Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why?

I woke up early this morning only to be greeted by such a frustrating text. I never thought that things could turn out like that, for I always know how understanding and sporting you can be. But then, all of your tormenting words, words of hate, words of doubts start clouding over me. Why oh why? Why all of a sudden things are turning ugly when the last thing I wanted to do is to be happy? I used to make mistakes, but that's just the way it is: to err is human. I know I used to be at fault, and now I'm learning to atone for it. I've learned that I should appreciate what I have for we don't miss the water until it's gone. I've no intention of hurting anybody. You can say what you want to say about me. If you're doubtful of me, what else can I do? Even if I explain things and tell you the truth, will things ever be the same anymore? I guess all my efforts to make things right seem futile.. because in the end, I'll always get the blame for everything.

I'm not mad, I don't even lash out my temper. I'm just upset. I'm even surprised that such matter would have arisen again when I least expected it. I'm not afraid. And why, you may ask? Because I know that I'm right. Oh yes, damn right I do! Save yourself the trouble and start focusing on what lies ahead. Do not fret over something that is so not true; you're only wasting your time. There's only one way to make room for new life: you've got to let go of the old stuff that's holding you back from getting there. No harm. No foul. No more crapping out. It's time. I'm ready to move on. But the question now is: are you?

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Girl Thing

Oh no! It's now back after a few months of absence (I should've felt relieved, right? lol). And the pain is so indescribably excruciating. Everytime 'that' time of the month comes, I'll be facing abdominal pain, backaches, constant bloatedness, and a series of bad moods, and maybe tantrums, too. Sometimes it's bearable, sometimes it's just too much I just can't stand it. I hate the rotten feeling of trying to get on with normal everyday life when I have period pain. All I really wanna do is crawl into bed, lie comfortably under my duvet, with hot water bottle nestling humbly on my tummy and me sipping warm water to ease the pain, and wait for it to pass but reluctantly I still have to go out and face the world.. right?

Trust me,
it can be worse for certain women. A friend of mine doesn't even have the energy to leave her bed. Another even faints sometimes. Maybe due to blood loss. Ha-ha. Another gets emotional easily and sensitive unnecessarily. It depends, really.

Well, we’re always told that it’s just a part of being a girl and that we should just put up with it. So what can we actually do? One good tip I got from Mom is to avoid cold drinks and drink plenty of warm water. This works wonderfully! Personally, I'd suggest women not to go for menstrual pills for God-knows what effects it could bring to our health. Apart from these, I did a lil research and discovered that there are some very simple ways to help ease period pains:


A QUESTION OF HEALTH: THE LOWDOWN - Six ways to ease period pains (Kavalier, 2005)

Get the right painkiller

Ibuprofen is good, because as well as killing pain, it is an anti- inflammatory which works by decreasing the levels of prostaglandins, which cause the contractions that are often the reason for painful periods.



Take vitamin E
Doctors in Iran found that teenage girls who were given vitamin E daily experienced less severe pain.



Go on the Pill
The Pill can ease period pains by preventing ovulation. Without ovulation, the lining of the uterus remains thin and levels of prostaglandins are lower.



Take exercise
Exercising during your period increases blood flow to the uterus and helps loosen the muscles in your abdomen, thighs and back. It also causes you to release endorphins, the body's natural painkiller.



Get warm
Warmth relaxes muscles, so you may get relief from a hot-water bottle or a bath.



Change your diet
Essential fatty acids, vitamin B6 and magnesium have all been shown to reduce period pain. Eat nuts, pulses, oily fish and whole grains. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and animal proteins.


And of course, if all else fails, feel free to consult your doctor immediately. Do not suffer in silence.

p/s: All you guys out there, this is the time for you to show your love to your gfs and wives by pampering us with massages and breakfast in bed okay.. lol

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Typealyzer

One word: cool! I stumbled across this website, Typealyzer during my usual browsing activity not long ago, a "test site as part of a hobby research project about mind patterns, interests and human motivations". It will analyse the content of your blog and determine the personality of the blog, as well as the parts of brain that were dominant during writing. The results may vary from time to time depending on the contents of the blogs. Quoting their disclaimer: Writing style on a blog may have little or nothing to do with a person´s self-perceived personality. For more info on it, feel free to visit the About section.

These are my results:

The mechanic in me.. ha-ha! If there is one thing I suck at, it will be fixing things.. lol!

Guess I'm a lil bit of everything then! lol

But oh, it is in Beta version and only capable of analyzing blogs written in English. So if you are writing in Malay or other languages, it might not be able to generate your results.. just FYI. Try it, it's kinda fun actually =)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Books for the Soul

"Teacher!! How can you read books so thick leh?"

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

One thing about me when I'm reading novels is: once I start, it's almost impossible to stop, regardless of its thickness. Some people would ask me what's so intriguing about reading fictions, things that aren't even real? To me, it's beyond what we believe in. If we're afraid to explore the impossibilities, then we're missing a great deal of the good things in life. Life isn't only the one that revolves around us, reading aids us to enter another world, with other sets of people and behaviours, in places we've never been to. Now, now, isn't that thrilling enough?

The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
~ Dr. Seuss ~

Reading transports us to a different reality. And everytime you read different books, you become a part of something new, something that somehow we could not experience in real life. I think that gives me more than enough reason to envelop myself in pages of books from the stress of the actual life I'm living in; what more with the daily feed of piles of work and more work. Reading is boring, reading is this and that.. say anything you want.. after all, at least I have something to look forward to everytime I come home, haven't I? And not to mention, it's the best way to kill time as well as to nurse insomniacs at night when they have nothing better to do. (lol!)


Books I've read since March:

Christopher Pike - The Eternal Enemy
It's an old book I bought at the flea market in Amcorp Mall during the hols. This book reminds me of my younger years when I was an avid collector of Pike's novels. Heh. Anyway, it begins with the discovery of a video player who shows the following day's news by a girl named Rela, who uses this privilege to save other people until she finds herself in it, brutally murdered and mutilated. Gradually, she learns about the real story behind her existence; that she's a cyborg who has travelled across time to kill the person who invented 'things' like her that rule and destroy all humanity in 50 years time. It's a lil bit out of the world but I must say that it's quite interesting, only that it's more suitable for teenagers rather than the old me. Tee-hee.

Sidney Sheldon - Are You Afraid of the Dark?
I expect more from this master novelist who writes good plots and witty lines, and explores interesting themes but this book can be considered pleasant and easy read. The themes greed and selfishness are the centre of this story. They are men's worst enemies. Due to the hunger for power and money, a man, Tanner is willing to manipulate and even kill his own brother to take over the think tank company that carries out research to make world a better place. He uses this advantage to develop a machine that could control weather and plans to threaten countries for money. Two inexperienced and helpless women whose husbands are the victims of this merciless man attempt to uncover the truth and almost get killed in the end. It's almost impossible to decide who to trust, because everyone seems to be working for the beast, only to know that there are TWO people working together in this, in which one is the person they thought could help them. Wow, talk about a total betrayal. Yes, the book is not that great, but it certainly holds my interest and keeps me reading until the very end. lol

Esteban Martin & Andreu Carranza - The Gaudi Key
This novel is one hell of a book I tell you. It's quite technical and the language used is kinda complicated. But if you could just ignore these two aspects, you will find that it has a very interesting storyline. Generally, it tells us the story of two secret organizations; good and bad, that originated in the early 19th century in which the former protects what they believe to be the stone Christ used to touch with his own bare hands to build a church of the poor, while the latter tries to destroy it. This stone is important to guide Christ's second coming to man's salvation. Many people are killed along the way for the latter, Corbel, has the power, money and influence to do so, but in the end, it was all worth it. Some strong believers might find this a piece of nonsensical work but it's a fiction after all. Very suspenseful and thrilling. It somehow reminds of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, only that TDVC is better ha-ha.

Cecelia Ahern - The Gift
I've always like her work and although I can't deny that PS I Love You and Where Rainbows End are my favourites, her latest book seems as good. It made me cry in the end, isn't that something? LOL Anyway, it tells a story about an ambitious man named Lou who seems to have everything in life, except that he does not appreciate it just because he's too oblivious to the real gift in his life; his family. This goes on and on until he meets a strange man named Gabe who has changed the way he sees the world, only to find that it's a little bit too late; he dies in a car crash. Gabe, an unknown man by nature, gives him the gift of time during his last hours to amend his mistakes towards his family, and that has made all the difference. Yes, it IS strange to encounter a pill that can split you into two identical men who can be in two places at once, but it's the story behind it that matters, is it not? After all, how can you be in two places at once? LOL But, it's a real lesson to be learnt: appreciate what you have before you lose it. =) Highly recommended to those who're into mushy novels!

Janice YK Lee - The Piano Teacher
This is one of books that I've read recently. The storyline is a bit confusing as it shifts back and forth between the time when Hong Kong was under Japanese rule during the WW2 and after that. I'm not sure whether the title would be appropriate as the piano teacher, Claire is not the real highlight in the story. Yes, I must admit that she is the centre of all the characters in the story but most of the time it focuses more on other characters' lives and feelings. I don't really feel connected to Claire as I did with 2 other main characters, Will and Trudy. You see, Claire's husband is posted to HK, so as a newlywed, she goes there too, only to find herself stuck in a totally different atmosphere. There, wealthy Chinese tycoons rule the city rather than what it used to be in her home country, England. And surprisingly, she takes up the job to teach piano to the daughter of one of the influenced men in HK at that time, Victor Chen.

She has an affair with Will, who bears a lot of secrets of his own, especially during the war. Trudy was his girlfriend then, who had done a lot to save him in the past until she died in the hands of the cruel Japs. Due to his bitter experience, he does not show much emotion to Claire, unlike her feelings towards him. After all, she does not know her husband very well before they got married. To begin with, there's no love between them. Next, everything falls apart when everyone knows about the affair that she learns things aren't gonna be the same anymore. This book is different compared to those I used to read before. Although it can bore you with those gory details during the war, it does explore the other side of human who are craving for real love even though they know how wrong would it be.

John Twelve Hawks - The Dark River
It's the second book of The Fourth Realm Trilogy and generally, it's about the battle between a Traveller named Gabriel or better known as savior who can help save the world from this secret organization, Brethren who has been monitoring everyone in the world through surveillance cameras, credit cards, retina scanner, thumbprints technology and so on. The scariest part is: you can run, but you can never hide. You are being watched regardless of who you are, where you're from and what you do. Imagine that. The Travellers, who can travel to alternate realities by leaving their bodies, are sought by the Brethren and protected by modern-day warriors called the Harlequins. Too bad Gabriel's own brother, Michael is on the dark side and their long-lost father is in a state of comma. In the pursuit to find his father who travelled and got stuck in one of the realms, Gabriel leaves his body trying to enter the same realm, only ends up being stuck there, too. Maya, one of the Harlequins, tries to save him by entering it through the Ark of Covenant (fiction, fiction). But in the end, Gabriel manages to get away but she's stuck there, barely surviving. We will only know what will happen next in the next book. *sigh*

And.... the current book I'm reading is:

Barbara Taylor Bradford - The Ravenscar Dynasty
I can't really comment on the book mostly because I'm still reading it, lol! Anywaysss, this story is set in the late 19th century and it revolves around one of the successful and wealthiest families in England, the Deravenels clan. Life changes dramatically for the family after the death of four of its members, the hero's father, brother, uncle and cousin. And so far I'm reading up to a point in which there's a foul play with regards to their death, or shall I say, murder? It is believed that this is the work of the insiders who aim for nothing but power and money in the accomplished dynasty. My, my, my.. Who will it be? And what will happen next? Wait till I finish =P

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Roller Coaster Ride

Funny. Today, of all days, is the day when I finally broke down and cried in front of my students. I din know myself how did that happen; it was either I was too angry or I was too frustrated. Or maybe both. Yes, I think it might be both.

Born with a teacher instinct, I can't help myself from pushing my studs to be the best that they can be. I want them to succeed. No teacher would ever want their students to fail; both in exams and in life. I dun expect everyone to adore or worship me in the process; I'm just doing my job. I admit, it's a challenge for me to be given one of the weakest classes at school, but that does not mean they're the worst human on earth. They're teachable. Only if they choose to listen. Just listen. I din know it could be too difficult for this group of students to do even that.

It started off with me discussing the answers to the previous lesson's exercises. I din check their books one by one because I had trusted them. Dammit. I trusted them well! Two students took their books silently with them to the back of the class and started doing the work I'd given last week when they failed to give me the answers to a few questions (because they din do it in the first place!) For God's sake! Ok, ok, I was still under control... until... I found out that the other 9 students who did not complete their work remained quietly and pretended like nothing happened! One student even showed me a book which does not belong to him.. and thought I was foolish enough not to check the name on the book and that he could get away just like that! I started to get pissed off, until I found out another 2 students were copying their friends' books sneakily right in front of my very eyes! And they thought I din see them doing that!

After I started preaching to them about lying to me and all, another 4 students whom I haven't checked their books slowly went to the back of the class and still, pretended like nothing happened. What kind of attitude was that? Did they even care?? I myself wasn't too sure whether they understand me when I nagged at them in English. *sigh* The next thing I knew, I was enveloped with mixed feelings of anger, annoyance, frustration and sadness that I cried.. I just couldn't hold it, the tears kept streaming down my face. It took me a lil while till I was finally able to compose myself and next continued with the lesson. I can assure you that this is not the first time they had ever played stubborn, ignorant and looked completely blank. Maybe just this once I figured that it was a lil too much. Tough day.

I hate to hate my students because that's not what teachers do. Even as an individual, I never hate 'em even if they might think that way. If there is one thing I must hate, that would be hypocrites; those who say one thing, yet do another. They can lie to me. They can lie to everyone else. They can even manipulate or use their friends to keep them away from punishments. But what I regret the most is the fact that they are actually lying to their own selves. And God, of course. That is probably the worst thing one could ever do in life. But I've always believed in the karma, that what goes around, comes around. If everything I do to help them is futile, only they will be able to change their lives; it's now or never. At least I tried! Remember: life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."
- Alexander Graham Bell -

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Living Life

It's Saturday yet just now there was school, in order to replace for the upcoming Raya hols.. can you believe it?? While everyone is enjoying their Saturday off simply lying at home, or hanging out with friends and family, there we were, entering classes and entertaining students of all sorts of personalities and behaviours in such impossible heat! It did suck in a way.

Well, indeed, this is one of the sacrifices we need to make in life. To get a better reward in the future, we have to suffer first. No one says it's going to be easy. Well, no pain, no gain.. now, now, doesn't this sound similar? Only in the end, we will realise that everything will be worth it all. Sometimes it might be just a lil bit too late. Life is never fair no matter how much we want it to be. It's either this or that.

We can never stop complaining, most of the time it's because we're dissatisfied or unhappy with our own lives. Maybe some people DO complain because they want to be happy.. I dunno whether it matters anymore. The point is: complaining will only heighten our stress levels. I think we should all learn to be more grateful... for everything happens for a reason.. no matter how terrible it is. If we keep on complaining, we would never see those subtle silver linings. If we're given a choice, who would've wanted to live uncomfortably, without anything ever once comes our way? Trust me, it could be worse.

Yes, it is annoying if things do not happen the way we want it to be. We are human, and we can't run away or hide from problems. Think: maybe it is not meant to be after all. I always like to see things in a positive way, even if I could not stop lamenting myself. Be it hours, days or even years.. but if things are destined to be that way, it will be. There's no point crying over spilt milk, right?

Time is gold, time is precious. God awarded us these lives so that we could make full use of every minute given, every breath we take, every single thing we see, hear, touch or taste. One should never be too greedy, for greed will only eat you alive, sooner or later. In life, we could never get everything we want. And that is a fact. The poor, the rich or the in-betweens, we all lead different lives and our happiness lies in the way we live it. No one says wealth is gonna make us happy either. Remember: worldly riches are temporary, given to the lucky ones. Still, it does not come bowing at our feet; we will need to work our asses for it. So, make the most of what we have while we still can.. live life to the fullest! =)

p/s: Congrats, Iyda & Sharizal on the birth of your baby girl, Mawar Cinta Aneesa last Tuesday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Shinjuku Incident

Mix Chinese immigrants in Japan, the yakuza families, gangsterism, oppression, betrayal, power suckers, and black market.. and what do you get? = one bloody movie.

If you feel like watching Jackie Chan from a new perspective, go for this movie. You might never guess he could pull it off being a serious immigrant who is trying to make a living in the foreign land of Japan, while looking for his long-lost lover, who apparently, adopts a Japanese name and lifestyle and marries a yakuza chief! Along the way, he meets Lily, a multilingual chick, whom later becomes his lover and next, he works with his ex's husband to get revenge on Taiwanese gangsters who tormented his friend, legal status and lastly, the Shinjuku district for the Chinese community there. When I mention working with a yakuza, this involves murder and betrayal, mind you. Of course, the other yakuzas are not happy with this progress and the district, governed by Jackie's (Steelhead) friends has turned into a big mess; illegal drug trafficking and so on. So much for helping the other immigrants eh. That's when things get messier, with yakuzas and Chinese gangsters fighting against each other. Well, put two and two together, maybe you can guess what will happen in the end
already =)

I'd give 3 out of 5 stars for this movie. The story is not that boring, but there is nothing great about it, either.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Strumming Away

Ouch, my fingers hurt due to practising a lot with the guitar. This is normal for a beginner, especially a slow learner like me to get all the chords right. I'm now familiar with all the basic chords yet I still find it difficult to change chords quickly. Playing a full song is like soooo millions and zillions of years away! LOL Besides, I'm still not used to pressing the strings hard to ensure that the sound comes out right. Whenever I want to change chords, I'm like all kelam-kabut and the tunes will all go wrong. Gah!

Some of you might be surprised to find out about my latest obsession. Why, you may ask? I dunno, the idea seemed to slip into my mind out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason. All of a sudden, I decided I wanted to learn to play guitar and voila!, I approached a colleague who knows how to play it to teach me. Lucky me, she agreed. So I bought this cheap guitar so that I could practice easily. Now I'm having guitar lessons two times a week (sometimes I skip ha-ha) Strictly no pressure. Just the way I like it. =)

I think within a few weeks of practice I'm sooooo gonna to get corns on the three fingers. Trust me. Even now I can feel the hardness and numbness on them. So much for learning guitar eh?

Though life is pretty hectic lately, I still eat, drink, sleep and dream about guitar. There just seems to be no end for it for the time being. Not yet.

Joy to the World!


To my sister, Isya:

My heartiest congratulations and best wishes on the birth of Muhammad Isyraf Atif on Sunday, 5th April 2009! May Allah bless you and your family with lots of happiness and joy. I'm so happy for you, and I love you and will love your son too =)

p/s: Haven't heard from Iyda who's due some time this week too. Whatever it is, hope everything goes well for you and your baby. (oit, is this sum kind of 'having babies' season eh..?!)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Congrats and Thanks.



First and foremost.. happy birthday to my dear friend, Sue a.k.a. sya_zachery who celebrates her 2*th birthday today. Ha-ha. Come to think of it, a year ago, I din even know you yet! But now you're like a lil sis to me and that's great. I've always wanted a lil sister since I dun have one. Ha-ha. Whatever it is, remember that a birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. So, do enjoy the trip. =)

Chillis again next time, Sue? :D

Last but not least, I'd like to say thanks to Berenica, a student of mine, for this wonderful gift she got me when she went holidaying in Sydney last March! I dunno how and where you got the idea that I love cooking and baking.. (ha- ha) but thanks a lot for the apron and kitchen mitten with maps of Australia all over it.. Now you make me not want to use them in the kitchen already! lol :p


Aren't they just adorable?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bowl it, baby!

Event: Bowling Tournament
Date & Time: 4 April 2009, 9.30 - 11.30am
Venue: Champ's World Bowling Centre, Sandakan

Organiser: Sung Siew Teachers' Social Club
Participants: 26 teachers
Judges & Photographer: A few students - thanks heaps!


Me a.k.a The President & the prizes


Teachers showing off their bowling skills~
(hey I cud see Mdm. Tan and Mr. Ganesan in the last pic.. Mr. Lee played well too in the first pic lol)


Final score: Congrats Group 6 and Bernard (best bowler)

Group photo! (a must)

Guess everyone had fun today.. let's do it again next time okay! =)

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Hardest Part

Darn it.. how do these people do their job.. I mean, seriously! It has taken me real guts to purchase something online and the next thing I know is that they have taken about 1 whole week to process the whole thing and that is simply not the end of it. After this there's another process of proof-reading and editting, and next resubmitting the forms to them. Imagine having to do it all ourselves.. I mean, they're supposed to make the customers' life easier, not the other way around, aren't they? *pfffttttt*

And now, the waiting game begins, AGAIN.. urgh! Is it not the hardest part of all??~ (This reminds me of a French proverb that goes.. "People count up the faults of those who keep them waiting." In my case, how very very true! lol)
All things come to him who waits?

p/s: There's this Bowling Competition organised by SS Teachers' Social Club led by me tomorrow.. Good luck, everyone.. it's time to show off your bowling skills! =)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

B is for Busy, T is for Tired.

I'm always feeling so tired these days.. Exhausted is more like it. There is just too many work to be done, and a lot of things to think about at the same time. Nowadays, I will leave home about 6.30 in the morning and come back home 12 hours later. Whenever the others rush back when the bell rings, I humbly and faithfully sink myself into the piles of papers and books calling out to be checked or marked, photostated and whatnot. It all seems neverending. Will life be the same for me after this? I believe the answer is yes.

Teaching all exam classes has finally taken its toll on me. It is double tiring. But I've always loved my job. Apart from the tiring routines, I look forward to teach my kids, so that they get something to ponder about when they go back home. I enjoy preparing materials, photostating, cutting and pasting here and there so that they will always have something to look forward to in my lessons. Still, I don't think that would ever be sufficient enough to satisfy me. I wonder what's missing.....

And now, there's drama. I stay almost everyday to train them but two heads or more are always better than one, right? With almost all the current members being new, we all need to work extra hard to train them so that they'll be good enough to represent our school this year. We really need to work on getting the 'team spirit' back. I could see that the decision of some of the old members to quit does affect us. I'm frustrated, but I find it worthless to start playing the blame game. What's done is done. All I know is that I'd tried my utmost best to get the old members back in the team but to no avail. I'd also been racking my brain to find people to replace em and at the same time come up with the best depiction of the script we're working on this year, and I'm still doing it. Wish us the very best of luck.. the competition is in June.

I dun even have enough time or energy to catch up with my girl friends outside school these days. I believe that they are equally busy as well, yet before this we always spared some time to hangout and chit-chat about the latest juicy gossips in town, unlike this year. It's almost difficult to reach everyone nowadays, if they're not busy with work, they'll prefer taking their time off to just rest at home. Myself, included.

With me coming home late everyday feeling exhausted all over, I haven't had the chance to pop into the chatroom or the radio which once upon a time were my addiction. I realise that many of my friends or even listeners there have been looking for me, wondering what in the world is wrong with me.. but dun you guys worry, I'm a-OK, just busy. Busy, that's the word that has changed my life and my former laid-back routines. Good luck with the upcoming gathering, I'm sorry I can't be there. Nowadays, I hardly listen to the radio or even be near the laptop. Sometimes I log on the Net just to check my mails, the school website and this blog. I know now I already sound boring.. but I can't help it. I used to have problems sleeping at night, but now at about 8 or 9 at night, I'm afraid it's hard for you to reach me anymore for I've been shipped to the magical world of slumberland.......~

p/s: Thanks Bie for understanding my situation, I'm sure now you know what it feels yeah.. well, only you know what I mean *winks*