Monday, January 31, 2005

Axe oil

Ax or axe? I like my Es.

I have the flu... again and as usual, my ears are blocked and my throat is sore. Last Saturday I was quite desperate to unclogged my brain as I thought I had to teach Sunday School the next day. Sarah suggested putting my head over a bowl of steaming vapou rub water to decongest my airway. I don't own a tub of vapour rub - I don't find it as effective. Instead, I chucked in about 20 drops of axe oil or hong iu or minyak kapak to people back home. On the health and safety sheet it states that 2 drops could possibly knock a person unconscious. I have been using this 'stuff' since I was teeny-weeny (although it can be argued that I am still teeny-weeny) and am used to rubbing it into my temples and joints when headaches or joint cramps were present. In fact, I like the smell of it so much I rarely go anywhere without it; I took it with me on TASC and Jenny and Katy ( who were my TASC roomies) could both smell it even though it was in my bag, unopened and under sheets of paper and clothing. So now that we have established that this is pretty potent stuff, I can continue my tale of wooziness and adventure.

So, I boiled some water, put it into a bowl and shook (ketchup style) about 20 drops into the steaming water. I folded a towel over my head and breathed in the relaxing, hypnotising, mind- easing, dreamy... I had slipped into a state of self-induced euphoria and had a stupid grin plastered all over my face - the same stupid grin I give Elena whenever we contemplate watching Val Kilmer in Batmas Forever %). Elena was not sympathetic as it was, she argued, self- induced and I think Sarah found the squatting at the bottom of the stairs giggling uncontrollably quite amusing. I sat with my head over that bowl for a good 15 minutes at least and although I found the whole situation quite calming, Sarah claimed that she could smell my 'weird water mix,' using my own words, from her bedroom upstairs. I was in the kitchen with the door shut. After 15 minutes, I stumbled into the living room and flopped literally next to Elena, still wearing that stupid grin. I was so relaxed I didn't care that she was watching football instead of Jurassic Park 2 and I didn't change the channel when she left. I don't think I will go into the pink, fluffy thoughts going through my mind during the half hour I was in another dimension, but they closely resembled Dumbo's dreams featuring the medley, "Pink Elephants on Parade" after he drank too much champange. Although I didn't end up on a tree, I did end up in a bath and scrubbed myself bright red.

Sunday followed and I didn't have to teach Sunday School after all. There was a miscommunication along the line - hooray! But I still sat through the story of Jesus healing Jairus' daughter and went for church lunch afterwards. Church lunch was followed by a brief trip to the Tate Modern with Katy, which reinforced my opinion that I really didn't know 'good' art as I thought my brother could do better than some of the things I saw, although I quite liked the suspended basketballs in glass. We bumped into Rebecca and then I went home, too tired to do anything but sleep.

Ban Lacey's new girlfriend Bethan, was in town for a weekend. Ben stayed over at Joe's and Bethan slept in our place. We are in such a convenient location. They bought us flowers as a thank you (yay, we're popular again!) and I managed to kill off 2 flowers before even taking them out of the wrapping. Reminds me of the time Cogsworth told the Beast, when asked what he (the Beast) should get for Belle, "Chocolates, flowers, promises you don't intend to keep..."

Joanna and I are reading Villette again (but together this time) this week; she bought me the tale of unrequited love last Christmas and as she is studying it this week, I thought it would be a good chance for us to catch up and upload our fantasy worlds (or just mine... hahaha) of chilvarous horse riders, large beautiful gardens, poetic dialogue and mysteries of the human heart.

Prescription in hand, I will go to Specsavers today (or not)... decisions, decisions.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I am not popular :(

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...
Hehehehehehehehehehe... hahahahahahahaha... hahahahaha....HAH!

Pathetic. Grumpy little Deb. I want a Harley Davidson.

King's Law Posse will be grouping at Joe's place tonight for snacks and prayer. Until then, I will be working at the union, printing out my Tax seminars, having lunch... I went to ULU to get my eyes tested this morning. Believe or not, my right eye could only see the huge letter 'A' right on top of the list and my left eye read letter 'V' as letter 'A.' Talk about being 'blind.' I told the 'nurse' in a sing song voice that I had astig and that my right eye was in more trouble than my left. She looked at me like I was joking but after half an hour of tests admitted that I was right. Ooo-hoo. I had to rush to get to the union so had no time to browse through the selection of glasses they had. I might bring someone with me for a second opinion thing when I decide to finally get some frames. I want these new supra-frames or these. So, new haircut from Neal (my Toni and guy 'friend') and new glasses from I-don't-know-where. Sigh... maybe I can change evrything for fun before I hit 21. A race against time? But then... what I would like most for my birthday would be a one week hack in the countryside. Some things can't change. Cool.

I read an old published copy of Romans on the bus today. Did you know that Paul used SMS text in his message? Chapter 2:15 writes, "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

12 - 3pm

The hours I usually work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays, I work 3-7pm.

Have I told you that my seminar group was sooo nice to me after not seeing me for about a month and a half? Things sort of spiralled out of control for a bit and I left things to cool down before restarting this term. No point burning out. Will be studying Tax Law with Joe later today. We're going to go through the entire syllabus together bit by bit, starting today after my shift. tomorrow before work I will be going down to ULU to get a prescription for new spectacles. Alas, I don't think I will be able to resisit the lure of looking intelligent... #sigh#...

My saxophone playing has been goin well although Sarah can feel my rhythm vibrate through the floors when she is studying upstairs while I play 'Hey Cera Cera' or Larry the Cucumber's 'Oh Where Is My Hairbrush?' from Veggie Tales. I need to inform the neighbours this week of my saxo practice as a courtesy call.

Elena, Sarah and I are living in a make shift Noah's Ark of our time since last Thursday. Some pipe in the house has burst leaving an increasingly large and very wet patch throughout the hallway, which by the way is carpetted. We are now walking on planks of wood, cardboard (which gets sodden extrememly quickly - it's like diaper-changing), ROAR newspapers and giant plastic bags in order to keep out feet fairly dry. The house smells like a stable, which I don't mind but I doubt the rest share in the same sentiments. However, it has to be said that it's not at all healthy for our lungs or feet.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Law fairs

I'm going to give today's law fair a miss. Went yesterday and although overall I collected more brochures than last year (but less free stuff), I am still unsure whether a career in law is what I really want. I mean, after I handle 'little' issues such as a work permit or British residency (ahhh... do I want to become a Brit??!!??) or something else... only after ALL that, can I decide on the law firms I would like to potentially work for. Slight exaggeration there but you know me. Anyhoo, a short trip to the bank is on the cards as well as a trip to Mr D Ladds office to get seminar 10 notes on Taxation. I also have to decide which mini option I'll be taking for Property and download loads of cases and Moral Philosophy readings from the Intranet. Now that I've decided not to 'waste' my life, the progression from couch potato to celery? ginseng? turnip? is not easy but it will get easier.

Am looking forward to Chinese New Year and my birthday among other things. Oh ya, throw in a little nugget of Heaven as well. Mmmm...

Currently reading (bedtime literature): Don't Waste your Life (J. Piper)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Going home

I come from Kuching city, which means 'cat' in Malay and we have the only cat museum (oh dear). The city is the capital of Sarawak, also known as the Land of the Hornbills. Needless to say, I think I like where I come from very much.

As a few people are up for a trip round to 'my' bit of the world, I thought it would be handy for you all to see where I come from and what you're letting yourself in for :)

Kuching Quick Guide especially the food site...

Tours available - or you can take a risk and follow me.

Cat city

What Jason Gordon thought about it

Gallery

I think that's a reasonable starter...




Seconds

My second short note to the world.

I WILL BE TWENTY-ONE THIS YEAR!!!!!

I'm still not sure whether it's a step forward or three steps backwards. Sarah and Elena are both 22. I wonder what I'll be like at 22. More importantly, what am I like now? Less thinking, more action. By the way, E-diet says I should only eat 1200 calories a day. That's less than 4 REGULAR Mars bars. Abominable.

Currently (still) reading: Don't Waste Your Life (J.Piper)

6.45 AM!!!!!

Alarm bells should be clanging in my head. The only sane person I know who gets up at six AM is Priss. There are probably lots of you who get up even earlier but we'll leave it at Priss. I think she deserves that honour:)

I did not get up at 6.45AM, I got up at 5.25AM for a 6.45AM shift at the student union. See how much I am emphasising the A-Ms? Shockingly (what?!!? something more shocking than getting up before Priss???) I think I might be a morning person after all. Wow.

I took my saxo back to the shop I bought it from because there was a slight problem with the crook which made my saxophone 'screech like an elephant.' Don't believe me? Ask Adam. Random piece of information that I found; have a look at an elephant's brain, elephant's brain dissected and the skull which holds the brain. That's one big skull, no? I could fit in there, then I could be the elephant's brain :) We all know that elephants did not crack out of chicken eggs or even ostrich ones although an elephant 'egg' might look like this. Reminds me of a jammy swiss roll or a sausage cake. So, how to make an elephant? Enough about elephants.

So anyway, the shop people fixed my saxo so it doesn't screech anymore. Good news for me. Not too good for the neighbours. Daylight is starting to break through and I've been awake for over 2 hours now. I will make myself a large mocha shortly. I will write again in a while.

Currently reading: Don't Waste Your Life (J. Piper)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Sarah's birthday today. Elena (and I but it was more Elena's idea) wanted to make her a pancake breakfast so we thought that if we got up at 8am, we would have plenty of time before Sarah left for her class at 10. But nooo... I woke up at 8.30 to discover that Sarah had left at 7.30 to practise in one of the music rooms. Her sister's staying the night so after this, it's home to clean up the living room. I really let my work slip last term and today was convicted by God that I was, in a way, robbing my parents by not studying as hard as I should (believe me when I say I'm most definitely not studying hard enough). So, I set out to set things 'straight,' first by sending an email to my tutors, saying I was sorry and that I would buck up and secondly, which I have yet to do, I will actually do my reading for the class so that no amount of panic or minor claustrophobia will prevent me from going to class. It's not going to be easy, I might deservedly get humiliated in class by tutors who want a bite out of my ego and I might have to admit that I know nothing at all but a wake-up call now is better than never. Too much sleep will give you a headache.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The unexpected...

happened last week and I'm still trying to figure out whether it worked out for the best or not. I'm assuming it did but now that I spend less time worrying about it, I feel that there is a certain pocket of air in my life that I need to fill - quickly. I feel strangely light-headed about the whole mystery and I have not felt quite so relieved and at peace in a long, long time. Now that I am less weighed down, I can fully concentrate on the more and most important things in life.

I bought my alto saxophone (gold) on Saturday just in time before the shop shut. However, the next day, when I tried to play it, I discovered a manufacturer's fault on the instrument, the fault caused the instrument to screech instead of delivering a clear, deep sound. I will return it on Wednesday and get my money back. Needless to say, I think my housemates are a teensy bit relieved that they will not have to put up with my 'honking' for some time. Being ever so slightly hard of hearing, to me, the saxo sounds just fine but Elena cautioned me againt playing it too late into the night lest we become unpopular with the neighbours. Oh well, back to my violin then :)

I will be learning about abortion today in Moral Philosophy. It will definitely be interesting to see what the guys and girls in class think about it. After the seminar, I will be at St Helens to help serve at 9:38. Initially I wanted to go to listen but Taylor sent out an email saying there was not enough people to help so I figured, seeing I had 'a couple more years' before having to make any 'finalised' decision about full-time, career mission work, I could afford to help. After all, is not helping serve food part of my ministry as well?

Tomorrow is Sarah Gosden's birthday everybody.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

A little bit of nothing

14th January... the story of my life.

Received a postcard from Amy and Sarah from Aussie. #Amy's got a boyfriend.# Amy's brother's vegetarian; the first vegetarian I heard of upon arriving in London.

Katherine sent me a postcard from Egpyt. I want to go there and ride camels or dromedaries one day.

My bro is doing well in his new school. #My brother is a geeenius.# Naturally, I'm biased.

Hans doesn't visit Ben anymore. I am quite upset.

Tonight, I am going to a knitting party. Tonight I'm going to Carly's for dinner.

Tomorrow, I am going to buy a saxophone. Tomorrow, I'm going out for dinner.

I cleaned the bathrooms today.

Sarah and I discovered that I have more skin (skin, not fat) on my body than the average person; the average person being Sarah. I can lift at least 50% more skin off my knuckle area, jawline, back of the hand... than Sarah can. Either I have more skin or my skin's more flexible. I could be a the new flubber. Can you tell we were bored?

I bought a new pair of boots yesterday with detailed stitching near Charing Cross. I like them!

Elena's not supposed to eat chocolate this whole week and go running everyday. I was going to NOT eat chocolate this week too. I lasted for 12 hours then unwittingly had a hot chocolate and then, the day after, had five, SMALL, cubish shaped-like, pieces of chocolate cake whilst serving the workers Romans RML.

I need to exercise. But what? But how? But where? But when?

Monday, January 10, 2005

TASC

I thought that TASC would be relaxing and retreat-ish. It was, as one person described it, 'intense.' We spent 4 days in a place I still can't pronounce or remember. I will divide it into highlights and not so high lights of the conference. Here are SOME of them...

Highlights:
1) We studied the word of God together; Moses, passover, Exodus in context of the Bible, Second coming, God's wrath, unpacked Isaiah 65-66... all very exciting stuff.
2) Unlimited hot showers
3) Bunk beds.
4) Hash browns for our last breakfast.
5) Had 4 kiwi fruits altogether - very healthy :)
6) Learned a new game - Perudo(?)
7) Played a bit of saxaphone, which has led to desiring one for myself.
8) Listened to Bryan Adam's greatest hits - thank you Jon!
9) Bought books from TASC bookstore.
10) Met new people
11) Ate the largest banana I have ever eaten to date.

Not so high lights:
1) Had to wake up before 8 (to shower) for breakfast at 8.30
2) ... after less than 5 hours sleep.
3) Caught a cold and sore throat on the last day, which I still have.
4) Had a bad headache on the first day.
5) Andrew Sach 'killed' a stuffed toy lamb (chopped its head off with a knife) and smeared it with tomato sauce to prove a point in the Passover.

I am quite saturated with spiritual food that I will need to pick apart and take down slowly. I have learnt loads from this 'get-a-way' even though it should be renamed TAS[B]C - The Annual Student [Bootcamp] Conference. All in all, a very exciting week; the glory of God's truth spread far outweighs any discomfort this lowly body feels.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

My second short break

My second short-tish break in 7 hours. after this, I will hurry home, eat dinner, throw a few clothes into a bag, a few books, camera, tooth brush... is that all I need(?) and watch Father Ted (if Elena will let me) and rearrange the VHS rack before snoozing. In the morning, I will select soundtracks to listen to in the coach and brush my teeth. Argh... no!!! I forgot... tonight I have to bake that apple pie too!

Have been 'discussing' with Elena my propositions for my 21st birthday party celebration. After going through ideas such as hiring a boat and booking an ice skating rink, Elena thinks I have too much money to spend. I'm thinking of maybe spending a day in Battersea Dog's home or going to Pembrokeshire for a week to hack.

I have had a sore lower back for some time and sometimes in runs acute shock waves through my thighs. I'm definitely NOT going to the doc for that. Am currently using my right index finger to type whilst squeezing a 'Share God's love' stressball in the other hand. Unfortunately, with my hands being so small, only half the ball fits into my palm and the ball aint even that big. Should I go crazy? I should just go crazy.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

So what's REALLY wrong with me?

Went to see the doc today to try figure out what's really wrong with my head. I have been having bad headaches since 2 days after Christmas and since they were not migraines, I decided, or at least Elena decided for me, that I should make an appointment to see a GP. I have been taking my medication and more but they don't seem to work on me anymore and when they do, only very briefly do they offer relief. I was told that I needed to exercise more (maybe get a punching bag) and relax. He thought that me knitting was a good form of relaxation (cos he mentioned something about repetitive motion being calming) until I told him that I timed myself. He then said that I was too competitive. so, I need to take up a form of sport and relax. He prescribed me some pink and yellow pills but because I will be going to TASC, I will not be receiving the prescription til next week. In the meantime, I decided to actively contribute to help decrease my stress levels. I bought a disc-man and a stress ball and nearly bought a zebra-print blanket but didn't have enough cash on me.

Did I tell you that Elena and I spent an hour in Sainsbury last night? We came away with dessert pastry, custard, milk, tea infusions and... a DVD player! Yay!!!!! We celebrated by watching Father Ted - Elena's mum gave her the whole set for Christmas. I will be making apple pie tonight, will probably have a slice of it and leave the rest for Elena to consume as I will be heading off to TASC tomorrow. 4 days in a place I still can't remember off by heart should be brill.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Okay, a bit late, I'll admit.

Started the New Year off with a bang - literally. The nicest, loudest fireworks I have ever seen and they reminded me of home; the smell of smoke, the crowds huddling together, the community spirit... Several things have reminded me of home lately (and during the run up to New Year). George Orwell's cartoon version of Animal Farm, shopping for my brother's birthday in Woolworths, the Star Wars series, even the Tsunami disaster. Maybe it's because I've not been home in ages but where is home, exactly?

Malaysia-home is where the food is - this could go on forever, the community I grew up with, my car (washing the car is one of the most refreshing activities in the world - lots of suds and a hose...), my smelly dog, my family (not necessarily in that order), driving my brother to the pool, going swimming with my brother - the only person who still thinks I know what I'm talking about, Grandma's cooking, air travel to get to Grandma's, barbecues on the roof, waterfalls - Matang park, Ranchang pool, my QUEEN-SIZE bed, all the little roads that lead to nowhere, street football in church, youth camps in Batang Ai (big dam)...

London-home however, has it's share of good food - Iranian meat(!) at Alounak, Bayswater and chinese food ie Royal China, Lotus, Four Seasons DUCK yatta... yatta... yatta, Christian brothers and sisters - you know who you are and you have made a difference in my life, transport(?) and dogs; Bentley, Benson, Jade and Max (although not my own) and is where I have grown spiritually for the last 3 or so years since a big chunk of my time spent here was just God-and-me time. I'm a bit selfish in that way... okay, very selfish. But I am trying to change even though everytime I open my mouth I feel like I reveal secrets that I really shouldn't have said in the first place but then... too late!

It's hard to choose. In a way they are both my homes and my heart is in both but in another, even bigger way, my home is somewhere else. How is it possible that I can be so wistful about home, so unsure about when or how, yet so sure that it'll be perfect at the same time? Home is where the heart is and Heaven is in my heart.

My degree is halfway through and I am about to 'enter into conference' with my parents about my next step be it a master's degree, Bible college, the LPC cum training contract or returning to Malaysia - I have been away from my brother too long. Perhaps this summer will determine where I might 'end up' in the future but no future is ever far enough and if anything, I learnt last year that submitting to God's will not only means changing and growing to become more like Him, but that I also need to surrender my control-freak nature to Him and let Him plan for what I would not otherwise allow myself to dive into. Also, when Paul wrote in one of his letters (go figure which one) that we should remain as we are, he did not mean that we should stubbornly cling to the familiar just because we want to remain as we are. Although we should remain ie be content, we should not remain in our old nature ie refusing to follow God's will. Making sense?

This year, my New Year's resolution - last year's resolution of using hair conditioner has been kept and will continue to be a life-altering experience hahahahaha - will be to, among other things, not fail my exams so that I will be able to go home for three months of uninterrupted bliss and to consciously put God first in my life and to make Him and Him alone the center of my life; God the Father chose me, God the Son died for me and God the Holy Spirit is working in me in ways I cannot even begin to imagine. Forget the Atkins diet and trying to fold my ankle over my ear, I'm all up for hope and glory.