103 Coffee Workshop. It's located at where the old Ochado and Bear Paw is (I'll miss Bear Paw). If you can spot the 7-11, you'll know where 103 is.


You first encounter a black-painted sliding door upon a little platform foyer, with a little stand sign at the door stating their opening hours.


A counter with a cash register and all the coffee machines greets you when you walk in, along with a small wall table with a few stools to the left, and an array of tables as you walk further in to the shop. Tall ones, normal ones, round ones, long ones, perfect for any party.


Grey cement walls are accented with black painted metal furniture and white wood, and while this doesn't provide decent soundproofing, it's a nice ambiance, especially with the slightly dim yellow lights.


The staff were friendly, professional, and dressed in aprons over casuals. We seated ourselves along the cement bench at a table for two, and were handed paper menus. The menu comprised of mainly Japanese or Japanese-inspired dishes, from appetizers, to finger food, to full-blown meals.

103 Chocolate Mocha - MYR 10
The back of the menu featured the beverages. I chose the recommended 103 Chocolate Mocha, while my sister chose an iced double chocolate mocha. While I appreciated the latte art, it didn't come off as chocolate-y as I expect, and perhaps it's just my sweet tooth, but it was a little undersweetened for my liking.

Tiramisu crepe cake - MYR 12
I had the sister pick a cake from the pastry fridge, and we ended up sharing a tiramisu crepe cake. The crepe itself a little stiff and thick, but otherwise delicious - light yet creamy enough to be indulgent, but not icky.


All the while, I considered this a place good for not group gatherings or a general coffee shop, but a good place for work, quiet conversations, and inspiration. The music in the background is soothing yet upbeat enough to keep on motivated, though I did notice a little lack of power points.


I realized that there was a bit of chocolate at the bottom of the cup, so perhaps it was just me who didn't stir the beverage beforehand, but for me, a good mocha has a delicious chocolate flavor which compliments the aroma of coffee beautifully. It shouldn't be overly sweet, but strong enough to detect notes of the chocolate throughout the entire cup.


All in all, a place I would go to if I were looking for some alone time and coffee to go with my work, though I could do the same at Starlight. =P


All prices subject to 5% service charge. WiFi password: 103coffee


Location - 9 / 10
Atmosphere - 8 / 10 (could use some soundproofing)
Food/beverage quality - 6.5 / 10
Price - 6.5 / 10
Service - 7.5 / 10


103 COFFEE WORKSHOP
No. 103, Jalan Radin Bagus,
Seri Petaling,
57000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel.: +603-9054 5512
Opening hours: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Behind curtains that you never ponder

There are those times in life when you hear about the things you never knew about yourself from others, and often times, the things that I hear are not good ones.


Granted, I've never been a perfect daughter, and I don't think I ever will - active passive-aggressive rebellion is ever present among the many times that I give in to a very suggestive guilt-trip session.


For some peculiar reason, I'm the only one who's cited as the bad example. The reasons are apparent: I'm tattooed (and I plan to get more), I have several unconventional piercings, I swear, I like going out for catch-up/coffee sessions especially at night, I used to openly smoke, I have a not-so-clean relationship history, and I also have a history of self-hate and self-harm.


Other reasons include general ignorance around the house (my bed is a mess, and I seldom help with the housework), my tendency to pick bones with relatives, and my refusal to be the obedient daughter I'm supposed to be.


Like how I confront my sister for giving herself excuses from doing well at school, I'm called out by others for my actions. It's not like I'm failing at school, nor am I on drugs or selling sex - I just don't act like a typical girl who's supposed to be ladylike.


On one hand I try my best to be a martyr, to be the daughter who is boasted about to friends and family; but on the other, I've no more fucks to give, because it's apparent that I won't ever have that special pedestal to be placed upon.


Regardless of how much I try, I'll be the example that everyone uses to tell their daughters not to be - "don't ever turn out to be like her".


I agree - don't ever be as cowardly as I am, to be so afraid to speak up even when you know you're right. Don't be as conforming as I am when you don't feel like it, then cry yourself to sleep because you know you don't have that privilege. Don't keep every emotion to yourself and let the words of others get to you, then allow those negative feelings to eventually consume and distort you in a way that it should never be. Don't ever stop yourself from saying what you feel, at the expense of the principles of others.


I'm not the prettiest flower in the garden, I know that, nor am I the easiest to tend to, but really?


I'm not the only one with ink in the family, neither am I the only who smokes. I prefer to be cooped up in solitude because my communication channels are not in tune with everyone else's, and I prefer to keep my feelings as complete and unhurt as I possibly could, thank you very much.


Others call me ungrateful for saying all this, and perhaps from your perspective, I am the ungrateful child who shouldn't have been born. But here I am, alive and kicking, and I'll continue kicking that door until I get what I want.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Does Mish have an obsession with zombies?

Michelle Phan is starting her Halloween videos, and one of them in particular seems like a recycled idea down to the editing and effects (which most of her videos are - multiple make-up for glasses tutorials, anyone?).


First there was this:




Now there's this:




She's learned a bit more After Effects, but the overuse of the grr-face-in-the-dark clip, and the bad jokes...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Human nature? Or just a freak of nature?

There are those girls who remember every single special day of a relationship off-hand - first date, first present, the day they first met each other's parents.


As for me, I remember our anniversary, the day we first met, when we went to certain trips, etc. And not all of them I can remember off-hand. I'm a person who either can't or won't remember, unless I make it a point to.


This particular stubbornness/defect is a problem. Every morning I wake up, my slate is almost clean - I say I think a lot, but it's obsessive thinking, and it's gone the moment I start thinking of something else.


Isn't there just something about me that's just ... normal? "Unique" is just a pretty name for being abnormal. From my personality all the way down to my life experience - my "rebellion" made things far from what's considered normal here.


I used to say I wouldn't give a fuck, and what you see is what you get, defects and all. In other words, I'm sold as an as-is item - take it, or leave it, but it's never so simple.


I guess being in an actual relationship where you hurt when he does changes your perspective on life and everything in it.


Disappointed... as a whole person who just can't seem to get anything right.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Road rant

The size of your car directly correlates to how bully-able you are.


Driving a hatchback which can barely fit 4 people comfortably, pretty much every other car is significantly larger than mine. You could say the Perodua MyVi is a fair equivalent, but they have better height and backseat space.


I would understand if you were tailgating me on the right lane of the highway, because I understand the frustration of putting up with someone driving under the speed limit, or driving even slower than those in the non-speeding lanes.


But to hog both lanes? And switching lanes without so much of a touch of the blinkers or even a glance into the side mirrors? That's just being a bitch. And I'm referring to the dick of an asshole driving a Mercedes CLK from Puchong to Bukit Jalil.


First, swerving from one lane to the other, and wasn't happy when I finally overtook his ass going at 50km/h. Then almost crushing me by thinking I was going to follow the stream of cars up into Bandar Kinrara.


Your way of driving is not matching up to the status of your car. Or perhaps you're just one of those rich bitches who have been permanently blinded to basic things like societal consideration.


And those who insist on going at a snail's pace in front of you, but proceeds to tailgate you and threaten collision when you overtake them. Take a chill pill. You've been driving longer than I have but have to patience for Klang Valley traffic?


Also, to the probational drivers, I know you're new, but please make an effort to drive safely, and park properly. Always straighten your tires before you leave your car, and your doors shouldn't be able to open all the way with extra space from the car next to you - it should open so that you can comfortably get out of the car.


AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, USE YOUR BLINKERS!


Oh, and people like you a lot more when you drive with morals. Everyone hates an asshole on the road.

Monday, September 22, 2014

To Taylor's University, and Taylorians

The parking problem among Taylor's campuses have been prevalent for the past few years due to the increasing demand for quality education that is significantly overpriced. Parents are willing to pay for a better chance for their children.


However, things are getting out of hand. A few weeks ago, one of lecturers tried to justify that the problem was caused by an unexpected increase in enrollment to the university, and the management had not anticipated so many students to be part of Taylor's.


I think the actual phrase was:

We have reached our goal for 2018 four years earlier.

If they think that this is enough of a logical explanation to pacify us - think again.


The overpopulation here is just ridiculous - freshmen are starting to take refuge as stairwells as there aren't sufficient tables and chairs around campus to accommodate them. Empty classrooms are also becoming sparser given the increase in students.


As if the overpopulation in campus is not bad enough, the parking system is constantly being cut - there used to be three floors open in the basement for parking, but now they've sliced it up to two floors, I think, for make space for the parking reservations.


Arriving on campus at 8am in 2011 could still score you a space just a row or two beyond the first tower - now it's half way to the last tower.


I would think that building a state-of-the-art campus would have taken into account the growth of students within the institution, regardless of the turnover rate. And even if the growth of population wasn't expected so soon, shouldn't the facilities be built for the next one or two decades?


Also, with all the money being channeled into Taylor's by eager advertisers and parents, they spend it all on aesthetic upgrades - new signage stickers for different departments. While there are more elements that meets the eye when running an educational institution, I think bigger issues should be tackled first.


And to the students themselves, especially the self-entitled freshmen with their nose in the air - lose the attitude. You don't own the place, and neither do we - we share this place, as well as the parking.


It's not a secret that we're facing a really bad shortage of parking spaces, to the point where people would park on slopes, and any parking - regardless of how far - is a miracle in itself. So do everyone and yourself a favor - don't park like an asshole. Your car is precious to you, so is everyone else's car to them.


Leaving enough space for half a car is being a douchebag, and doesn't help the congestion. And no, driving with a probational license doesn't give you the god-given right to park like an inconsiderate dickhead.


It's not about being egoistic, complaining about one of the most renowned campuses in the country, but this is a real issue we're facing here, and since we're all in this together, show some consideration as a fellow Taylorian.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Suck it up, bitch

As time goes by, we are forced to accept that the world isn't as polished as it is in the movies. Every video clip and movie published is edited, with a lot of parts cut out. Every vlog that you see on YouTube is just a very short snippet of the vlogger's life, and should not be used as a reference to real life.


We only hear dialogues about how people juggle a few jobs at a time, or juggle classes with homework and a tedious job. It's never really portrayed in the open how stressful and sometimes depressing it is to be in the real world.


Even one of the more gritty waitresses in movies get whisked away to a life of luxury, or other aspects of their lives are given the main focus.


Which is why many of us, especially those who have never really been faced with ultimatums, have unrealistic expectations about tertiary education and getting full time jobs.


Semester after semester, we're faced with almost impossible amounts of assignments, but most of these are workable as long as you manage your time well. Each assignment requires a significant amount of research and critical thinking, so if you manage your time accordingly, things will be a breeze.


The tripping stone comes on, however, when a lecturer assumes that since we all are in our last year of university, that he/she can bestow unrealistic expectations upon us. In other words, they think that they're module and assignments are the only ones we have for the entire semester.


Having been through an internship with a company who does their own events, and with one executive handling pretty much everything within that event, I've pretty much come to the realization that these shitty conditions were being put through are real life representatives of what we're up against when we enter the workforce.


Your superiors and bosses will expect you to handle your own time and get thing done, no matter how unreasonable the tasks are. They don't care about how tired you are or how many other deadlines you have to meet - they want it done, and they want it done fast. And they expect you to do all of this with a smile on your face.


As much as I'd like to go on complaining about shitty lecturers who don't teach what they should, we've all to face the fact that we're on our own - no one owes us anything in the real world (of course, unless you're paying about MYR3,000 per semester to be actually taught stuff).


From primary school to high school, my mum focused on having us study and understand the syllabus, rather than have us just wait for the lazy-ass teacher to get off their lazy asses and actually teach and not just hand out notes.


Last semester, we had to come up with our own event, while being led by someone who was always M.I.A and did things on her own without notifying the entire committee. It was hard work for those who actually had to get the event up and running, while cleaning up the messes that came up.


Fortunately, we had help - the event was a partial success, our event objectives not met, and a handful of mishaps during the event day itself that led us stranded with a room full of leftover freebies by sponsors.


We were our own clients, we could change the gameplay whenever we wanted to. However, now we're faced up with an actual client - a potential mogul in the entertainment industry, having their hands in several cookie jars.


The challenge is real, and as much as I want to roll around the floor screaming for them to stop, I can't - this is probably gonna be what we're gonna be up against for the rest of our lives.


It's at this point that I ask myself why I chose to major in Event Management in the first place. On the surface, it seems like a breeze - just gather up a bunch of people to meet the client's needs within the budget, and you get to strut around admiring the masterpiece that you put together.


Job-hunting is something entirely different altogether - we were provided with a list of companies to approach for our internship, but after that we're on our own. Sure, I could go back to that company since I pretty much already know the system, but I thought I'd try my hand at a writing/journalist job...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's more than just cuddles and kisses

Back in 2008, practically the only channel I was on happened to be hitz.tv, which is the Malaysian equivalent of MTV, and at that time it featured different genres of music during different times, and had an SMS chat service which I spent a lot of money on (50sen per text).


Occasionally, there would be these few tracks which weren't as popular as the others, and these were the ones I usually clung to (that thing about trying not to be a cardboard cutout and all that shit). And among these was Daniel Bedingfield's If You're Not the One.


I seemed to be the only one who knew about the existence of this song, and among all the J-rock that filled my MP4 player, I turned to this particular track. The lyrics were meaningful, and the song itself was relaxing, especially after so much rock and metal music.


That period of time was short-lived, as other tracks and genres replaced it - Shayne Ward, more J-rock and metal, K-pop, C-pop, American pop.


Fast forward to just a few months ago, I realized my boyfriend loved this song too, and it kinda became "our song".


None of my previous relationships had dedicated songs, like one in particular that brought us even closer together. I shared the same Japanese music taste with one, and the other one opened my eyes to the world of techno and hardstyle.


This one... was like a spark.


Like it was destined that we would meet, and share something so strong.


There was also a sign that was given to me a few years ago, in the form of a really strange dream. All my dreams are never normal (which kind of reflects my logic in general), but this one really scared me but made me happy at the same time.


I had this dream of being in the bathroom in his house, and I remembered feeling a really close connection between me and the other male figure in the dream (I seldom see faces of strangers in dreams). And when it happened in real life, it freaked the fuck out of me. Every reaction I had, every decision I made to try to break the deja vu chain ended up making the whole part of the dream reenacted, from me shifting my focus from the floor to the door, up to his reaction to my reactions.


Things weren't great at first. I wouldn't delve deep into the details, but things slowly got better. Our arguments were sparse, but intensely fierce when they happened. Confrontations, drama because of third-party opinions... It's safe to say we've been through a lot (for a couple our age).


However, he's been the most amazing gift that was bestowed upon me.


LITERALLY.


(Perhaps excluding my car, but that was thanks to dad).


Of all the other girls that fit his prior expectations of the perfect girlfriend, he chose me - almost the complete opposite, to be honest... Flabby curves, the vocabulary of a sailor, and a liking for cigarettes and alcohol, and almost absolutely no regard for many things. I wasn't the demure, quiet girl who never talked back (neither am I now, actually), and I end up doing a lot of stupid things due to the lack of logical thinking and general klutziness.


But somehow, through all the obstacles we've been through, we end up appreciating each other more.


He is the first one to ask me to be his girlfriend without the aid of a messaging app.


He is the first one who brought be out for a trip that wasn't to just a mall.


He is the first to bring me home without having to have me sneak in and out of the house and hide from his family.


He is the first to snap and flip the shit out the moment I started to berate my body image.


He is the first to call me his precious gem, and the first to make me face my fears.


He is the first to give me a complete, 100% sense of security.


He is the first one to buy me a bouquet of flowers complete with white roses and a filling of mimosa.


He is the one who never let's me call myself fat if I don't want to exercise and do something about my weight.


He is the one who spends more than he has just to give me irreplaceable memories and experiences.


And the only one who pays more attention to me than I do to myself.


Most of the time, it was the difference in expectations that fucked up my other relationships. I was willing to give 100% of my attention, and I expected the same. Unfortunately, not all people are as clingy as me.


In other words, he's the guy I've always fantasized about - sweet, sensitive, manly, and loves me pretty much more than anything. Oh, yeah, and the only one who would slime me back when I slime him (a.k.a lick him from jaw to forehead). As well as the only one who would actively make me face my inner demons, and finally help me come to terms with my warped body image.


Just the other day, we were just sitting around spending time together, when he started to play some songs on Youtube and we ended up singing along with them.


Then it hit me like a truck - at the start of the relationship, I was less than a girlfriend, because I was still poring over some douches who let me down. I even went as far as to tell him that I was just "trying him out". And crying over ex-flings with the only guy who confessed to you face-to-face isn't being too much of a sensitive girlfriend - it's being a bitch.


And the arguments were the turning points for me - did I want to win the argument, or did I want to keep the man of my dreams? I find that I fail as a girlfriend for not completely understanding my own future husband, but it's better for the relationship that I finally know his standpoint on different topics.


And what hit me like a truck was that even when I've done so many shitty things to him, he still wants me. And while talk about marriage is commonplace, he's the only one who still talks with me about our future together in detail (the last and only other one merely said that I'd be his wife and last girlfriend, and we know how that went).


And there, everyone, is when I started crying like a bitch. Never in my life that I thought that any of my dreams would come true, in the form of the near-perfect boyfriend/future husband, who cherishes me more than I deserve to be. The only guy who strives for me to become a better version of myself, and strives to give me everything he can.


It might be nothing to some, and even normal for others, but given all my relationship failures, I'd already given up hope on relationships as a whole, which is why it's all the more precious.


Fights, arguments, clashes in opinion will happen - very seldom do two people have the exact same personalities and opinions, but I know where my priorities are now. I can lose the argument, and possibly feel a little bit frustrated after that, but a short moment of frustration before a moment of reconciliation is peanuts compared to losing him completely.


My mum gave me this golden nugget of advice when I broke up in 2011, and told me the story of how she and my dad actually got married. In essence, what she told me was que sera, sera, and if it's destined that they are for you, they will come back to you even if they leave.


I think even if destiny hadn't written for him to be a part of my life, he forced his place there by doing so many things for me. From being there for me since the day I met him, to the one who would just spend time with me forehead to forehead, hands intertwined, soaking up the fact that I'm the luckiest girl on earth to have someone so unique, and so beautiful.


There's still a lot we have to work through, such as my insistence to still correct his English sometimes, and his insistence that I let him buy me gifts.


But other than that, I dream to see him chasing kids around, and somehow I can see him with a sleeping baby on his lap while playing DotA 2. Then having dinner together, falling asleep together, waking up beside each other...


Most of my family keeps telling me I could do better... The thing is, he's already everything I could ever ask for in a partner, so there is no "better". And rest assured that he'll be a really big part of me for a really, really long time.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life without my phone

This is the perfect example of modern technology ruining lives. LOL


Just recently, my Galaxy Note crashed due to software problems. According to my SO, it's because of an overload of third-party content, i.e. I've been downloading too much stuff that aren't apps. This happened the day after I found out that I could play Clash of Clans using campus Wi-Fi.


The only solution was to reset it to factory settings, but I have a ton of photos and videos in there from vacations and trips that I didn't get to transfer out yet, so I passed the device to someone who could help me attempt to extract the data.


So naturally, I'm without my usual phone. Am currently using a Galaxy Ace (loyal Samsung user kthxbye) which only has WhatsApp, Between, and Facebook Messenger.


It is this point in life that I realize how much my phone is a central to my day-to-day activities.


In other words, my phone used to be my social media machine, and the retainer of my sanity.


While it's a bit refreshing that I'm not tied down with obsessing over how many likes my Instagram posts are getting, it gets a little difficult when I actually wanna do stuff.


I'm so used to the size of my Note that using the Ace is physical and OCD torture. The entire Ace device is the equivalent to less than the screen of the Note. Texting is pretty much hell.


Lesson learned: ALWAYS back up your data.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Of metaphorical swamps and bad decisions

The first thing most people tell me when I recount to them my experiences in life is that I'm stupid. Well, thank you very much for implying that I'm so stupid that I didn't even realize that I made stupid decisions in my life before.


As per beauty, stupidity is also subject to individual interpretation - different people may perceive different things as beautiful, or in this case - stupid.


I, for one, find spending a ton of money on a dye job that last for a total of 3 days stupid. Others may find that my tattoos were stupid decisions. Are we on the same page now? Good.


Unfortunately for me, most of my decisions are universally perceived as completely, bat-shit insane stupid, if that's a good enough description for the level of daftness that we're dealing with here. And for some of them, I agree heavy-wholeheartedly.


For the most part, my decisions are mostly based on my gut feeling, and from what I observed from other similar situations. The hormones that control my gut feeling are usually estrogen, testosterone, and above all - adrenaline.


In most cases, once I have an adrenaline rush, you can pretty much trust me to throw most of my logical thinking out the window and perhaps into outer space in a droid or something for a couple of hours.


There are also cases where I actually put in a few months worth of thought and research before making a decision, and when I decide to do it, I get reprimanded for doing things without contemplation. My dear, should I vocalize my thought process and decision-making process, or whatever mechanics that go through my jumble of a brain, all you will here is a massive ball of unintelligible gibberish, seasoned with a few short sentences here and there.


While I defend my sanity, I also must own up for it - I've never been the brightest person alive. I'm used to letting other people take the reins; and a light dash of social anxiety doesn't make me adventurous enough to wander out on my own (even if I had that freedom) to take on spontaneous decision-making that is deemed smart.


There are a million things that I wished I decided against.


I wished I were more active in sports when I was a kid (I loved playgrounds and theme parks, though).


I wished I was more daring to make the first move on first days of school.


I wished I never really just slacked during most of my primary and high school education.


I wished I never took relationships with certain people to that certain level.


I wished I kicked against the walls harder than I did.


I wished I went to sleep earlier instead of starting to write this blog post on impulse, because then I'll have about only 2 hours of sleep to about 4 hours of class within a total of 8 hours of campus. And those are just approximate figures, mind you.


See? Adrenaline rushes. Always works.


I'm not alone in this matter of regretting about a good half of the decisions I made in life. Regret, disappointment toward myself, shame, and frustration are frequent emotions whenever I'm stuck in this kind of thought/emotional vortex.


Regret, because of obvious reasons. Disappointment that I let myself make such decisions. Shame, because of the implication of my decisions. And frustration, because I can't lie that I didn't know what would happen should I proceed with my decision - I knew exactly what would happen, but I went ahead anyway with some sort of self-conjured cloud about my head.


But then again, it would be even more stupid to wallow in these murky waters for too long. I mean I'm a klutz - I'd lose my footing or just by sheer absentmindedness as to the structure of my ankle bones might have me drenched in this swamp of negative emotions.


What happens when you fall in a swamp is that you get back out of that infectious swamp, and wash everything that fell in - your clothes, your hair, your body. Pop out that antibacterial, fragrance-heavy body wash, and lather well with a bath sponge (loofahs are the bomb). Remember to get under every nail.


To prevent myself from ever going near the swamp again is gonna be a slight challenge - all it takes is a little distraction for a mental detour. Let's just be a little more careful not to drop in like a total idiot again...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My current story with Maxis & DiGi

Update: DiGi did call me to inform me about my request being rejected, and the reason for it being an error with my IC number. And calls after 6pm for services mean hardworking staff, from my perspective.


My first hand phone and mobile number were both hand-me-downs from my older sister - a Nokia 2100 (for which I purchased several different covers for), and an old Hotlink number.


I switched that number to DiGi in 2009 because of ... reasons (I got a boyfriend and since we both were using basic candybar phones, we had to actually text instead of WhatsApp, etc, which costed significantly more because we used different service providers).


I purchased another number in about 2011 at the Maxis Centre in The Gardens Mall, because I was in another relationship, and the same situation applies. Little did I know that my address was wrongly registered into Hotlink's system FOR THREE WHOLE YEARS.


A few months ago, I approached Paradigm Mall's DiGi Centre to submit an MNP request, which meant that I applied to have my service provider for my current number switched. I paid MYR10, and after months, there was no effect. That was when I requested to switch to DiGi Prepaid.


This time, I submitted another request to a DiGi Centre at The Mines Shopping Fair, and instead of Prepaid, I opted for the Postpaid 50 Smart Plan - 2GB data allowance, and a number of SMS and calls DiGi-to-DiGi for free, for MYR50 a month; reason being it would finally put an end to my survival on Wi-Fi, and it's easier when I have to call people (most people I know use DiGi, even my mum has switched to using DiGi).


I also asked the distracted young staff behind the counter how long it would take, and she told me it would take about 24 hours.


24 hours came and went. Knowing how Malaysian companies work, I gave it a week, since I also looked up some FAQ on DiGi's website and it was stated there that it could take up to 7 days to submit the request.


A week also came and went, and I finally picked up enough guts to call the DiGi helpline (I'm socially anxious that way LOL). I was put on hold for about 10 minutes, and after a few confirmation and verification procedures, I was told that my request was rejected, and the cause may be due to a wrong input of my IC number format by Maxis, and I had to call to confirm.


Called Maxis, was almost immediately connected, and after another few rounds of confirmations and verification procedures, I was told that my address is wrong, and to update it, I had to call Hotlink.


And call Hotlink I did, and I was attended to by a service staff who didn't bother separating his words. He sounded like,
"Alright,miss,letmereconfirmyournumbertobe012xxxxxxxandthepurposeofyourcalltodayistoupdateyourhouseaddress?CanIputyouonholdwhileIcheckourdatabaseandservice?Thankyou."


A brief while later, I was told that I had to proceed to a Maxis Centre to get this done. While I don't mind physically going out to get things done, why are there so few Maxis Centres in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. The nearest one in KL is in The Gardens, and the most convenient one in Selangor is in Sunway Pyramid.


Firstly... How is it possible that the system has different IC number formats? The staff at DiGi told me it might be the presence or absence of dashes in between the different sections of the number. I thought there was a standard in format for IC number registration? At least there should be.


And Maxis, addresses are registered in reference to my IC, which is printed in sans serif block letters. And even if I were to write down my house number, "97" is no where near "83". Kudos to you on how you managed to fuck that up.


Also, I think it would be a good idea to have some sort of notification system should the request be rejected? Like through an alternate number, or via email. Would be much better than feeling significantly frustrated and nervous about having to call the helpline (again, I apologize for being a wuss).


So much trouble... just for one number.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Legal cigarettes vs. illegal cigarettes

To be honest, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. I'm a person to usually go with the more widespread brands for any product, and any brand of product which has a less familiar packaging would not be my purchasing choice.


However, cigarettes are still cigarettes. You can argue that the increased amounts of chemicals, or presence of illegal substances in some brands increases the danger of smoking. I'm not in the health industry, neither am I interested in the manufacture of cigarettes, so I can neither refute nor confirm the argument presented. Even when there has been official reports on national newspapers about this matter, I still think it's incredulous. Again, not an expert.


My two cents is that they're cigarettes anyway. Personally, I like how smoking gudang garam seems more exciting than normal cigarettes. I prefer white filters over orange filter because they look more expensive and less samseng to me. Oh, and I dig, Dunhill over Marlboro - both ice.


Not trying to be sarcastic, but I could also argue that slim cigarettes are safer in a sense that you get the mental satisfaction of smoking one cigarette, but it's quantity of tobacco and thus chemicals is less than the conventional cigarette, making it a "healthier" smoking alternative.


Also, I could argue that light and menthol cigarettes are less hazardous than conventional cigarettes because they contain less chemicals for a lighter smoking experience and more menthol in place of other chemicals respectively.


With that said, I am no expert - I smoked for about a year and a half, switching from Marlboro Ice, to Pall Mall Mint, back to Marlboro, then switching to Dunhill when I tried and preferred the taste versus Marlboro, as well as Mevius, League Green, gudang garam, and Winston (which I detest) occasionally.


There are reasons why the government chose to make tobacco manufacturers put disgusting images of deformities on cigarette boxes - because they are dangerous and harmful nonetheless (though I still prefer Dunhill).


Just as a disclaimer, I am not encouraging smoking. I used to smoke, and now occasionally take puffs, but I'm not glamorizing it as a cool thing to do, or even close to healthy, for that matter.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Shallow

I'm starting to realize that I'm living in an actual nightmare.


In what way? you may ask. Granted I have more luxuries and exposures to cultures than a lot of other people have, but what if I told you that's all for naught?


Every single day I'm reminded - regardless of how good I'm feeling about myself on that particular day - that I can't be better than a bimbo of a hot girl standing next to me in butt-cheek-revealing hot pants and her tits falling out of her top.


Sex sells. It really does.


In a lot of ways, what talent you have is useless unless you dress up - not in a good quality pressed shirt with starched collars with professional-looking trousers.


No.


Why would anyone take notice of you - regardless of your skills and talents - unless you dress to impress? In the most subtly revealing piece of clothing that you have?


Day after day after day, I'm reminded that skinny is indeed better. Don't care if you're born with this body, skinny is better.


Oh, you're born with wide hips? Too bad you're a little on the chunky side...


No. The harsh reality is that even when people say all shapes are beautiful, confront them with someone who isn't a slender hourglass - everyone will point out something.


"Lose some weight." "I see you have a belly there, I have one too!" "Are your arms muscle or fat?"


Oversensitive? Maybe. Insecure? Absolutely.


Love thyself for thyself is impossible.


"Just ignore what they say, you're beautiful!" they tell me.


I was raised to listen to everyone. I was conditioned to satisfy everyone. I grew up doing everything I can to try to please everyone around me.


For the entirety of my life, what defined me among friends and family was mostly my body.


CNY of 2013 I had an uncle say that I finally lost weight.


"Finally"?


All the comments all throughout my life haven't exactly been puppy licks. Even if I manage to deflect every detonation thrown at me, don't you think they left some sort of indentation?


What with all the girls now... those with actual slender bodies desired by men everywhere, looking in the bathroom mirror and pointing out their "chunky thighs" and "bulging bellies".


Oh, you girls don't know the real struggle.


I've tried flash diets. I've tried anorexia. I've tried long, intense hours at the gym.


But all it takes is one small meal to render all that useless.


It's coming to the point where I feel that being hungry is feeling good. That depriving myself of nature's call feels so good. Perhaps even better than what's being laid on the table.


Having back pains and having every joint and muscle ache beyond comprehension is like an achievement for me ... until I don't see the results.


Yes, I pretty much value myself by how I look. Which, in my book, I'm not even in the book. It's shallow, but welcome to my reality.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Insecurity

One could say that I'm really insecure - I've had people call me brave for always being myself and whatnot, but under the facade that was built to face the world, I pretty much hate myself and every aspect of it.


This stems from the fact that I always needed the approval of people. One time I finally got an A for science after failing the subject for a few years in primary school, and skipped home and waited for my mum to get home, only to be a subject from the typical Asian tough love, or as we typically call it, "泼冷水". It varies from parent to parent, but some of the parents I know often use reverse psychology to encourage their kids to do better.


Unfortunately, reverse psychology didn't work for me. Having to have to deal with sibling rivalry on top of that, I sought every method I could to gain approval and acceptance.


That wasn't so prominent in primary school, because I was still really shy, and all I needed was my best friends at the time, and we shared a passion for Harry Potter.


High school came, and the only other people I recognized were people I wasn't too familiar with from primary school. As with typical high school problems (minus a lot of the exaggerated drama from American TV and movies), making friends was a problem, and a huge pressure to fit in suddenly settled upon my shoulders.


In high school, puberty hits you, and you start to get conscious of how you look. That was the start of my "weight loss" journey. While I discovered amazing Japanese artists and musicians, I made myself listen to Taiwanese and Korean music as well, so I wouldn't be the only one sitting in a corner listening to my friends (at that time) discuss about bands I didn't know about.


In high school, I started to be conscious of a lot of things I wasn't conscious of before - my hair, my skin, how my uniform looked, the hip accessories every other girl had, even down to how they laced their North Star shoes that were typically frowned upon by our disciplinary board.


Something that I have mixed feelings about that I picked up in high school was the range of foul language. People have commended me for being "real" for extensively using foul language, but I've also had the very common dirty looks from some people for using too much, or even a teensy sprinkle of it in daily conversation. But I picked it up anyway, because everyone was saying it, and at that time I thought that if you didn't know them, then you're not part of modern civilization. Aaand I also had a few crushes who were from the non-elite classes, and they were typically delinquents who practically used foul language as an actual conversational language.


I was even more conscious about my body, as well as my language skills. Even though I went through all my education up to primary school in Chinese, my family spoke mainly in English, and my mother's side of the family were pretty much certified grammar Nazis. The fact that we have a ton of English novels at home adds to that.


Perhaps they were saying it jokingly, or they were annoyed, or it was one of their back-handed ways to tell me to just shut up - I was basically told to stop showing off my English (I was among some of the English top scorers in my year). I still continued to write 800-word essays for exam questions that requested only 350 words, and I continued reading novels. Like no way in hell am I going to lower my bar just because it's higher than the average.


For that, I could boastfully ("bitchyly" would be another way to put it) say that I didn't give too many fucks to how people thought about my English skills - it was a skill that I knew would be useful to me, and would put me in a more advantageous position at work.


As for body image... not so much. While my mum would tell me to ignore the taunts I got from my uncles from before I started schooling, and some of my late dad's attempts to keep me from ballooning, the fact that skinny girls saying that they were fat really killed me. At that time, all I could think of was... "if they're fat, then what am I?"


Over the years, I've learned to embrace my actual shape - pear shaped, with really wide hips and as a result, thunder thighs. Plus the fact that I have really broad shoulders. Most times I'd look in the mirror and admire myself from practically every angle possible, until I start noticing the flaws. It's something like how you would notice the details of a picture the longer you look at it. There's a weird dent in between my hips and thighs, extra flesh at the underarm that was caused by wearing the wrong bra in the long-term, how my cheeks were always puffy... All that.


It's sometimes even worse, when I look in the mirror just before a shower, when I've been through a long day and I felt like shit. On the surface, I would put on a mask that pretty much screams "look at me, I'm the hottest girl you'll ever lay eyes on"; inside, I'd look at all the other girls around me... I don't think I need to explain further.


What's helped a lot has been encouragement from my mum and her sisters. I guess women would know women's minds better.


The real turning point - even when I'm still struggling now - is my current boyfriend. He's been really supportive, and undeniably honest. No sugarcoating. He'd point out my flaws if I raise the topic, or when what I wear isn't flattering, and he'd say he loved me anyway.


He isn't telling me I'm ugly and flawed, but what's important is beyond all the unsightly bulges and jiggly parts that I hate. Love? I'd like to think of it as his own way of telling me to love everything regardless.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Suffocation

She emerged from the water gasping, her clothes drenched. She vaguely heard someone calling her name above the fury that someone had intervened.


The smell of rust spiked the air and violated her taste buds. That person gripped her wrist hard, making the blood gush everywhere. Drops of them stained the side of the tub, the floor, and stood stark against the fresh white towels.


Soon there was a strip of cloth around her wrist just below the cut that exposed her bones. The ringing in her ears drowned out the words spoken to her, but all she felt now was distraught as darkness started to consume her vision as the person beside her cradled her to him.


She awoke to the beeping of a machine. She heard that before, from movies, and television programs.


The afternoon light hurt her eyes, and she felt alien objects all around her body, connecting her to the jumble of machinery that surrounded her. Her fingers touched something obnoxiously cold, then warm fingers. Her palm was pressed against a stubbly face.


She made out his figure, then slowly, his features. Light shone from his grief-darkened face, and watched as his lips said her name. He was so scared, he said, he thought he lost her.


He said again and again that he was sorry, that he didn't mean to, that he had no choice.


She chuckled at him. There's always a choice. She had a choice, but she chose him nonetheless. What he chose, however, was something she would never understand, just like how everyone else would never understand her.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Asian parenting and Western ideals of freedom shouldn't mix

Before you dive into a deep hole of criticism about my logic, hear me out. My perception, knowledge, and direction of approach may differ from others.


In my perception, the bottom line of Asian parenting is teaching your child to be obedient, loyal and responsible - the words of your elders are ultimate, be responsible and loyal to your family who raised you, be responsible at your job and make lots of money, and basically please everyone, and let everyone else walk all over you for the entirety of your life, all in the name of peace.


Low-key should be how life should be lived, in many aspects. Humility is a praised trait, and being conservative is expected. Basically, you blend into daily life as smoothly as the flowing water. You should never be proud or boastful, and always adhere to tradition and norms. Violation of which would lead to dishonor.


America isn't called the land of freedom for nothing - Americans fight for and in the very name of freedom. In general, Americans and Europeans emphasize freedom as a basic need and human right. Freedom of speech, action, thought, religion, and everything else, as is the freedom of speaking up for yourself.


Life should be lived with zeal, and they believe in fulfilling their own dreams. Parents who allow their children to continue living with them past the age of 21 are considered spoiling their children. Legal issues involving children demanding things from their parents in the name of freedom are increasingly common, but the ideal of freedom makes its leak to the Eastern parts of the earth anyway.


When you mix these two together, you get very confused children. Imagine you're an Asian kid who spent his childhood meddling in the media of the West - your parents tell you to listen to everyone, get the highest-paying major and career, and start saving up for your future children's future; but every other American movie tells you to follow your dreams, even if your parents disagree with it.


You get what I mean? You were raised with the "never talk back" concept, but you're encouraged to speak up for yourself. It's confusing, and painful.


Of course, you can't have everything. Each person has their own story, and each story isn't like the novels we read - they don't always have happy endings, and the emotions are seldom as aloft as the novels portray them. Perhaps emotions are better understood when they are felt, and descriptions never suffice.


My story is that I was raised with semi-traditional Chinese family values - respect your elders, listen to them, don't talk back, keep your opinions to yourself, the typical conservative aspects. But I exposed myself more to the ideals of the West, of freedom, ambition, and self-righteousness.


And as with every other modern human, I had my share of load juggling - the typical sibling rivalry, the long-term absence of my father as he worked abroad for a better life for us, the pressure of keeping up with my education, and peer pressure. As I grew up, of course, expectations were heightened, and my horizons slowly expanded, in directions that were deemed not too agreeable by traditional Asian standards.


So, you could describe my situation this way: I'm told to listen to everyone, obey everyone, but I found the concept of freedom more exciting. Even when I knew my mother would likely object, I did things anyway.


Another thing about the different ideals... The Asians typically believe in just keeping quiet about things and letting things mellow over time to preserve peace; while Western logic orients around being vocal but civilized whenever there is dissatisfaction or disagreement.


When you combine the two, what you get is a big pot of confusion. Encouraging the voicing of opinions but hacking them down with statements suggesting that they should have just swallowed it isn't really helpful.


Sometimes, things are the way they are for a reason, and they never mixed for a reason. While globalization is a good thing that encourages for wider acceptance of different cultures, some traditions and ideals should remain untouched by others.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tormentum

She held him close. The feeling of his bareback against her naked body was so magnificent. Her fingers and palms traced his lightly chiseled muscles, skimming his chest, abdomen, barely wandering to the crease at the thighs.


He took a puff from his cigarette, feeling her breasts press against his back has he inhaled. Her arms tightened slightly around him as he blew out a cloud of smoke, concealing them in a shroud in the dimly lit room. He felt his skin tingle at every point where her body touched his skin, especially where her cold wedding ring pressed momentarily on his chest, but it was a confusing feeling – a feeling of satisfaction, and detachment.


It’d been a month since they’d seen each other – his work often brought him to places, always for months at a time. He’d been able to come back early this time, but his mind was still lingering in that city of foreign lights and people…


He put out the cigarette with a sigh.


He felt her raise her cheek from his body, her arms tensing slightly, as if sensing something wrong.


He assured her he was just tired from all the work and travelling. She seemed sceptical, but gave him a soft kiss at the base of his neck anyway, and pressed her cheek slightly left to where she had it previously.


She was so blissful he was back that she ignored the nagging feeling that something changed in him. Perhaps he was affected by the culture? Perhaps he was really just tired from the travelling? All that didn’t matter – he was back with her, with an intricate gift from that foreign country, and he’d loved her as passionately as he did.


Somewhere in the corner of the room, his phone lit up. She noticed it too, but he made no movement to reach for it as he usually did. She noted this oddity, but pushed it to the back of her mind.


She whispered his name before a light kiss on his back. She was pregnant with their child, and she exclaimed how blessed she felt, to be finally bestowed this gift of love.


He responded in a way that every married man would when he was about to become a father – he embraced her, muttering words of gratefulness, giving her loving kisses. In his mind was a war of conflicting feelings.


He rose to take the ashtray and his cigarettes out of the room and open the windows a little, and went back to embracing her.


As they lay down to sleep, his arms around her body and his nose in her hair, he told himself she didn’t need to know. She didn’t need to have her heartbroken knowing that he found the woman of his dreams in the foreign land. She didn’t need to know that the text was her asking if he’d told her that he wanted a divorce.
No one needed to know, and life would continue the way it had before he went away.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Articulation VS Context

There are many words that are interchangeable within each language itself, but there are also words that should stay isolated to themselves, because even if they mean the same thing, the context in which the words are used present different meanings. Especially in such a society of scrutiny, one mistake in articulation could provoke a lawsuit.


For example, the word "false" and the word "faux". Faux is the French word that means false. However, these words are seldom interchangeable, as it would be quite offensive to address a prized faux fur coat as a false fur coat. Likewise, you can't fauxly accuse someone of a crime.


Let's bring in another word with a little bit of a heavier meaning. A slut and a whore may seem the same thing, and they are usually used hand-in-hand. However, a whore is someone who actually makes a living from her sexual encounters, while a slut is just a woman with the morals of a man.


Similarly, a transgender individual and an effeminate male are two completely different individuals. Just because of religious or faithful opinions, you can't merge them together.


I've pretty much never had a problem with people within the LGBT community. People are entitled to being comfortable with being themselves. Being brought up in a pretty traditional Chinese family, homosexuality was taboo, and boys who were effeminate would be cruelly made fun of.


One of these boys that I cruelly took part in bullying turned out to be one of my best friends, sharing passions for Japanese culture, cats, and make-up. There are only a few whom I reach out to during my darkest and most confused and afraid of times - he is one of them, though I've come to open up more than I ever have with my current partner.


Social media and university has further opened my eyes to the LGBT community, and I find that it's harder and harder to stomach how so many people are still anti-LGBT, and some go as far as to boycott an incredible talent JUST BECAUSE they act different than everyone else.


We keep telling each other "to each his own", and everyone's different. I find that for the LGBT community, they're their own unique type of different - they're no different than anyone of us, because they too are their own limited edition.


I'm writing this not meaning to offend anyone, but I had someone address my best friend as an "ah gua", which translates into transgender in common Cantonese. All in all, what I'm just trying to say is that some words are best left to be used in their respective contexts. And I'd be really grateful if people pointed out some mistakes that I make myself in this field of vocabulary.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lurve

It's been about 2 years of beating around the bush and engaging with not-so-decent relationships with a handful of different guys. I finally meet one guy who has actually been with me through my emotional catastrophes and loves me for everything that I am, even if my past kills the both of us sometimes.


We're 5 months along and still going strong, if not stronger than ever. But that doesn't mean things have been smooth-sailing for us.


There were issues in between ourselves that we resolved in a somewhat peaceful way. Some scuffles with family members. Emotional breakdowns in between everything. And we still end up cuddling and nuzzling each other.


I finally found someone and learned to appreciate someone who constantly strives to give me only the best, when I reassure him again and again that all I need is his time, love, and attention. I can finally look at someone, past every flaw and blemish, and internally ask myself what I did when to deserve such a perfect person.


You know you love someone when you feel as hurt as they do when you hurt them, and you finally realize the importance of tolerance, honesty, and self-improvement. While many might say change should be for yourself, why not let someone you love be your motivation to change for the better?


#AlanxKellie

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

自卑

再等多三个月十天
我就变成人21岁了


他们说人与人之间
每隔4年才有个代沟
但是怎么觉得好像隔2年也有代沟?


可能是自己的问题
思想的幼稚配不上年龄的成熟


现在的小孩不到凌晨不回家
都不会遭父母的挨骂

现在的小孩13岁开始又烟又酒
父母们都若无其事

现在的小孩化浓妆上课
已经是司空见惯的事情

现在的小孩没有经验过赚钱的辛苦
却花钱如水

现在的小孩书都还没读完就怀孕结婚
已经变成了人之常情的事情


每个人都曾年轻
每个人都有承受过要被认可与接受的压力
但是我18岁才开始熟悉的事情
已经变成了小学生的每天

大学已经占有了我人生里4年了
经验却没有一个19岁的女生多


夜街是偷偷出的
去rave是瞒天过海才去到的
酒吧夜总会是对我陌生的
香烟水烟是刚满20岁才尝试的


不好听是没自由
事实上
是我母亲教得我们好
烟酒出口虽然是自己学回来
但妈总是协助我
看清人生所重要的
学业、口才、基本的生存技巧


重要的
不是去过多少次夜总会
不是去过多少个标价过高的咖啡厅
而是对自己
心灵与良心的满足


来日方长
要经验的话
就一定有机会
但是目前
就是要以学业为重

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Money is the root of modern problems

I've come to realize that my blog is more active when finals are near. Perhaps it's because I'm so insistent to put off studying that I'd find more things to do, hence, I have more things to blog about. And usually, posts like these come out to be a huge jumble of incoherent thoughts.


I got my first job at around 15, but that job was pretty much an administrative/office job at a relative's office, so I didn't have to worry about the resume, the ass-kissing, all that. I always got my salary on time, which - at that time - was like a bonus to me, because it was more money during my school holidays.


My next job was when I just graduated high school, and was waiting for my exam results to be released. Instead of enrolling in a course ahead of time, then risk having to go through all the paper work to change courses because of qualification complications, I found a job at a cafe/restaurant 5 minutes away from home. It was the job that really challenged my patience and tolerance, and it was the (only) job that provided me with the satisfaction that comes at the end of a day of long and tedious work; and the job that showed me that earning money isn't easy.


I'll continue to say that I'm still on a monthly allowance, with gas and toll fees paid for. So to say that I'm financially independent would be blatant lying. I've always had an extra allowance while I worked every job (except for my internship, where I survived on partial charity, meager savings, and a stop on cigarette purchases).


For all the work that was done, and the little earnings I got that went straight into the bank... well, let's say I think for ages before spending on anything, even food.


I went for dinner and coffee at Mont Kiara earlier, and for those who don't know, Mont Kiara could be considered one of the places where the rich people hang out, because ... it's the place where many expatriates live, and all the expensive condos that are bigger than my own double-storey are pretty much there.


After coffee at LewisGene (I'd only commend the ambiance - too expensive for mediocre coffee), we headed back to the parking lot, not forgetting a trip to the loo. Within the tiny, dark-tiled room that they call a washroom, I encountered a group of four girls - dolled up for the night, and by the looks of it, are rich enough to afford regular visits to beauty salons.


Now, I see these girls often enough on campus, and they don't bother me. I was in my tattered denim shorts and a tee, with my hair pulled back into a high ponytail. My fringe isn't long enough, so after a while, hairs will start falling to my face. In other words, I looked like a mess.


When I was done with my business and proceeded to the sink, I felt four pairs of eyes scrutinize me, and I felt sneers and scoffs. I was so self-conscious because I suddenly realized that I didn't fit into this part of society. As much as I want to be rich and recognized, my casual attitude toward dressing up didn't fit.


Well, I'd dare say that all girls want to be pretty - who in the world doesn't want to look their best? Sure, I'd love regular visits to nail parlors, spas, hair salons, and pretty boutiques. I'd love to spend my weekends throwing my money away on food that has been jacked-up 500%. I'd want my appearance to be perfect, and all my photos and check-ins to be at the hip places in town.


But I know how hard it is to earn money. I know how much hard work, frustration, and putting up with bullshit goes into that little bit of money that isn't even enough to pay for daily meals, let alone luxuries. Sure, I could just stick my palm at my mother and ask for money to pay for something that I don't need, but that is just wrong.


A lot of us are too pampered now - we get basically everything we want, because our parents grew up with almost nothing because their parents couldn't afford it, and now they want to give us the life that they never had.


At the drop of a hat, cash is handed over, then spent within seconds, on things that end up vanishing as quickly as it was bought. Few youngsters now are exposed to actually having to work for their money, and thus, the perception on the value of money has vanished.


While I spent most of my childhood and adolescence going through several hand-me-downs, and DIY-ing practically everything; a lot of other girls and guys had brand new items on request. Sure, I'd want that Michael Kors bag as much as you do, but I have a fake Longchamp that works well enough for me.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that too many people are so spoiled that money means nothing to them - it grows on trees for them. I'd have to argue with myself for a week to decide on whether I should get some Starbucks, or heck, even Chatime, but others can pay for a cup of MYR30 coffee just to check-in at the location.


I'm slowly losing faith in humanity...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Deja Vu

This psychological phenomenon is defined as delayed response of your brain to the current situation, hence making you feel like you've seen or experienced the current situation before. However, I grew up defining deja vu as the phenomenon where scenarios in your dreams take place in your reality.


This has happened to me a number of times, but they were mostly scenarios where I was spacing out, or staring at a particular object or person, and usually, my next reaction would be exactly the same in real life as in the dream, up until I tell someone about the deja vu. Though it amazed me, I accepted it as a fact that we humans have some kind of 6th sense, but it doesn't appear as how the movies depict it.


My dreams are seldom "normal", and are pretty much never stable. Sometimes, even the most vivid of dreams would slip away in mere seconds after I wake up from them, no matter how much I replay the scenario in my mind. Those that remain are only snippets of the entire dream, and over 10 years of consciously remembering my dreams, only a few scenarios remain retrievable from my brain.


Just a mere few hours ago, deja vu hit me in a way I never would have imagined would ever happen. It was a dream that happened a few years ago, though I can't remember exactly how many ago. It was that particular part of the dream that stuck with me, and there was this gut feeling that I couldn't explain, but nothing really happened from it... until just now.


In the dream was a very specific layout - toilet bowl beside a sink, and on the edge of that sink lay a two pieces of clothing that resembled undergarments. Just above the sink was a small ledge for products, and a large mirror. On the perpendicular wall hung a jumble of fabrics. A shower was turned on to my right, and I stood on the right of the toilet bowl, facing toward the sink, staring.


I then shifted my sight to the floor - black and white textured tiles, in a particular arrangement the entire floor were black tiles, with the exception of a rectangular strip throughout the bathroom that left another black border at the edge of the entire floor. My line of sight included the door, which was a screen door of frosted glass - closed.


As I continued to stare to the floor, a male voice beside me asked what was wrong. He asked if I was alright. When I didn't respond, he spun me around to face him. That's when I moved away from him to stand at the sink, staring back at him. Meanwhile, he continued to ask what was wrong, and tried to comfort me. I remembered a very large object that sat on the right side corner of the bathroom, to left of my original position, and there was a protruding ledge above that area.


I remember being gripped with some kind of panic, or disbelief at something, because I had my hands over my mouth in ... confusion? That's all I remembered of the dream, and I never summoned the memory, until it hit me like a meteor crash.


It came to me so vividly it scared me, because I remembered feeling a very close relationship between the guy in the dream and me. Each detail, despite trying to defy the dream, was reenacted with my every move, every glance, and every word; and somehow his reactions were exactly the same as well.


My usual deja vus are usually starting at the roots of a tree nearby, or overhearing the same snippet of conversation between two people while spacing out in a public place. Those held me pleasantly surprised, though that faint delight in quickly dismissed by the continuing of life.


The impact is real, because I've never felt as solid with someone in a relationship as I am today. I've never been as determined to make a relationship work as I am now, and the fact that the setting in the dream was in his bathroom convinced me that my own brain predicted that I would be with this amazing guy at one point in my life or other.


For years, I've dreamed of fairy tale romances, pre-told destiny, and the involvement of a superior force other than what man is capable of. My fairy tale romance did come true, and my destiny was indirectly pre-told by my own mind, but it did not arrive as I expected. Despite the meltdowns, the harsh words, and the abuse in between, I've never felt happier. And now that this has resurfaced, I'm reassured - at one point or another, we are meant to be.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Judging

I am, by no means, the most decent of girls.


Desperate to fit in during my high school years made me adopt anything that was common, which included an array of Chinese foul language, which added to my Thesaurus of English foul language. It became, unfortunately, a habit, which still prevails till today. In a way, it's some how people call me "real", because I "don't wear a mask of faux innocence". It's also a flaw that people use against me, to demoralize me since I could be "careless in my articulation".


I take pride in my tattoos and piercings. Regardless of the prejudices that entail both of these most common forms of body modifications, I show them off like I would show off a branded bag or a well-chosen outfit, because there aren't many Asian girls who would be acceptable to tattooes (even if that's slowly changing). The most visible one is my clavicle tattoo, which isn't a typical heart, or star, or some slutty design. It's a quote and philosophy that I'm still learning to incorporate into my mentality. And even if it is some foul language in another language, at least it looks decent. Even so, it's still something people use to judge - if you have tattoos, you must be in a gang, or must be real easy.


While I agree that first impressions play a significant role in a person's attitude towards you, this is just the surface. I can guarantee you that I'm not the most gracious or well-mannered type of people, but I'm seldom a douche with no consideration for others.


I also believe that judging is a part of human nature, no matter how much we preach to others not to judge. But leave the judging of my character to after you've started a conversation with me - judge me after you've known me, not before we've even exchanged greetings.


If you must, judge away - your opinions are none of my concern, but to pressure someone else into conforming with your mentality... makes me lose respect for you.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

BAKING: super-moist chocolate cake

I'm a sucker for chocolate cake and brownies, and I'm too cheapskate to buy those expensive ones which might potentially not use ingredients that I like (e.g. I hate raisins). And the internet is a wonderful place where you can find practically everything!


Chocolate cakes are a little tricky, because if you use cheap chocolate and/or cocoa, the end result could be a little icky. The beauty of this cake that it's dead easy, super deliciously fluffy and moist, and it's pretty when it's cracked on the surface!

The cake will be dark, but oh-so-delicious!
I got the original recipe on Cooks.com from a random Google search, and I didn't believe the recipe at first, then I read the comments and reviews - there wasn't ONE bad experience, and attempts at substitutes were successful in general.


Magic chocolate cake ingredients that I altered (measurements in imperial):

  • 2 cups all-purpose superfine flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (perhaps you could substitute with 1 cup granulated and 1 cup brown)
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup melted salted butter (the original called for 1 tsp of salt and 1 cup of oil, but I excluded that because I already used salted butter here)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • approx. 100g mini chocolate chips dusted with flour

Oven is preheated to 350"F (approx. 180"C), and prepare your pans. I used 3 medium-sized non-stick loaf pans, but any pan should do. Grease and line with baking paper or parchment, leaving two ends longer than the pan itself to make it easier to remove later.


I sifted the powders together first before whisking in the sugar (sifting helps with the soft and fluffy texture), then making a well in the center before adding the wet ingredients. With the aid of a sturdy whisk, mix everything together until just combined.


If you wanted to add anything extra to the batter (i.e. nuts, chocolate chips, etc.), I'd suggest just sprinkling them over the top, because the batter will be thin and other solids you put in will sink to the bottom of the cake.


Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes, checking the cake by inserting a knife/skewer in the center of the cake - there should be no wet batter. To prevent the cake from shrinking, bang the cakes in the pans on a counter-top a few times, then let cool completely before serving.


The result were delicious, fluffy, and moist chocolate cakes (with the melted chocolate chips plastered to the bottoms of the pans) that were awesome at room temperature, but even more awesome when left in the fridge for a few hours or overnight - the texture of the cake becomes harder, giving a decadent melt-in-the-mouth sensation!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rant: English

It's not like we never went for English classes in school. I'm Chinese-educated, but my English didn't suffer, and neither did my Chinese.


From primary school all the way into university, we're taught BASIC GRAMMAR. Past tense. Present tense. Future tense. Nouns. Adjectives. Verbs. All that bullshit. Every single year it's almost the same goddamn thing, and yet somehow, people still manage to mess up.


Not using the language on a daily basis is not an excuse. You read, don't you? You listen to music, don't you? You watch movies, don't you? You can't bloody rely on subtitles and lyric translations for the rest of your life.


It appalls me how so many people can still manage to confuse singular and plural nouns. While I can understand it and accept it in day to day speech, it makes me wanna claw at my scalp when this happens in academic writing and professional presentations.


I mean, really? Don't you take pride in how you present yourself? Even if your pronunciation is off, your grammar plays a big role in giving a good impression. I wouldn't consider someone with bad language as a professional.


For young children, fine. They're still young and learning, they can be corrected and taught. C'mon. You've been alive and in touch with the language for over two decades. For the sake of your own future, please? It's embarrassing and unprofessional.


It doesn't matter how good you are in another language - if you fail in another language, especially in a franca lingua, you fail anyway.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Don't be as stupid as I was

I wouldn't blame my upbringing - my mother brought us up to be self-respectful, self-protecting, and dignified. However, I was always the rebellious one in the family - I would do things, and almost deliberately give myself away for attention.


In other words, I developed into attention whore, since the tender young age of 6 or 7.


Anyone who gave me more than a day's attention was my friend. Any boy who paid even the slightest sliver of attention to me was in love with me. My naivety had me thinking that I made the world revolve around me, which was why growing up and realizing that wasn't the case had be scrambling to have my sense of secure attention back.


With all this scrambling, I lost my sense of self-respect - as long as I was willing, any guy could touch me. And this is the worst mistake I've made in my two decades of existence.


During those moments, you might tell yourself: "I'm still young, so I have my rights to explore". Well, explore away, but as cliche as this might sound - save your body for your future husband.


Drunkenly kissing a stranger never crossed my mind twice. Flirting with a guy who probably just wanted to get laid was commonplace. The surprising thing was that I thought this was something so "glamorous", something so bad-ass that none of my friends did the same.


I learned a lot of lessons the hard way, and most of these times was only when I realized that it was too late. I was so into flirting that I failed to notice all the dead giveaways that told me "all he wants is to hookup!" I kept thinking that if I gave them what they want, they would reciprocate. 


No. They won't. They'll take what you give them, and that's it.


Some may take the time to guilt-trip you into thinking that you deserved it, and you should give more to them. Don't be the fool that I was.


I came to the dead-end, where all I knew was how to please a man in the bedroom. All I knew was to change myself to conform and satisfy everyone. While I've said before that conformity is unavoidable, don't lower yourself to the point that that's all you know how to do. And NEVER let yourself be an object for the men who don't know how to appreciate your affection.


You're young, beautiful, pure - sex is something that you have an entire lifetime more to enjoy. No, you don't have to learn all the tricks of the trade now - when you meet the man who really loves you for who you are, he wouldn't mind if you didn't know how to act like the women in porn movies. The man who truly loves you wants YOU, not the sex.


This isn't to tell you to lock yourself away from a tower - get out to know people, socialize, but draw the line there. No one-night-stand is worth hurting the one you love. No poisonous relationship is worth the damage you would do to your future.


The one who loves you has to accept everything you are, yes; but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Having to deal with your recurring past haunts the both of you, especially when all the "relationships" you had were blurred lines.


Don't feel like you need to be "out there" with guys - find yourself, ignore all the taunts, ignore all the pressure that you feel to get a boyfriend, and just be comfortable with yourself. Spare yourself and your future partner the pain of dealing with a complicated past.


You and your body are priceless - there's no one else out there who's as unique as you are, who's as special as you are. It isn't your fault that others can't appreciate who you are, so move on from them, and ignore their attempts to try to change you. Love you and your body, as you would love the one who would give you everything.


Learn to love. Learn to nurture. Learn to be self-loving, so that the past can never hurt your future.

Friday, May 9, 2014

MAKE-UP: Gothic Seduction

I've been planning to do something over-the-top (for me) for some time now, and a friend requested a dark lip look. So here it is. It's pretty much just dark smokey eyes with dark plum lips.



Note that the photo was heavily edited using a combination of Meitu Pic and PhotoGrid. The colors are pretty much the same, just tinted with a little sepia.


TIP: winged / cat-eye eyeliner really helps in adjusting the shape of your eye shadow.


Potion ingredients:

EYES (shadows refer to the 120 palette available on the right bar)
  • shu uemura Creme Eye Shadow in Beige [applied as eye primer]
  • Artistry shadow in Sand [applied as a wash from lash line up to brow bone]
  • #46 (shimmery pink) [applied lightly on entire lids]
  • #47 (shimmery red) [applied to inner third of lids]
  • #38 (hot pink) [applied liberally to outer corner]
  • #8 (shimmery gunmetal) [applied in a cut crease shape on the outer corners, leaving a bit of pink to show]
  • Artistry shadow in Ash Black [applied over #8 to intensify the color]
  • Maybelline Hyper Sharp Eyeliner [applied in a winged / cat-eye shape]
  • Elianto Ultra-Define Pencil Eyeliner in Twilight Black [upper and lower waterlines]
  • MaxFactor False Lash Effect mascara
  • 1 set of lengthening lashes + 1 set demi lashes [layered for a fuller look]
BROWS (blended with a spoolie brush)
  • #29 (dark pinkish purple) [to tint the entire brow]
  • #30 (deep purple) [to darken]
LIPS
  • Vaseline [to moisten]
  • Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in U250 Cherry Jubilee (deep wine) [applied liberally, blotted, then reapplied for color longevity]
  • Artistry shadow in Ash Black [gently patted on top of lipstick to set, mattify, and darken]
FACE
  • Kate Concealer for Pores [skin primer]
  • Maybelline ClearSmooth Aqua Gel Foundation in 12 Natural [applied in buffing motions with a blush brush]
  • Callas Finishing Touch Loose Powder [applied lightly to set]
  • Artistry shadow in Basic Beige [to contour nose, cheeks, and jawbone]
  • Artistry shadow in Java [to intensify cheek contour]